Zotac International appears to be amongst the first to announce a new computer system featuring the next generation nVIDIA ION graphics processor. The ZBOX HD-ID11 mini-PC has a small footprint, low power draw but promises to deliver big system performance with full 1080p video playback, 7.1 digital surround sound and the facility to easily pop in your own memory and storage medium.

The next generation nVIDIA ION graphics processor in the 7.4 x 7.4 x 1.73in Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11 mini-PC caters for full 1080p high definition playback and comes with 512Mb of dedicated DDR3 memory, which should provide "a rewarding experience" when combined with the 7.1 surround sound LPCM digital audio, according to the company's Carsten Berger.

At the heart of this teeny monster beats an Intel Atom D510 dual core processor at 1.66GHz on a NM10 Express chipset. Users will be have to slam in their own memory into the 200-pin DDR2 SODIMM slot, supply their own 2.5in storage medium and then load in their choice of operating system (it is Windows 7 compatible). Doing so is claimed to be a relatively simple affair thanks to the ZBOX's tool-less case design and once done, a monitor or TV will need to be found. The ZBOX offers HDMI 1.3a connectivity or dual-link DVI (package includes DVI-to-VGA adapter) so that shouldn't prove too much of a headache.

The unit offers connection to other devices via six USB 2.0 ports (four to the rear and one each on the top and front), an eSATA 3Gb/s interface and a 6-in-1 memory card reader. Wireless connectivity is taken care of by integrated 802.11b/g/n and there's also Gigabit ethernet for wired networking. You can hide the unit behind a monitor if you so wish courtesy of the included VESA mount or sit it in the provided desk stand.

Zotac told Gizmag that the ZBOX HD-ID11 mini-PC will be available in the US by the beginning of April for a recommended price of US$239.

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