ZOTAC Zbox nano AD12 Plus Review

By on September 2, 2012
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Another addition to the pint-size computers.

Tags: , ,
Good: Quiet, compact, new AMD GPU makes for better video playback.
Bad: No major changes apart from GPU, front panel design could use a bit of improvement.
Price: AED 1,400
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Zotac certainly loves their Zbox nano series of mini-PCs. The PC’s small form factor make it ideal to setup in a living room or in any location where space is limited, offering a basic PC and media experience without the need for bulky tower PCs. Having recently reviewed the Zotac Zbox Nano XS AD11 Plus, I got the opportunity this week to try out Zotac’s Zbox nano AD12 Plus, the newest addition to the Zbox nano series.

Build quality & design

Once again Zotac sticks with their tried and tested PC design to form another tiny PC. The palm-sized Zbox nano AD12 Plus would fit easily behind a computer monitor (thanks to the included mount) or just sitting innocently on the side of your desk.

Zotac have added a few more ports to the Zbox nano AD12 Plus, thus making it quite a bit more desirable this time around. New to this model is the inclusion of DisplayPort alongside the standard HDMI, so you can run dual monitors quite easily. There are also a number of high-powered USB ports, which are perfect for charging certain USB devices. USB 3.0 ports also make an appearance, as well as an eSATA port at the back. There’s also a memory card reader, Ethernet and wireless connectivity, as well as Bluetooth. The familiar green ring lights up on top of the Zbox when in use, which again you can turn off in the BIOS if you find it distracting.

Overall the device feels quite sturdy in its casing, and flipping the unit over reveals an interesting aspect about it’s underside. The four raised legs are actually screws, which you can twist open to remove the bottom plate and expose the memory slot and hard drive if you want to do a quick hardware upgrade. The system bundles with 2GB of RAM and a 320GB 5400RPM HDD, and you can upgrade the RAM up to 8GB.

Specs and Comparisons

The Zbox nano AD12 Plus makes some minor changes to the hardware, with the only major change being the use of the AMD Radeon HD 7340 GPU. This provides much better HD playback and handling, and ensures that your experience is as smooth as possible with the system. Here is a quick comparison sheet between the Zbox Nano XS AD11 Plus and the Zbox AD12 Plus:

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A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys hurling fireballs and tinkering with the latest gadgets. Follow him on Twitter as @theregos

  • Peter

    What about the WLAN power? The AD10 wasnt very good there :-(

  • JazJon

    Does the eSATA support Port Multiplier? (for multi-bay SATA enclosures)

  • Kevin Hanson

    Lol – this was a “review?” I felt like right after I read the specs, I was already at the conclusion. Weak.

  • Sterke Koffie

    “so you’re going to have to plug in an optical drive to install the OS and bundled drivers” – WRONG you can boot and install from USB-stick or even SD card.

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