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Smartphone sized Windows 8.1 PC, the ZOTAC ZBOX PI320 pico, on sale for $200

This weekend, word got out of an Intel-based PC that was as small as a USB stick but could still run Windows 8.1. Now another tiny PC, the ZOTAC ZBOX PI320 pico, has officially gone on sale and unlike the Intel USB stick, this PC actually has Windows 8.1 with Bing pre-installed.

First announced in August, the ZOTAC ZBOX PI320 pico has a case with the dimensions of 115.5mm x 66mm x 19.2mm, or about the size of a a small smartphone. Inside, there's an Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core Bay Trail processor along with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. There's also three USB 3.0 ports, a microSD card slot, an Ethernet port and a HDMI port, along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth hardware. The big addition is that every one of these PCs has Windows 8.1 with Bing pre-installed.

The ZOTAC ZBOX PI320 pico is currently on sale at some retailers for about $200 or even lower. That's an excellent price point for a full Windows 8.1 desktop PC that can literally fit into your pocket. Would you be tempted to buy such a small PC?

Source:ZOTAC via Liliputing

167 Comments
  • More small. I hope they perform faster than usual small PC
  • More small?
  • *smaller
  • I think it may have been an attempt at a "Seems faster"-ish comment.
  • *more faster
    lol
  • More fasterer!
  • More small pc
  • How would windows come without Bing because id like that Windows hahaha on a serious note saying windows 8.1 with Cortana will be worlds more effective
  • If often wondered the same thing since they started the whole "Windows with Bing" thing; what version of Windows comes "WITHOUT Bing"???
    What's next, the new Android OS "Android with Google"???
    And since they've (Microsoft) gone and re-branded all their Bing apps "MSN", shouldn't they be calling it "Windows with MSN"????
  • Stock AOSP has no google services and is android. When you do put google services on it, it becomes google android and is not technical open source any more. So yes you are right. In fact google does this now! Also, with Bing it means its the default search where usually its just a welcome to IE or is the oem's website. This means the OEM is forgoing their own webpage for Bing as default.
  • Where would you get a screen that fits in your pocket and has HDMI?
  • They should put a pico projector in the thing.  
  • Calling it "pico" and not having a projector in there is misleading, probably on purpose, and for that reason, I'm out
  • Actually I suspect without looking it up they might be referring to the pico psu? Maybe I am way off there but pico power supplies would work for this size "PC"
  • Oculus Rift, of course.
  • MicroSD*
  • Is this a sign? Is Nintendo releasing a microDS?!
  • Actually, a MicroDS running Windows 8.1 or maybe, their own operating system: MariOS
  • Haha, Mari-OH-s, haha.
  • What's the use-case for these devices? Genuine question as I don't understand the need...
  • Use it on classroom or Office. Providing Office use on low power. Not mention it's small size don't required extra space
  • So basically this is a PC's CPU sold without an input and output device?
  • Can be used for a media center on your living room for example...
  • Thats what I wes going to say.
  • Assuming that you get External tuners and could connect a USB hub to it (Remote IR and Tuners), besides storage space (for recorded tv/tuner buffer, again USB), it SHOULD but, not sure on the level of performace for playing back 1080p video...there also is DRM and video card drivers, if the video card does not support DRM, it would not be able to play back cablecard video. Could be an issue with it.   If I had a few hundred sitting around with no need, I would be tempted to try it but, $200+, nah.... If it was like $50, I might play...I bet with some tweaking, it coudl be done...   The IR blaster would be larger than the PC :)
  • Don't forget guys (unless I'm mistaken), Windows 8.1 with Bing is not Windows 8.1 Pro and does not provide an upgrade path to it.  In order to have the "privilege" of adding Windows Media Center, you need 8.1 Pro which would be an additional $140 to obtain legally.  That's pretty much a deal breaker (at least for me) when it comes to using this as a media center, unless you are planning to use XBMC.
  • There are plenty of ways to play content on this machine to use as an HTPC - VLC (32 bit), XBMC, the Universal (Metro) Video app, and others.  Add a mini bluetooth KB with built in trackpad and decent WiFi (or Powerline networking to the ethernet).  This will work very nicely to hook up to large TV - same size as Apple TV, Roku, Google TV, etc.
  • Indeed, although I do feel the HDMI stick we saw the other day would be better suited, but this is still great! Especially since W8.1 comes preinstalled on this one, unlike the aforementioned HDMI stick.
