ZOTAC is kicking off its CES reveals with its Third Generation ZBOX mini-PC and its refreshed mobile-on-desktop Second Generation ZBOX mini-PC. The Third Gen ZBOX (ID42) is 7mm bigger than the old one, but ZOTAC says it's "the most substantial evolution of the ZBOX since its introduction three years ago." Network connectivity is covered with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and dual external WiFi antennas, but the internals are something else. A dual-core Intel processor at 1.1GHz and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 GPU combine for a powerful HTPC to decode video streams without dropping a frame. Even OpenEELC and new 10-bit formats like Hi10P are no problem for the Third Gen ZBOX.
The mobile-on-desktop Second Gen ZBOX (ID83) refresh includes an Intel Core i3 3120M CPU and HD 4000 graphics. Those new parts account for up to 75% faster video transcoding than previous generations and more than double the 3D performance of Intel HD 2500 graphics. It also has a Gigabit Ethernet port and 802.11n WiFi for any connection type.
Both ZBOX models come with an HDMI and DVI port, a 4-in-1 card reader, support for up to 16GB of DDR3 SO-DIMMs, and multiple USB ports. The ZBOX ID42 has two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, while the ID83 has four USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports. The yellow USB 2.0 ports on each support high-amperage charging to get your devices juiced up faster. There's a barebones version of each ZBOX so you can install your own parts, and a PLUS version that adds in 4GB of RAM and a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive. Each one only supports a single 2.5" hard drive, but the USB 3.0 ports and Ethernet/WiFi allow for more possibilities. An MCE-compatible remote and IR receiver is included with each model, as is a VESA 75/100 mount.
There were no words on pricing and availability for either ZBOX, but expect more information soon.