Zotac previews plenty of petite PCs for Computex 2017

Zotac is probably more known for its mini-PCs than its graphics products. The company was doing "NUC-likes" before the NUC existed, and it continues to produce some of the more interesting mini-PCs around. At Computex, Zotac will be showing off no less than nine new takes on the Zbox idea, plus an intriguing gaming machine called MEK.

Zotac Zbox EN1050K

The E-series is primarily aimed at gamers and enthusiasts who need high performance. Zotac will have five new E-series machines to show off at Computex, including the EN1050K, EK51060, EK71070, ER51060, and the ER51070. The first model, the EN1050K, is externally identical to the Magnus EN1070 we reviewed. We can surmise from the model name that it probably includes a GeForce GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti, but the rest of the hardware is a mystery for now.

Zotac Zbox ER51070

The other four E-series machines utilize a taller chassis like that found on the EN1080 Magnus. The extra height gives them room to accommodate a standard desktop graphics card rather than having to rely on mobile-specific hardware. The two "EK" models, EK51060 and EK71070, use Kaby Lake Core i5 and i7 processors respectively. Those CPUs are paired with GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070 graphics cards depending on the model.

Zotac Zbox ER51070

Meanwhile, the ER51060 and ER51070 are mini-PCs based on AMD's Ryzen processors. Zotac doesn't specify exactly which chips, although it says that the CPUs in question have a 65W TDP rating. Given that fact and the "R5" in the model numbers, we could probably make a fair guess. Besides the different internals, these machines appear to be identical to their Intel-based counterparts. That means you get a desktop-style (Zotac says "full-size") GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070 card.

Zotac Zbox MA551

The M-series comprises Zotac's bread-and-butter mini-PCs. Zotac says the M stands for "multi-function", but it could as easily be "mainstream." The company will be bringing two M-series machines to Computex, the MI553 and MA551. These two little computers are nearly identical, except that one uses a Kaby Lake Intel processor, while the other uses a 65W Ryzen CPU.

Zotac Zbox MA551

The Intel-powered MI553 comes with Thunderbolt 3 support, although it loses an HDMI port versus its Ryzen cousin for the privilege. Meanwhile, the Ryzen-based MA551 has a whole bunch of video connections. That leaves us wondering if it includes a discrete graphics card in some form, or if it will be based on an as-yet unannounced Ryzen-based APU. We're as eager to know as you are.

Zotac Zbox PI225

The smallest of Zotac's mini-PCs are the Zbox P-series, formerly known as Zbox Pico. The company calls these its smallest Zboxes yet. The info sheet refers to the PI225 as "card-sized," and while the machine appears to be a a little too big for that moniker, it's doesn't appear to be larger than a typical smartphone. Zotac PR says the passively-cooled pocket PC is "4K display ready." Another fanless pocket PC, the PI335, will also be debuting at Computex. That model is thicker and closer to what we've seen from previous Zbox P-series models.

Zotac Gaming MEK

Finally, there's the MEK Gaming PC. While this machine doesn't exactly qualify as "mini PC," it's nonetheless interesting. The MEK is Zotac's first product from its new Zotac Gaming brand. The machine appears to be a more-or-less standard Mini-ITX gaming PC. The company didn't say much about what kind of internals will be available in the, but given its expertise with cramming hardware into micro machines, we have high expectations for the MEK's firepower.

Comments closed
    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    If history is anything to go by, they’ll only actually retail half of these.

    • NTMBK
    • 2 years ago

    If the MA551 has a Ryzen APU in it, then it could be a very interesting little box.

    • Takeshi7
    • 2 years ago

    That PI225 is sexy. Is there any information about the specs besides 2 USB type-C connectors and a microSD slot?

    • derFunkenstein
    • 2 years ago

    I wonder if those EK models are using Zotac’s “mini” cards and if that means swapping it out for a Voltaire card in the future. Interesting possibility of upgrade ability and small size.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      Curious to know this too; It looks like an air-cooled model, given that it’s too close to the top for it to be watercooled like other Zboxes of this size and form-factor.

      At the same time, it hasn’t got a standard backplate since there’s not enough room for the folded over tab that you screw into your case. There’s also the venting on that silver backplate – it implies that this is a squirrel-cage blower and it’s fully-ducted to exhaust all hot air. Even if you could fit on of Zotac’s standard desktop “mITX” cards into this, I’m not sure there’s any airflow in the rest of the tiny box to accommodate open coolers.

      My guess is that it’s an MXM module with a custom squirrel-cage exhausting cooler. It certainly looks like something that can be swapped out for an upgrade though, unlike their other Zboxes which solder the GPU onto the same board as the CPU.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        Not all of the old ones were soldered. I can say from first-hand experience that the EN970 [url=https://techreport.com/review/29208/zotac-zbox-magnus-en970-reviewed/2<]had an MXM module[/url<], although Jacky Huang from Zotac [url=https://techreport.com/review/29034/the-tr-podcast-187-opening-the-zbox-and-a-bunch-of-new-apples<]told the TR podcast[/url<] that it was more for their benefit than for users. It'd be nice if it was replaceable in the EK series, but it'd be new territory for sure if users could do it on their own.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 2 years ago

    MEK? Meh!

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