  • Thats pointless. For one you dont need such a small device as media center. Second of course how do you connect TV tuner, blu ray player etc? Take Xbox one for example, here the blu ray player is integrated and TV tuners are connected via HDMI-in plus you have an IR blaster with Kinect. A much better solution imo.
  • Offices which use BYOD and don't want to carry around a laptop/tablet. ICE when connected to a headunit display. People that just want a tiny PC which doesn't take up extra space on their desk, but which cant afford an allinone. (the same market as the tiny standalone imac)
  • Use case? The same as a desktop PC of a few eyars ago. If you compare the PassMark score on these SoC with Atom, you'll see it's similar to a Core2Duo of a few years ago. It just happens to have a much lower price and a much faster SSD than the Core2Duo "Desktop" machine of back then. People can choose to use more space and have better performance, or they can have these small machines glued to the back of a big TV or a 24" monitor. For a home user it's possible that the network is the biggest performance bottleneck, so for them it's an upgrade with a price tag of half of a normal sized PC. For me this would be a 2nd PC, to give my TV the "smart" bits without depending 100% on the whims of a mediacentre supplier. I have an Android box doing that job but suddenly an upgrade to the BT Sports app makes it unusable. A Windows machine with this kind of CPU would let me watch TV from the browser instead of a self-upgrading app.
  • Exactly! I've got an Intel nuc thingy with a big drive attached to the rear of my curved telly. Use out for browsing and streaming and stuff. Not ideal but did it as an experiment. I'd love to try one of these out!
  • *Cought* CarPC *Cought*
  • Do you have a lisp?
  • Had that idea in mind... Hehehe
  • Maybe the idea of a carputer is finally going to happen, but right this time.
  • Thanks all!
  • If not somehow blocked this machine can run Linux no problem so this could be the perfect SteamOS machine attached to the television.. And if needed it has Win 8.1..
  • That too!
  • SteamOS? For running which games?
  • You could probably get away with 2d games, like guacamelee or platformers, maybe Diablo 3 on lowered settings..?
  • Just run Steam in Big Picture mode and you get a similar experience with many more available games, no need to put SteamOS in it.
  • If you have a gaming PC on your local network, this could possably be used for Steam streaming (new feature in their Stem client), I tried to play some high end games streaming on a Netbook, and besides some minor frame drops, I was impressed.... and I could only about play Doom 2 with out some type of studder on this netbook...
  • Steam in-home streaming would be the better choice, provided you have a powerful gaming rig somewhere else on the network. So just install steam and off you go, no need for alpha software like SteamOS
  • Most likely blocked.   Protected boot with UEFI / TPM is really a no-brainer for OEMs to build.  You want *Nix, BuildYourOwnDevice.  
  • not enough memory. SteamOS needs 4 GB to even boot up
  • I've got a great use case, but I don't work there anymore. I used to work IT in a factory where we built seats for Chrysler, and later in a plant where we built seats for Kia. In the first plant, we had all-in-one PCs that had a touchscreen monitor built into the case, for production line workers to use on their job. The PCs were failing far more frequently than we'd like, because the dust from the fabric of the seats would get deposited right on the processor. Later, when I transferred, and I was in the position of specifying PCs, I used something like this: https://logisysus.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=97_145&products_id=611 , A PC without a fan, and a separate touch screen. With no fan, there's no dust being deposited on the processor. At a cost of about $1200 for the PC and $500 for the touchscreen, I saved about a third over what we'd spent on the prior machines. But that's still a good chunk of money. If I could use this at $200, I'd save another grand. And this PC has all the power that I needed - I didn't need anything powerful, but at the time, on Windows XP, and with very little else like it, I didn't have a choice. Note that the PC I linked isn't the exact one, but one similar to what I had bought. I doubt I could find it now if I tried, and I don't remember the manufacturer.
  • Lots of uses! quad core atoms may not be power houses, but these are plenty powerful enough to run office apps in a school or office setting while dramatically cutting down on power use and heat generation.
    Hook this thing up to any TV and you have the ultimate "smart TV" capable of full web browsing, streaming games from Steam in the basement, and playing back HD video from your server or subscription services. For that matter you could use it to avoid a Hulu Plus subscription and pay for itself after a few short years.
