Though the lack of an optical drive is a given with a PC as tiny as the Zotac Nano, you can always connect an external USB-based DVD or Blu-ray drive to give you a machine with similar capabilities to the Acer Aspire Revo 100 (albeit lacking a TV tuner) for a lot less money.
Completing the Nano’s credentials as one of the more versatile nettops and budget media centres around, the machine comes with a Windows Media Remote. This slim and glossy device features comfortable rubberized buttons that are a tad on the small side but easy to use due to a logical layout. The remote’s only real down-side is that it uses cell batteries, so you won’t be able to swap in rechargeables.
Other included bits are a USB IR extender and a black metal VESA mount, for attaching the Nano to a wall or the back of a TV/monitor. No video cable is included, but then most folks have at least one spare HDMI cable lying around these days, or else they’re cheap as chips to buy.
In use, the Zbox Nano AD10 doesn’t get too warm, and produces a very light hum that only becomes audible if you’re unrealistically close. Its bare-bones configuration is excellent value too – we really wouldn’t recommend paying the extra for the prebuilt Plus, though even that isn’t particularly overpriced compared to competitors.
Inclusions like USB 3.0, multiple digital video outputs and an IR port with remote compensate for the shortcomings of many rival systems as all-round media players, like the similarly-priced Sapphire Edge HD2 Mini PC to give but one example. Though there are cheaper nettops than this Zotac, few in its class can match it for features or size.
Zotac Zbox Nano AD10 (barebones unit) = £189
Zotac Zbox Nano AD10 Plus (2GB RAM and 320GB HDD) = £255
With all the connectivity and (nearly) all the features you could want in a nettop or media PC stuffed into a tiny, attractive, milled-aluminium chassis, the Zotac Zbox Nano AD10 is a great entrant. Far more versatile than dedicated media players and perfectly adequate as a ‘lite’ desktop system, it combines the best of both worlds to give you a super-cute machine we have no hesitation recommending.