updated 03:33 pm EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
OI520 PCs feature Core i5 4200U inside a shape similar to the Nexus Q
Zotac, a manufacturer known for its graphic cards and small-form PCs, announced a new entry into is Zbox series mini-PCs this week in the OI520. The OI520, while similar in some ways to the other barebones machines the company offers, differs in one main aspect -- its design. Somewhat reminiscent of the Nexus Q due to its spherical case, the machine offers a new look for a potential home theater PC.
"Zotac is expanding the Zbox lineup to go beyond the traditional square form factor, and the Zbox sphere is our first design concept that we're putting into production," said Zotac's Senior Director Carsten Berger. "The new Zbox sphere form factor is also one of our easiest to customize too, as the top twists off for tool-less upgrades."
Specifications for the machine reveal something a little more powerful than the typical mobile CPU-powered machines that the small form factor market generally offers. The OI520 houses an Intel Core i5 4200U 1.6 GHz, utilizing Intel HD graphics 4400. Slots for two DDR3L SO-DIMMS, supporting up to 16 GB, and a single 2.5-inch system drive. It supports SATA 6.0 Gb per second, and mSATA 6.0 Gb per second
Inputs for the sphere unit including three USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports and a four-in-one memory card reader. Connectivity for the OI520 consists of built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and Gigabit Ethernet. It has two display choices, making use of either HDMI or a Displayport. On-board audio offers a single inputs for speakers and a microphone.
The unit comes in two options; the standard barebones OI520 model, and a OI520 Pro that comes with a 500 GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM. Pricing for the unit has not yet been revealed.