Entertainment and gaming desktops that come with built-in Blu-ray drive aren’t rare these days, but nettops—usually low-priced, low-power PCs that offer basic entertainment and productivity capabilities—traditionally never bothered with the high-end optical drive. Zotac just bucked the trend on their two new ZBOX Mini-PCs though; while they’re still powered by Intel Atom processors, they also come with a Blu-ray drive that turns them into full-blown (but still small) HD-playing Home Theater PCs.
Looking more like consoles than PCs, the two models mostly similar with a 1.8GHz Intel Atom D525 processor and NM10 Express chipset, Nvidia’s Ion graphics, and 2GBs of DDR2 memory. The ZBOX HD-ID33BR ships with a vacant 2.5-inch hard drive bay, while the HD-ID34BR ships with a 250GB hard drive. That looks like the only difference though. Both run on Windows 7, and feature USB 3.0 ports and card readers for expansion, and Wi-fi and Gigabit Ethernet networking. an HDMI-out port and 8-channel audio rounds out the entertainment features.
No word on pricing just yet, but because of the Blu-ray drive, don’t expect them to be priced the same as your regular nettop.