We always love to drop by the Zotac booth at CES. They’ve been making small form-factor PCs for years, and their products often make great home theater PCs. When we first arrived at the Zotac booth we thought that all they had done was make upgrades to their previous devices, but after making our way to the back side we found a completely new design.
The Zotac ZBOX 01520 is a sphere-shaped computer case. The very first thing that came to mind when we saw it was the Nexus Q. It’s about the size of a mini-basketball, and obviously the bottom and back panels are flat. There is also a thin LED light band circling the entire case. It produces a subtle chasing effect of light. They showed the light in blue, but they told us that the color could be configured in the BIOS. The light can also be completely disabled, but we didn’t find it too bright.
Inside of the Zotac XBOX 01520 you’ll find an Intel Core i3-4010U (4th generation Haswell) with integrated Intel HD 4400 graphics. The board also has 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, and DisplayPort. It also has four USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports alongside a memory card reader. All of the ports are tucked away on the back of the case to keep the front looking clean.
As is the case with most of Zotac’s offerings, the 01520 is sold as a bare-bones computer. That means it doesn’t come with any storage, memory, or an operating system. You’ll be able to buy in this basic configuration for $399, or for an additional $100 you can throw in 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive. Zotac didn’t provide us with a release date on this PC.
Zotac also had a Steam Machine prototype on display in their booth. They weren’t providing all of the details on the box, but they did tell us that it will be available with desktop versions of the Intel Core-I5 or I7 processor. It also sports a very powerful discrete graphics card that will be user-upgradeable. They are targeting a base price of $500 for the device, but again they didn’t have a release date.