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Zotac ZBOX-ID81-U Intel HM65 2 x 204Pin Intel HD Graphics Integrated by CPU Black Mini / Booksize Barebone System

  • Intel Celeron 857 (1.2 GHz, dual core)
  • Intel HD Graphics Integrated by CPU
  • 2 x 204Pin DDR3 1333/1066
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Experience the power of Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture in a compact form factor with the ZOTAC ZBOX ID81 mini-PC. Powered by an Intel Celeron Processor 857, the ZOTAC ZBOX ID81 takes CPU performance to the next level with desktop-class processing power that sips miniscule amounts of energy.

Integrated Intel graphics enable the ZOTAC ZBOX ID81 mini-PC to simultaneously drive dual independent displays via HDMI and DVI for superior productivity capabilities from the mini-PC. Space for a 2.5-inch hard drive and 2 204 pin DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM slots enables users to customize the internals of the ZOTAC ZBOX ID81 to their own needs while USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports and a 6-in-1 memory card reader (SD/SDHC/MS/MS Pro/xD/MMC) provide greater external expansion capabilities for perfect energy-efficient computing.


Learn more about the ZOTAC ZBOX-ID81-U

General

Brand
Zotac
Model
ZBOX-ID81-U
Color
Black

CPU Supported

CPU Type
Intel Celeron 857 (1.2 GHz, dual core)

Chipset

North Bridge
Intel HM65

Memory Supported

Memory slot
2 x 204Pin
Memory Type Supported
DDR3 1333/1066
Max Memory Supported
16GB

Storage

Serial ATA
1 x SATA 6.0Gb/s

Graphics

Onboard Video
Intel HD Graphics Integrated by CPU

Communications

Max LAN Speed
10/100/1000Mbps
Wireless LAN
802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth
Yes

Extension Bays

2.5" Internal Bays
1

Front Panel Ports

Front USB
2 (1 @top, 1 @front)
Front Audio Ports
2 jacks
Card Reader
6 in 1

Back Panel Ports

HDMI
1
VGA
1 x DVI
Rear USB
2 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
RJ45
1
Rear S/PDIF Out
1 x Optical output

Physical SPEC

Dimensions
7.4" x 7.4" x 1.73"

Features

Remote Control
Yes
Features
Microsoft DirectX 10 compatible

802.11n WiFi

Bluetooth 3.0 technology

Bundled Media Remote control

Packaging

Packaging
ZOTAC ZBOX ID81
Power brick & cable
VESA monitor mount (w/4 screws)
Stand
WiFI antenna
Media Remote w/ USB IR receiver

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year


Customer Reviews of the ZOTAC ZBOX-ID81-U

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  • Curt F.
  • 3/13/2014 4:39:22 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsDecent little Nettop that came with a small suprise

Pros: -From cold boot to desktop in Win 7 in just 21 secs.

-Runs most programs just fine. I even installed Half Life 2 and it was certainly playable albeit with a few lowered settings. This was the most demanding game I ran on it just for kicks.

-It plays Netflix well and can run 1080 films in VLC just fine as well and ran around 50% CPU usage. The only thing that didn't want to play was a sample 4K video, but thats ok most of the video that will be played on this will be standard and some HD. Everything I used is the same programs and files I play on other computers and devices. I'm sure it would run better with optimized videos and efficient programs.

-Its quite. The only time I heard the fan kick in was when I was playing Half Life 2. All of the video played with the fan at normal quite speeds.

-I only have 2GB of ram installed, but have had no problems with anything I'm doing on it. Besides I still have a open slot for down the road.

-I did receive a little CPU upgrade though. Instead of a celeron 857 running at 1.2 GHz, I have a celeron 867 running at 1.3 GHz. The box says I should have what I ordered but the BIOS and windows say different. Its a nice little surprise but its not like getting an i3 instead.

Cons: -It runs fairly warm on one particular spot. Its never had any problems stability wise though.

-Internet explorer runs just dreadful. I used it just long enough to install Firefox. Firefox runs fine for the most part, but sometimes when I'm typing theres a delay in showing what I type. Its not a chronic issue but it has defiantly messed me up a few times. I don't know how chrome or opera 12 or 18 runs, it only has Firefox for the family. I'm not going to rock the boat when it comes to teaching them a new browser again.

