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Zotac launches its first five embedded mini-PCs — with Ubuntu

Feb 5, 2019 — by Eric Brown 3,469 views

Zotac unveiled a line of Linux-ready, embedded “ZBox Pro” mini-PCs. The fanless systems include an Apollo Lake based “Pico” ultra-mini-PC plus Braswell and Apollo Lake based “Nano” and Kaby Lake based “QK” models.

Consumer mini-PC maker Zotac has announced its first line of embedded mini-PCs and the first available with pre-loaded Linux. The Intel-based ZBox Pro series computers are aimed more at light embedded duty such as digital signage than industrial work, and they offer processors and I/O that are very similar to Zotac’s consumer media, desktop replacement, and gaming designs. However, they offer more durable, aluminum cases with extended -20 to 40⁰C or -20 to 45⁰C support, depending on the model. They also provide “more controlled tolerances” than Zotac’s consumer mini-PCs, and they offer 5-year longevity support.

Zotac’s ZBox Pro lineup
(click image to enlarge)

The initial ZBox Pro systems from smallest to largest, include:

  • PI335 Pico — Celeron N4100 (4x Apollo Lake @ 1.1GHz/2.4GHz, HD Graphics 600); 115 x 76 x 26.7mm
  • CI330 Nano — Celeron N3160 (4x Braswell @ 1.6GHz/2.24GHz, HD Graphics 400); 160 x 126.7 x 50.7mm
  • CI329 Nano — Celeron N4100 (4x Apollo Lake @ 1.1GHz/2.4GHz, HD Graphics 600); 160 x 126.7 x 58.7mm
  • QK5P1000 — Core i5-7300U (2x Kaby Lake @ 2.6GHz/3.5GHz, Nvidia Quadro P1000; 210 x 176.6 x 44.4mm
  • QK7P3000 — Core i7-7700T (4x Kaby Lake @ 2.9GHz/3.8GHz, Nvidia Quadro P3000; 227 x 202.5 x 62.5mm

The ZBox Pro systems offer a choice of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or Windows 10, which is usually the only pre-loaded OS option on Zotac systems. The mini-PCs support applications including signage, scientific calculation, digital art creation and production, CAD rendering, CAM Engineering, retail and finance, casino and gaming, medical and healthcare, IoT gateways, AI and deep learning, video analytics, robotics, and industrial control.


ZBox Pro PI335 Pico

The pocketable, Apollo Lake based ZBox Pro PI335 Pico “operates at just 9.57W under load compared to the 120W of a traditional Mini PC solution,” says Zotac. It ships with 4GB LPDDR3, 64GB eMMC, and a microSD slot. The PI335 Pico is equipped with a Gigabit Ethernet port and an Intel Wireless-AC 9462 module with 802.11ac/a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 5.0, plus dual WiFi antennas.

ZBox Pro PI335 Pico
(click images to enlarge)

DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 ports each support 4096 x [email protected] resolution, and the HDMI port can output 8-channel digital audio. There’s also a 3.5mm audio combo jack.

Other features include a USB 3.0 Type-C port and 2x USB 3.0 Type-A host ports. The 5V DC input is accompanied by a universal AC adapter and detachable AC plugs for EU, UK, and US markets. The system provides a -20 to 45⁰C operating range.

ZBox Pro CI330 Nano

The CI330 Nano ships with a quad-core Celeron from the Braswell generation that preceded Intel’s Apollo Lake, and which is limited to Intel HD Graphics 400. The system can be loaded with up to 8GB of DDR3L-1600 via dual slots. Storage is available via a standard-sized SD slot, 2.5-inch SATA III HDD/SSD bay, and an M.2 M-Key 2242/2260 socket for SSD storage.

ZBox Pro CI330 Nano
(click images to enlarge)

A GbE port is available along with 802.11ac (WiFi 5) and an antenna. Media ports include dual HDMI 1.4 ports with 8-channel audio and locking screws, which are limited to 3840 x [email protected] or 2560 x [email protected] resolution. There’s also an HD-ready VGA port and separate 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks.

The ZBox Pro CI330 Nano is further equipped with a USB 3.0 Type-C port, 2x USB 3.0 host ports, and a watchdog timer. The 19V DC input has a locking screw, and you get an AC adapter and power cord. Both VESA and L-mount kits are included along with a display continuity switch for signage applications. Temperature tolerance is rated at -20 to 40⁰C.

ZBox Pro CI329 Nano

The CI329 Nano shares several features with the CI330 Nano but is slightly larger and offers a more powerful Apollo Lake SoC with HD Graphics 600. It similarly supports up to 8GB of dual-channel RAM, and you get faster DDR4-2400. Storage features are identical, and you get 2x GbE ports in addition to the WiFi 5 with antenna.

ZBox Pro CI329 Nano
(click images to enlarge)

Like the Apollo Lake based PI335 Pico, there are 4K ready DP 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 (with audio) ports, and like the CI329 Nano, there’s also an HD-ready VGA port and dual audio jacks. Other features include a USB 3.0 Type-C port, 2x USB 3.0 host ports, and a watchdog. You also get an RS-232 port. Power and mounting details are the same as with the CI330 Nano, and you get -20 to 45⁰C support.

ZBox Pro QK5P1000

The dual-core, Kaby Lake-U based QK5P1000 features Nvidia Quadro P1000 for Embedded GPU graphics with its own 128-bit 4GB GDDR5 memory. The Pascal based P1000 graphics features 640 CUDA cores and supports Vulkan 1.1, Microsoft DirectX 12, and OpenGL 4.5. The system supports up to 32GB of DDR4L-2133.

ZBox Pro QK5P1000
(click images to enlarge)

Four HDMI 2.0 ports support 4096 x [email protected] resolution. The system supports Nvidia EDID emulation for remote display management, which is often used in signage applications. There’s also an S/PDIF digital audio interface and dual analog audio jacks.

Storage and networking support are the same as the CI329 Nano except for the addition of Bluetooth 4.2. Three USB 3.0 host ports are available along with an RS-232 port. There’s a 19V input with AC adapter, power cord, a watchdog, and L-mount kit, as well as -20 to 40⁰C support.

ZBox Pro QK5P3000

As the name suggests, the ZBox Pro QK7P3000 is much like the QK5P1000. The system is larger, however, stretching the definition of a mini-PC. In addition, it moves up to a faster, but less power-efficient quad-core Kaby Lake processor, and advances to a Quadro P3000 MXM GPU with 1280 CUDA cores and 6GB of 192-bit GDDR5. Up to 32GB DDR4L-2133/2400 is available via dual slots.

ZBox Pro QK5P3000
(click images to enlarge)

Storage details are the same as the QK5P1000, and media support is the same except that there’s no S/PDIF and you get EDID emulation function keys. Once again there are dual GbE ports and WiFi 5, but there’s no Bluetooth. I/O includes 2x USB 3.1, 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 and an RS-232 port. There’s a 19V input with AC adapter, power cord, a watchdog, and L-mount kit, as well as -20 to 40⁰C support.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the ZBox Pro series, which will be showcased at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2019, held Feb. 4-8 in Amsterdam. More information is available in Zotac’s ZBox Pro announcement and product page.


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