Zotac's new tower-sized desktop gaming PC is sleek and robot-inspired. It's the first in a new line called Mek, which the company revealed at Computex in Taipei. There will be Intel and AMD CPU variants for the Mek, and it supports GPUs up to 11” in length and it's fully upgradeable with retail parts.
The chassis looks like the hood of an elegant sports car, with vents on either side above the CPU and GPU. There’s also an LED strip along the edges. Each side panel also sports vents in the center that resemble an air intake on the hood of a car. These “speed holes” won’t make the machine any faster (as is the case with cars), but it does provide a unique aesthetic look for the Mek. The front panel I/O is also hidden by a sliding panel.
The only detractor we could see is that the Mek is a tall and thin chassis, and the stability of the device as its standing is questionable. Zotac conceded this issue and explained that it’s still in development, and that improvements to the structural integrity was a top priority for the Mek before it hits retail. Pricing and availability is still also in the air, but we can expect to hear more towards the end of 2017.
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Additionally, Zotac revealed new ZBox mini PCs that lack dedicated graphics cards. The new design is set to replace the existing ZBox lineup, offering 4K video playback and moderate horsepower under the hood. The only differentiators between these two new mini PCs are the CPUs, with the ZBox MA551 featuring an unnamed AMD Ryzen APU and the MI553 offering an Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor. Both systems will rely on their respective integrated graphics.
The company also debuted a new ZBox-branded PC, but it wasn’t exactly easy to spot. This is because the new ZBox PI225 measures in at an astoundingly small 3.74 x 2.36 x 0.31 inches. The passively cooled pocket-sized PC features an Intel N3350 (Apollo Lake) dual-core processor with 32GB of eMMC storage and 4GB of LPDDR3 memory. Two USB 3.0 Type-C ports are the only means of connecting USB devices or a display (USB-C to DisplayPort), and there’s a micro-SD card slot for additional storage. You can connect wireless peripherals using Bluetooth and connect to the internet via 802.11ac WiFi.
The only drawback we could see to the device was its temperature -- it was hot (not warm) to the touch as it played video on an attached monitor. However, it’s quite an impressive feat to create a full system in a form factor no larger than a 2.5” drive. Pricing and availability for all of the mini PCs have yet to be announced.
Andrew E. Freedman contributed to this report.
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