Other Thoughts: -Paired with Kingston 60GB SSD and just one 2GB Mushkin DDR3-1333 stick.

-This was the first time I had the chance to use a newer USB 3.0 flash drive to install Windows, but it refused to install from a 3.0 port citing random errors and being extremely slow. I later had the revelation to try a 2.0 port and it installed just fine.

-Due to other comments, the first thing I did was check my audio ports and all other connections, but didn't find any that were nonfunctional in my case.

-I did try the wireless connection to make sure it worked, and it does, but my ap is an older and congested 54 g router. I didn't really put it trough any paces speed or latency wise.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Don R.
  • 2/5/2013 7:49:20 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsGreat when it works

Pros: Got this to replace a desktop that died. It was only used for internet so I didn't need anything with a lot of horsepower. Works great for internet and Netflix. Small size and inexpensive.

Cons: Works great when it works. After about two hours it gets hot and quits. Don't know if it's the ZBOX or the SSD. At least it has stopped the wife from playing mindless games on the intenet for hours on end.

Other Thoughts: Using with Windows 8. What a waste of money. You have to upgrade to downgrade. Don't know what customer base Microsoft is targeting but it doesn't seem to be computer users. All the MIcrosoft apps I tried crashed the ZBOX. Other vendors apps worked fine.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Christopher M.
  • 1/22/2013 5:09:05 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsInexpensive XBMC Box

Pros: Inexpensive. Came with free SSD. 6gb/s SATA. Wireless N and Gigabit ethernet. This thing is great. Honestly I know many people say this does not work well for XBMC because the processor is slow but it has been working great for me. The box boots quickly. I run Win 7 with XBMC loaded into the shell. I literally never see Windows with it. I would totally buy another one of these if they do the SSD promotion again.

Cons: Due to the slower processor loading highly graphical skins in XBMC can be slow but I will take the tradeoff. The remote receiver is not an e home receiver and when using a harmony remote should be replaced. I never tried to use the included remote however so I can't say whether that will work for XBMC.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Andrew N.
  • 1/19/2013 11:09:07 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsService Counts, Avoid Zotac

Pros: - nice design, essentially tool less
- faster than an Atom
- Bluetooth is nice

Cons: - SERVICE, terrible RMA turn around time!!!!

Other Thoughts: I bought two of these. One worked perfectly and is still going. The other had to be RMA'd after constant BSOD & lockup issues. No big deal, things break. Too small of a sample size to complain.

However, Zotac can care less about service. It's been over one month since they received my unit and I'm still waiting for a replacement. The office has been one machine down since the RMA. On the RMA form they tell you 30 days! No - that's not OK, I don't care is you write it on your form! That's terrible service and it shows service doesn't matter to you.

I will not be buying any more Zotac products.

I wonder if I'll get a good unit back when I finally receive it...

Manufacturer Response:

Hi goda,

Have you received your replacement unit yet? If you need a status update on it, I'd be glad to help you keep track of the process. My email is juliette@zotacusa.com. Just include your full name and RMA claim number.

Thanks,
Juliette

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • George M.
  • 10/24/2012 6:26:39 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat Desktop PC

Pros: Great low power CPU, ok graphics, room for 2 sticks of RAM, easy to work with, low power draw and quick start up.

Cons: Would be nice to have a couple PS2 ports or include an adapter. Fingerprints. Wireless seems a little limited. A little more expensive than other quality alternatives.

Other Thoughts: Bought with free SSD, added to 4gb sticks for 8GB total. Install of Linux Mint 13 Xfce went perfect. Going to be a desktop replacement for my mother replacing an unnecessarily big tower. The tower was left on all the time because of the long start up. With a start up around 20 seconds, expect it will only be on when used, big power savings when running, huge power savings all the time it will be off. CPU performance will be a little more important than graphics for her use so this box was the perfect choice. Wireless won't be used as it will be right next to the router so not concerned about reports of any wireless issues.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Geoffrey T.
  • 10/23/2012 9:11:11 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsNot a great Media Center solution

Pros: Cheap.
CPU is better than similar low-end Atom/AMD offerings
Easy to open, upgrade
Quiet

Cons: Mediocre graphics for media center use
While better than an Atom, CPU is still fairly slow
Terrible wireless. Might be the included antenna, but it drops constantly and is totally unsuitable for media streaming.
Near-useless remote. The dongle isn't compatible with much besides WMC, and the remote itself has barely functional buttons. You won't use either.

