Zotac Zbox Blu-ray series first mini-PCs to boast an integrated Blu-ray drive


September 9, 2010

The Zotac Zbos Blu-ray series feature a slot-loading Blu-ray drive

The Zotac Zbos Blu-ray series feature a slot-loading Blu-ray drive

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There’s no doubt the format war between HD-DVD and Blu-ray scared a lot of consumers away from upgrading from DVD to a higher definition format. Even though it’s been more than two years since Blu-ray took the honors and HD-DVD was relegated to the technological scrap heap sales of Blu-ray players haven’t really scaled the heights that manufacturers would have liked. But as prices continue to drop more and more Blu-ray devices are hitting the market. The latest is the world’s first mini-PCs with an integrated Blu-ray drive in the form of the Zotac Zbox Blu-ray series.

Like the Zbox HD-ID11, the new HD-ID33 and HD-ID34 are designed as HTPCs, but in an even more compact Mini-ITX form factor. They both feature a slot-loading Blu-ray drive capable of 4x Blu-ray, 8x DVD and 24x CD speeds and the ability to write to DVD±R/RW and CD±R/RW discs.

They are powered by a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Atom D525 processor and NVIDIA ION GPU with 512MB of video memory. The multimedia credentials also include the ability to stream video over the onboard 802.11n Wi-Fi, HDMI (with audio) and DVI-I ports (with a VGA dongle included), 6-in-1 card reader, optical digital S/PDIF and 7.1 channel LPCM digital audio and DirectX 10.1 support. There’s also two USB 2.0 (one a combo eSATA/USB 2.0 port) and two USB 3.0 ports.

The only difference between the two Zbox Blu-ray series models is the inclusion of 2GB of RAM and a 2.5-inch 250GB HDD with the HD-ID34. Those opting for the HD-133 will have to source their own RAM and 2.5-inch HDD.

There’s no operating system installed on either system but they support Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Linux, and a copy of Cyberlink’s PowerDVD 8 is included with both systems. No word on pricing or release date for the Zbox Blu-ray series as yet, so keep an eye on the Zotac website.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

\"Blu-ray took the honors\" isn\'t a very appropriate way to put it considering the scandalous way the format war was ended.


"Blu-ray players haven't really scaled the heights that manufacturers would have liked"... about everyone I know has a blu-ray player now or a PS3 capable of BR. These manufacturers are NEVER happy!

Seriously, people will get around to it now that prices are dirt cheap on basic Blu-Ray players.

Our local exchange store had $160 Blu-Ray players for half-price, and ANOTHER 50% off over a one-day special: $40. That\'s pretty cheap! Granted they were no OPPO players, without web connectivity... but they play blu-ray 1080p/60 over HDMI. Nice for a cheap first player, or a kid\'s room.

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