Since its debut in 2012, Zotac's Zbox Nano XS mini PC has been limited to low-power processors from AMD's Brazos family. Now, there's a new version with a 15W Haswell CPU. The Nano XS MI521 has a Core i3-4030U with dual cores, quad threads, and a 1.9GHz clock speed. The chassis has grown slightly to accommodate the ultrabook-class CPU, but it still measures mere 4.2" x 4.2" x 1.8".
Zotac pairs the processor with dual SO-DIMM slots and a single mSATA bay. Barebones versions come with those empty, and there's also a Plus variant that includes 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. We're still waiting for pricing details on the two models.
There isn't a whole lot going on inside a machine this small, but the XS is still fairly well equipped for what it is. Networking options include Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Bluetooth 4.0 is supported, of course, and USB connectivity is split between two SuperSpeed ports and two fast-charging ones.
HDMI and Mini DisplayPort outs populate the rear panel, while dual audio jacks puncture the front. The headphone port can switch between analog audio and digital S/PDIF output, which is a nice touch.
Like the rest of Zotac's mini PCs, the Nano XS comes with a VESA-compatible bracket that can mount the system to the back of some monitors—or anywhere you can sink a few screws. A diminutive power brick is included, as well.
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