Other Thoughts: I ended up eating the restocking fee and returning this - I went with the ZBox ID41 instead. Though the Atom 525 CPU in the latter is inferior to the Celeron in this model (in most respects) the nVidia ION graphics are far superior for media center use. With the ID81, support is provided by the built in Intel "HD" graphics chipset - this is NOT the newer GMA3000/4000 chip found in the i3/i5 series, but older graphics that do not support Intel Quicksync or other advanced capabilities. This means, among other things, hardware acceleration is limited - it'll handle properly encoded h.264, but not much else, including VC-1. And for formats it doesn't handle, the CPU doesn't do a great job with either. The ION is a much better choice for media center apps like XBMC.

If you were buying this as a cheap desktop for grandma or something then it's not a bad solution - the Celeron is better for desktop work than the Atom by far. However this products is squarely aimed at the media center market, and frankly there are better, more compatible solutions out there for the same price, including Zotac's own ID41.

The remote that comes with this is nearly useless - the dongle is a bear to get working with any media center software, and the remote itself has tiny chiclet keys that are hard to press. You'll probably end up leaving both in the box.

The biggest issue is the built in wireless - it's terrible. Constant dropped connections (I tried in two different houses, with two different access points) and it doesn't support dual-band. A $20 USB adapter solved this problem but you shouldn't have to go that route.

Overall I found this to be a frustrating experience - the older Intel graphics really cripple this thing with XBMC and a variety of media - and mediocre when it did work. I have an ID41 already that is better in every way with XBMCBuntu - I got this thinking the better CPU would be a factor, but the truth is in XBMC it doesn't matter anyway. The only media center related area where this box might triumph is with Silverlight (Netflix) and Flash playback, since the stronger CPU can handle that better. However, there are better options out there for Hulu, Netflix, et all anyway then trying to get them working through XBMC, WMC, etc.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Daniel W.
  • 9/24/2012 6:04:37 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsSimple and quiet

Pros: Simple OS installation from USB stick.
Excellent bang for buck.
Almost silent with SSD installed.

Cons: Very little documentation with product; you''ll need some additional devices and knowledge to get an OS installed.

Other Thoughts: I bought this as a cheap and quiet browsing station to replace an older PC. Mac mini with an SSD would have cost twice as much. Installed Windows 8 (which would have busted the cost curve if I needed to buy it retail) and Ubuntu 12.04 desktop without a hitch.

Given that this thing is essentially a laptop without a screen or keyboard, it'd be awesome if it came with a small battery. That'd be more useful to me than the accessories, which are clearly targeted for HTPC use.

The fan comes on at very cool temperatures and the LEDs when the machine sleeps are uber-annoying, but I assume that will be easily fixed, with wire cutters if necessary.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Dennis C.
  • 9/6/2012 1:12:09 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat alittle box

Pros: It plays 15.6 Mbps bitrate MKV SBS 3D movie smoothly with 15% CPU usage. 720p RMVB uses 25% of CPU. I use PotPlayer that enables the DXVA hardware acceleration.

Netflix HD plays smoothly with about 75% CPU.

Possibility of upgrading this Sandy bridge Celeron to i3/i5/i7 processor later on -- as long as the power supply can handle it.

I have 120GB SSD and 4GB (2x2GB) for maximum dual channel bandwidth. Windows 8 Consumer Review boots in 14 seconds (button press to metro UI). It starts faster than my TV!

Cons: It gets warm - hot to the touch but no stability issue whatsoever.

Other Thoughts: With kill-a-watt, power consumption is about 25 Watts during boot up. 17 Watts on the desktop. That's with a usb powered 2.5" portable HD connected.

Running XBMC takes about 25 Watts even when the movie isn't playing. The menus just take so much electricity so I suggest quitting XBMC when you are not using it.

I don't have a USB 3.0 drive so I have not tested the speed/stability yet.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Dwain M.
  • 8/30/2012 8:58:56 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsAwesome value

Pros: Price, Free SSD, plays 1080P without a hiccup

Cons: None

Other Thoughts: This device is really impressive. Windows Experience index gave the CPU a 4.3 and the SSD 7.9. I use it for Live TV using Media Center and XBMC. The performance is really impressive. It runs really fast.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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