New technologies often bring about significant innovation, but some things always seem to stay the same. Despite better and more integration, more powerful hardware, and new features, after all these years computer motherboards still adhere to the ATX standard. Micro-ATX and ITX are gaining in popularity, but the average desktop is still just a big, bulky box.
That smaller sizes are possible has long since been proven by notebook manufacturers. These are sleek devices where the screen size determines the dimensions, and of course the keyboard needs to be large enough to be useful. Increasingly energy-efficient processors and for example mSATA SSD drives allow for more compact designs. The Zotac Zbox Nano XS AD11 Plus is a prime example of taking advantage of all these possibilities. It's a PC that literally fits in the palm of your hand.
Without sounding like we just saw the latest photos of the family's newborn or that sneezing baby panda YouTube video, computer enthusiasts will undoubtedly react to this the same way animal lovers react to a kitten. The Zbox is tiny for sure, but technically speaking it's a little miracle, all clichés aside. Despite its limited size it is a surprisingly versatile little PC, even when you compare it to much bigger computers.
The Zotac Zbox Nano XS AD11 Plus is 10.6 x 10.6 x 3.7cm, and packs plenty of connections that betray these dimensions. On the side that we decided is the front, there is the power button, a memory card reader (MemoryStick, SD, and MMC), two audio connections, and a port that handles both USB 2.0 and eSATA called Powered eSATA. This makes it possible for certain external eSATA disks to be connected without power supply. The headphone jack can also be used for an optical SP/DIF adaptor, which Zotac was nice enough to include. Underneath it there is an IR receiver for the remote control. You can carry on reading rest of the Zotac Zbox Nano XS AD11 Plus preview on Hardware.info.