Zotac Zbox PI335 packs lots of connectors in a tiny chassis


— 4:00 PM on October 31, 2017

We wrote about Zotac's Zbox PI225 miniature computer early last month. The PI225 packs just enough computer power for most everyday tasks into a package about the size of a laptop hard drive. While extremely portable, the machine's only external connectors are a couple of USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C ports and a microSD slot. Zotac's latest Zbox PI335 puts essentially the same Intel Apollo Lake guts into a thicker enclosure studded with more traditional I/O connections.

The Zbox PI335's Intel Celeron N3350 two-core, two-thread SoC isn't going to light anyone's pants on fire, but the 2.4 GHz boost clock is enough to get most jobs done, and the 6 W TDP makes cooling the chip an easy job. The processor fetches data and instructions from a 4 GB pool of LPDDR3 memory soldered onto the teeny-tiny motherboard. A Windows 10 installation will occupy the lion's share of the 32 GB of eMMC storage, though users can slot microSD cards in the integrated reader.

The SoC packs an Intel HD Graphics 500 IGP with 12 execution units, hardware H.265 and HEVC decoding, and the ability to connect to two 4K displays. One of the display outputs is an HDMI 2.0 port and the other is a DisplayPort 1.2, so at least one of two connected screens will be limited to 30 Hz when running at 3840x2160. The integrated graphics might not be a gamer's first choice, but the ability to play high-resolution video to a pair of displays with hardware decoding is sure to make the PI335 a favorite for digital signage.

The PI335 has plenty of peripheral connectivity for such a compact machine. In addition to the aforementioned display outputs, the little mite has an audio combo jack, three USB 3.0 ports (one in Type-C flavor), plus a Gigabit Ethernet jack. There's also built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. The machine measures a tidy 4.5" wide, 3" deep, and 0.8" thick (12 cm x 7.6 cm x 21 cm), or roughly the size of two 2.5" drives stacked on top of each other.

Zotac didn't provide any pricing or availability information for the Zbox PI335. We imagine it'll be available sometime before the end of November for a price not far from the $190 the Zbox PI225 currently sells for on Amazon.

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