Zotac's ZBOX nano ID65 Plus is large enough to allow superior connectivity options in what is still an outrageously small PC.
Its silver and black form, presents a pair of USB 2.0 ports, audio jacks and a multi-format card reader at the front, while the back finds room for four additional USB 3.0 ports, ethernet, full size HDMI and DisplayPort sockets and an eSATA port for easily connecting fast external storage. There's also a screw-in Wi-Fi antenna and a Kensington Security slot at the side. Like many other small PCs, it can also be attached to your monitor using the supplied VESA mounting kit.
When powered on, the top of the PC glows with a bright blue circle, which is invisible when turned off and the whole PC has a very compact and stylish appearance. See also: Group test: What's the best Mini PC?
It's powered by a 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i7-353U processor - the only Core i7 we've seen on a recent mini PC. This processor can turbo boost up to 3.1GHz and consequently delivers a high PCMark 7 Computation score, despite being of the previous generation "Ivy Bridge" range of chips.
Zotac ZBOX nano ID65 Plus: storage
Storage is provided by a 500GB 2.5in hard drive which offers greater capacity than the SSDs found in smaller PCs which wouldn't have room for the full-sized drive. Unfortunately, the performance of the hard drive is much lower than the solid-state alternative and this results in an overall PCMark 7 score of 2882 which falls significantly behind those PCs.
If you wish to boost performance with solid state technology you can use the included nanoRAID storage accessory instead, which allows you to install two mSATA SSD modules simultaneously in a RAID configuration for enhanced performance. Despite the larger physical case, only one RAM slot is provided and this is fitted with a 4GB module, so you will have to remove this if you want to increase the memory capacity.
The ZBOX nano ID65 Plus feels fast and responsive in day-to-day use even with the standard hard drive installed and we feel many would rather have the extra capacity rather than the extra speed of an SSD. See all budget PCs reviews.