Zotac's been making mini-PCs for a long time. Ten years, in fact, if we're to believe the micro-site for the company's latest creation, the MEK1 small-form-factor gaming PCs. We first heard about them back around Computex time, but now the company has made the full details available to us. There's a black model and a white model, and I have to admit that they look pretty spiffy.
Most of the PCs that Zotac sells are positively petite mini-PCs like the EN1070, or even smaller. Those machines pack a lot of power into a puny package, but the MEK1 is different. These distinctively-styled machines use more-or-less off-the-shelf parts, but Zotac used its engineering expertise to keep the MEK1's dimensions down. The machines measure 16.5" square on the sides (42 cm x 42 cm), and they're only 4.6" (12 cm) thick.
The white model is the more modest of the two, but its Core i5-7400 CPU and GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB graphics card should provide a pretty solid gaming experience at 1920x1080. Folks looking for more meat can step over to the black MEK1. Its Core i7-7700 CPU and GeForce GTX 1070 Ti graphics card should provide plenty of punch for gaming at 2560x1440 or even 4K, depending on the title.
Both machines come with 16 GB of DDR4 memory in a dual-channel configuration. They also share the same storage setup: a 240 GB NVMe SSD for the system drive, and a 1 TB 2.5" hard drive for game library storage. Unusually, the MEK1s have dual Gigabit Ethernet ports alongside 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. Zotac describes the MEK1's audio configuration as "7.1-channel with optical output", but doesn't give any further details.
Naturally, the Zotac MEK1 has Spectra RGB LED lighting running along its exterior. The included mechanical keyboard and optical gaming mouse have RGB LED accents, too. The PCs are part of a new Zotac Gaming brand, and there's a fancy Spectra utility to control the light show. The PCs haven't shown up at e-tail yet and Zotac is mum about their pricing. The company's micro-machines tend to be reasonably priced, though.