Reviews

Zotac Zbox CI320 Nano Review: Small In Size, Big On Performance

Benchmarks

As the CI320 is essentially being offered in the same price point as a Chromebox, we’ll take a look at how it performs in terms of work-oriented tasks, starting off with CineBench. CineBench R15 is a great way to test the multi-threaded performance of a system, and is quite intensive. The CI320 featured a score of 1.32, which is line with the low power consumption. A desktop 3.1 GHz Core i3 clocks in at around 2.97 on the test, so the score achieved by the CI320 shows that while you may not be able to do very intensive CPU tasks, the system can deliver when it comes to lighter workloads.

In the PCMark 8 Work test, the Zbox CI320 scored 1,485, which is better than what is achieved by several entry-level Intel NUC-based devices. We also ran 3DMark Vantage, in which the Zbox CI320 scored 4184 for the CPU, 4564 for the GPU and an overall score of 4534. The fanless design and the low TDP hurt benchmark scores, but then again, the CI320 is meant to be targeted at use cases like entertainment and browsing more than video or image editing.

Talking about entertainment, the CI320 was able to handle all 720p and 1080p content with ease, although if you’re looking to use the device to watch media, it is advisable to attach an external hard drive. There wasn’t any stutter when playing back full-HD content, and the CI320 was able to stream media from a NAS effortlessly.

Conclusion

The CI320 exceled at media consumption, making it an ideal choice if you’re looking for an affordable HTPC. The fanless design means that you get zero noise out of the system, and the VESA mount allows you to neatly hide the CI320 away beneath a TV or a monitor. Retailing for $270, the Zbox CI320 costs about the same as a Chromebox, while offering a lot of additional features, like 8-channel audio, Wi-Fi ac along with a full-fledged Windows operating system.

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