Have a ball with the Zotac Sphere OI520

Subject: Systems | June 12, 2014 - 07:13 PM |
Tagged: zotac, SFF, htpc, Sphere OI520

Inside this unique casing you will find a Core i5 4200U, up to 16GB of DDR3 and room for an mSATA and a 2.5" drive; but not a GPU.  The onboard HD4400 can output to HDMI or DisplayPort and in addition to the connections you can see below there is indeed 802.11ac and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity.   The power supply is external so there is only one rather quiet fan to be found inside the ball, perfect for HTPC usage as you won't be very impressed by its ability to game.  Check out Bjorn3D's full review and the reason they expect this will be available for well under $1000.

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"There was a time when a computer in most cases consisted of a big beige box that you certainly did not want to show off or which took up a lot of space on your desk. Those days are gone and today we have a lot more variety both how computer looks and how big they are. Zotac is a company that for quite some time have been pumping out smaller mini-PC’s under their ZBox brand and today we are taking a look at their new round ZBox Sphere OI520."

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Source: Bjorn3D
June 12, 2014 | 11:50 PM - Posted by Dutch (not verified)

This looks like a clock radio that I use to have in the late 70's!!!! All that is missing is the flip numbers for the clock!

June 13, 2014 | 12:05 AM - Posted by elgrandeburro

I thought I was looking at a Nexus Q at first. Looks like this has much more potential :)

June 13, 2014 | 05:07 AM - Posted by Tzachi (not verified)

When can we see these spheres with AMD APUs ?

June 13, 2014 | 08:08 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Well under a $1000, how well under, and that must mean around $500, and the thing has an "ultrabook" CPU, I'll bet I can get a decent laptop at a non Best Buy big box electronics store for around 500. An AMD APU would be better and more affordable, and probably upgradable. Nuts to this.

June 13, 2014 | 10:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Here, look at this stupid thing we made! We know it's dumb so we lead in with 'at least it's not a beige box!'"

June 13, 2014 | 11:31 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How about a portable zbox in a Mac Mini form factor, say a mobile zbox, engineered to run a mini desktop CPU in a restricted thermal mode while on battery power, while being able to throttle up the CPU to full on when the device is plugged in. And some built in automatic headless server mode software to run the mobile Zbox from any tablet/s via some client/remote desktop app. Yes something that can be placed in a bag and carried with on vacation, or just to the coffee house, something that could be placed in a bag and under the users chair at the coffee house, and stream its services to a tablet/s, just plug it in and make sure the bag is open enough for ventilation, and stream from the portable mini desktop straight to the desktop app on the tablet. Yes an AMD APU for better graphics, with gigabit WIFI, paired with a tablet, the tablet and the mobile mini headless server sharing workloads, who would need a crappy ultrabook, a tablet with a mini headless server for an on the road variable power headless Mobile/Mini Desktop server with the tablet as the head. Maybe even thunderbolt 2, with an optional external plug powered thunderbolt/PCI based graphics card, Sony had one of those to plug in to a laptop, but it never caught on, because it was too overpriced, but is was sure portable.

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