ZOTAC ZBOX Sphere OI520+ Review

👤by Richard Weatherstone Comments 📅13-01-15
Closer Look

As the name suggests, the Sphere is spherical by design however it would be impractical having a mini-pc that could potentially roll off your desk so the Sphere is actually not totally spherical as it has a square base with a cube like protrusion to the rear. The outer casing is a matt black plastic and quite plush to the touch. We were however a little concerned that the domed area did flex a little under pressure which was a little disconcerting.

Gaining access to the internal was simply a matter of twisting the dome off a quarter of a turn. While this design is great we can see that regular access would inevitably mean that the plastic tabs would eventually wear down which could impact on the longevity of the product. The 'lid' also felt quite flimsy which could be resolved perhaps by adding a metal ring prevent said flex.

With the lid removed we can see that both memory and hard drive access is readily available and so easily upgradeable. Included with the plus version is 4GB of DDR3 and 500GB 2.5" mechanical hard drive. We suspect that both the memory and hard drive would be upgraded by the end user eventually with perhaps a further 4GB of DDR3 for dual channel 8GB operation and an SSD but the current specification is more than enough for regular users we feel and helps keep the cost of the product down.

The memory included is Crucial 1600MHz 11-11-11-28 1T which isn't the fastest memory on the market but sufficient for a product at this entry point.

The hard drive is a Samsung Momentus with a 500GB storage capacity which is quite large for a mini-PC and will please those intending to use this product for media storage.

Keeping the components cool is a small fan which during testing was barely audible despite its size with hot air being vented out of the rear and base of the unit.

The rear of the product features both 3.5mm mic and audio out jacks. Monitor setups are however limited to either HDMI or DisplayPort as there are no DVI or VGA ports available which was a shame. 4x USB 3.0 ports are included with a further 2x USB 2.0 ports and GIGABIT LAN. There is also an SD slot uppermost next to a small power button. All in all a well featured I/O area which should provide enough ports for the average user however it is worth noting that should you have an older monitor design you may need to think about upgrading if it is not compatible with HDMI or DP.

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