Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus

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If you thought Zotac’s original ZBOX Nano systems were small, you’ve got to check out the new Nano XS AD11 Plus. As we’ve mentioned in the past, Intel’s Atom and AMD’s E-Series APUs have allowed OEMs to produce some truly tiny devices, with virtually all of the base functionality of a standard PC. At 4.17” x 4.17” x 1.46”, however, the ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus is the smallest full system we have yested yet.

ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus - Front

The Zbox Nano XS AD11 Plus has a mostly aluminum enclosure, with plastic covers on the top and bottom. The front of the device is home to a 6-in-1 memory card reader (SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC/MS/MS Pro), headphone and microphone jacks (the headphone jack doubles as an optical SPDIF output), an IR receiver, a combo eSATA and USB 2.0 port, and the power button.

ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus - Side

Both sides of the unit have some perforations that act as air vents (one side is intake, the other is exhaust). One side has a Kensigton lock port as well, and the back is home to all of the machines I/O.

ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus - Back

On the back, users will find the power jack, an HDMI output, four USB ports—two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0—and an RJ45 gigabit LAN jack. Connectivity is very good on the Nano XS, but we do wish there were at least a couple more USB ports. Also note, the integrated WiFi and DisplayPort outputs on the "larger" previous-gen Nano are gone. WiFi now comes by way of an external USB controller.

The bottom of the machine has four rubber feet, which double as thumbscrews and hold an access panel in place and the top appears black when the system is off, but has a lighted green ring when powered on. The unit's activity LEDs are also located on the top, at the front left corner.

As we mentioned on the previous page, the ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus includes a standard vesa mount that gives users the ability to mount the unit right to the back of a display. Here's a pic of an original Nano affixed to the back of an LCD monitor.
Tags:  SFF, Zotac, Nano, system, HTPC, E-450, ZBox

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3vi1 2 years ago

Nice form factor - just wish it was about twice as powerful.

realneil 2 years ago

I want it to fit into a watch,.........

Actually not a bad little PC for screening movies.

detnight 2 years ago

this would be good for my GPS system I use in my car/truck. Right now I use a laptop mounted in the back seat.

LBowen 2 years ago

Thanks for the review on this one Marco. Pretty good features and perfect fit for any home theater system.

mattlr81 2 years ago

I am looking into an HTPC with an external Silicondust HDHomerun Tuner. Does this thing have the horsepower to encode HD over the air signals?

Dave_HH 2 years ago

@mattlr81 - yes, it definitely does.

ctm 2 years ago

I am a tad of a novice to these boxes.  Is it easy to load a Linux distro onto this device?

Dave_HH 2 years ago

Yes, it's a basic PC platform under the hood.

steve_telclass 2 years ago


Regarding your query about loading Linux, I have Linux Jolicloud running on the VDO1.

I tried a few different Linux distributions first - SUSE loaded in just 14 Minutes but the sound would not work - this is typical with newly installed Linux.

But SUSE had been previousely patchy with Youtube streaming on my tower case so I tried a few more.

Ubuntu failed to install...

Finally Jolicloud installed in a snap and yesterday I used the same CD to put it on my friends alongside his Windows 7 - it worked immediately. You can even prepare a USB drive version to install or run it live from CD before you install it in order to try it out.

But assuming you are installing any operating system from CD/DVD, you will net to get an external USB DVD drive. So if you are buying one of these PCs you should allow for that. 

Also, before you install any OS, you will need to connect a USB keyboard into one of the USB 3.0 ports - not the USB 2.0 ports as the BIOS won recognise the device before the OS is installed.

AThomas1 2 years ago

I just got the ad10 (I had a ssd 2.5" already) and i can say it works very well with plex, wmc and the hulu desktop client. My next step is to get the Silicondust tuner and plex plugin for it.

steve_telclass 2 years ago

I have the lower performing version - VD01 with the dual VIA processors at 1.2Mhz.

I fitted it with 4G DDR3 and an OCZ Agility 3 SSD.

The machine is fantastic in performance evevtough the 3d Graphics is not supposed to be that good. As a general office computer it can open about 50 folders (including web pages, office docs etc and the memory is only at 30% usage. What a flier.

I measured the power consumption and it is at 19 - 32 Watts depending on how busy the processors are.

I still don´t have Windows installed - I am using Jolicloud operating system which is great and if I can get the graphics to output at a higher resolution I won´t bother with Windows.

This little machine is a complete riot - I will be ordering more of them! What a piece of work!!

dm29 2 years ago

Dear Steve. No doubt the Nano X2 is a good chip. In this link http://www.tomshardware.de/Nettop-Performance-Vergleich-Benchmarks-ZBOX,testberichte-240966.html --the VD01 you talk about shows impressive performance from the CPU front, as the Nano at just 1,2GHz is usually on the same level as the Zacate at 1,6 - 1,65GHz. Sadly there's a lot of concern about the quality and relaibility of VIA chipsets though. Driver issues and compatibility apart, can you give us any indication about the VX900 capabilities in bringing HD content? Suposedly it can decode 1080p but only under Windows Media Player, paying for PoweDVD and, i've heard, the DSPlayer. Have you launched video to your Zotac? Sadly, I havent seen a single review where the VD01 can decode 1080p as stated, and not due CPU power, as it appears that the hardware aceleration simply doesn't work at all when decoding 1080p (720p is, just, Ok). Thank you very much and sorry for my bad english. (I'm very interested about buying this!)

ZTimpson 2 years ago

Has anyone purchased this and what do they think of it?

steve_telclass 2 years ago


Regarding the performance of the Zotac VDO1 -

So far the Nano is so good that I actually replaced my monitor with a 32 inch TV, an OKI 32CV- PHTUV.

I still have not installed Windows (tough the Zotac comes with various drivers for for windows). The Jolicloud (Linux OS) is very agile and robust. I use this for my work and also for watching movies in my spare time.

Everybody who sees this is always amazed. Sometimes a certain product is not perfect but if it works maybe we should just go with it. And bear in mind that this is replacing a tower case running Windows Vista with a Samsung Monitor T220 using a resolution set to 1680 x 1250

I have NEVER seen anything like this in terms of beautiful color production. This is mostly due to the OKI LCD screen but the Zotac box still only runs at 800 x 600. I actually located the exact file on the Linux system to edit the resolution values but I did not change anything.

It just is not an issue for me. So if you keep away from games and the like this machine is great.

Naturally I am concerned about long-life - I think it is important to keep the Zotac in the up-right position . This help keep it cool, to have the fan blowing upwards. The metal chassis acts as a heatsink and the top gets warmer than the other 3 sides. The CPU temperature runs from 54 to 64 º C and seems stable.

I use this machine intensely so even if it lasts a little over 1 year I will be pleased. The AMD versions are no doubt beter but I imagine they use a bit more power. But after nearly 1 month now of this machine there is no way I would want to go back to using a normal tower case.

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