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Dell Launches Mac mini Rival In Zino HD

Gordon Kelly


Dell Launches Mac mini Rival In Zino HD

The fad for mini desktop computers and/or small media centres has blossomed over the last 12 months and Dell is looking to take advantage after giving an official launch to the Zino HD.

Looking much like a Mac mini, but with a sense of humour, the Zino HD ships with a choice of six colour options and three patterns and can be configured to be quite the pocket rocket.

Depending on your budget up to 8GB RAM, a 1TB internal HDD, Blu-ray drive and 512MB integrated ATI graphics with HDMI for High Def playback are all available. 2.1 HD audio, Bluetooth, a 4-in-1 memory card reader and Gigabit Ethernet are also offered, though Dell has chosen to limit the CPU to a range of AMD Athlons meaning Intel sits this one out. As for connectivity, on top of the HDMI you'll find VGA, 4x USB and a pair of eSATA ports. Windows 7 Home Premium comes as standard.

The Zino HD goes on sale immediately with prices starting from £249 incl. VAT and delivery, but expect that to shoot up if you go upgrade crazy.

In related news Dell is upping its green initiative by becoming the first industry retailer to ship its computers in bamboo packaging. Bamboo is easily sustainable because of its incredible growth rate (up to 121cm in 24 hours). Practically, bamboo can also take as much stress as steel making it far stronger than cardboard and eliminating the need for foam cushions. The Dell Mini 10 and 10v get the bamboo treatment first with the company expanding it to other systems next year.

Seems a move well worth copying rivals...


Zino HD Product Page

Bamboo packaging via Electronista

Lord Comben III

November 18, 2009, 5:14 am

As cool as the little computer is, the bamboo packaging is better, throw away the computer and make an indestructable fort ha ha


November 18, 2009, 5:38 am

Hmmm, the Zino HD could be a good alternative to the Mac mini for a small under the TV HTPC. Although the luminous green colour does burn my eyes a bit. The basic £299 configuration is fairly well-specced too. Could also be a good alternative to the Atom PC's (net-tops?) which have recently come out. Good release Dell (imo).


November 18, 2009, 10:57 am

I wonder if it can be made to run OSX?


November 18, 2009, 12:47 pm

Brilliant Dell

You guys know me as Steve Jobs Drinking Buddy, but hopefully this will encourage apple to drop uk prices


November 18, 2009, 1:08 pm

Was seriously considering a Mac mini to replace the AppleTV but this really puts the cat amongst the pigeons. The price does climb to ~500 GBP with an X2, Blu-ray and decent graphics but IMHO this pisses all over the same price Mac mini. I'm giving it a few weeks to see how Apple respond!


November 18, 2009, 1:30 pm

Looks cute, but surely a waste of time with only 2.1 audio and no optical out


November 18, 2009, 3:48 pm

I think the recent Mac Minis do seem too expensive. Apple should really try and hit the £399 mark with their basic model. Although I notice that the Dell Zino HD is £399 if you go for the fastest CPU option: the AMD Neo X2 6850 1.8GHz. Wonder how it compares to the basic Mac Mini's 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo?


November 18, 2009, 4:07 pm

Looks pretty. Note that it's still quite a bit bigger than a Mac Mini, 20x20x9cm vs 17x17x5cm.

Some significant things: The default/cheap configuration comes with an Atom CPU and for the most part isn't upgradable. The more powerful and upgradable variant starts at 330 EUR and comes exclusively with AMD CPUs, which I think is pretty rare for Dell. I'm not sure if there are maybe some other differences; the Atom Zino certainly uses a lot less power and cooling. I don't think even the upgraded graphics are powerful enough for moderate gaming. I'm pretty sure the hard disk is 3.5"; the Mac Mini uses laptop 2.5" drives.

You can't buy one without an optical drive. You can't buy one with an SSD, though you probably wouldn't want to through Dell. You can't buy one without Windows.

I agree that the sound is astonishingly weak, but that's not a deal breaker since multi-channel audio is easy enough to add via USB.

I wonder how loud the whole thing is.


November 18, 2009, 7:33 pm

I'm sorry but it what way does this represent better value than a Mac Mini? The Macs have faster processors decent graphics as standard (certainly better than the Dell Zino, even if it is only a 9400M) better wi-fi as standard and come in a more attractive package. The only Dinos that come close to the Mac Mini in specification are still considerably slower and almost equivalent in price. If you are willing to drop down in specification for media centre computer. you would be better off with an Asus or Acer nettop than any of the Dino range.


November 18, 2009, 8:21 pm

This is an Athlon Neo, not an Athlon II. We should be comparing it to nettops, not shuttle style computers like the mac mini.


November 18, 2009, 9:10 pm

When will these manufacturers start packaging some freeview+ tuners into their "media centres" Apple doesn't because they don't want to threaten itunes. The other manufacturers have no such restraint.

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