    As my kiddos get older I am always on the lookout for something with PC capabilities, but something that the kiddos can't easily mess up... sort of computer training wheels before they can build their own computers, and something like this should be plenty powerful for basic web games on PBS or other educational sites.
    Attach a few USB HDDs and you have a cheap low power home server (granted it won't be very fast).
    Endless possibilities for a device like this, and I will probably pick up a few such devices in a few years.
  • How exactly could this be used to avoid paying for Hulu Plus? How is this different than using a PC extender that requires a subscription?
  • For office presentations.  I've been looking for an inexpensive tablet with HDMI out that I could mount to our portable flatscreen.  If this has halfway decent performance, this could fit the bill.
  • I for one will be using something like this to run kiosk software at restaurants, bars, boutiques, etc...
  • I'm considering getting one to replace my car's radio head unit and installing an HDMI touch screen.
  • A smallish touch-screen monitor on the kitchen counter, and you've got a recipe/messages/photo center that pulls from network storage. I would be all over this.
  • I just thought about car. This will fit in, and better come with AC to DC power. Connect it with 7"screen and you're good to go.
  • Home theater pc
  • How would someone use the desktop on it??
  • +720
  • You know there's no embedded screen, right? The central unit size does not matter as long as you're free to use any screen / keyboard.
  • Ummm, plug a monitor into the HDMI port, maybe.
  • Haha, good one! :)
    Faster, perhaps! :)
  • You plug it into your brain. Then you just see it with your eyes.
  • Inception....
  • lol that would be cool huh? If it had it's own tiny little built in screen/display? A "micro-tablet"!
  • +930
  • guys does any one know whats the lowest entry price for a windows embedded chip ? (i only need to run 1 metro app)
  • LOL, typo.* *Read again
  • How would desktop look like on this?
  • Connect a monitor.
  • It doesn't have it's own screen, it's just a box with ports so plug in a monitor
  • It's like a PC just smallererer. Haha!
  • Could they at least include 4GB of RAM? 2GB is pretty limiting.
  • Not if you want to use this as a cheap desktop replacement or a HTPC
  • I think maybe its like an external HDD. Portable, easy access. For work purpose maybe? Just that it can run 8.1... Kinda cool.
  • I'd like to see how capable this device is. Graphics capabilities etc.
  • Well, plugin a keyboard and mouse in the USb ports naturally... :)
  • There is always an option to run remote desktop on a windows phone and you are good to go...
  • May as well get a cheap ass windows tablet instead.
  • If my Dell Venue 8 pro had HDMI out, I would have no need for one of these......but, being a tech-obsessed idiot with a credit card, i see no reason why i wont get one of these.  I will probably wait till they make a slightly larger one that matches mac mini specs though,
  • I have a DVP 8, just use Miracast and a dongle. Not sure if the dell has comparable specs or not.
  • Works fine for media playback, but as a secondary monitor, it's too laggy for me
  • I have a DVP 8 which I connect to a Sony TV using Miracast. However the screen resolution is then too low to be able to run any "Metro" apps. Do you have the same problem? By the way this Zotac device could also be used on yachts.
  • So thick
  • That's what sh......
  • Pretty cool.
  • All I need is an amp, 8" touchscreen HDMI monitor, and then I have a Windows 8 powered head unit!!!
  • Pioneer with aux inputs and you are good to go but not sure about touch ability they might need a data port for it but stick in Bluetooth dongle in it and pair a pocket size Bluetooth keyboard and you are good to go.
  • I'm currently using a cheap Chinese Android head set. It works all right, but it's not Windows. It has analog inputs (RCA), so touch wouldn't work. I could get a bluetooth mouse/keyboard combination I suppose. I really wonder why more people don't do this. The only company that makes them are extremly expensive and use resistive screen @ very low resolution...
  • I really like where these are going. My desktop is nearing it's end of life and I would be tempted to use such devices. I will be waiting for a 2nd generation though.
  • Gaming PC version
  • It's not an Intel USB stick that you mentioned, it's HDMI! :-)
  • It's a USB stick with a HDMI port
  • The connector on top is HDMI, not USB. It connects directly into a monitor/tv. Or are you talking about form factor?
  • It looks like a USB stick, but actually has an HDMI port. This article makes it sound like it had a USB port.
  • Not a port, but a "male" HDMI plug to be exact. You just plug it directly into your HDMI "port" on your TV/display.. (this is assuming we're still taking about the Intel device from a few articles ago... Which I'd LOVE to have) That, or this thing, which seems to be like a super slim version of a Rasberry Pi type device.. in a fancier case.
  • Can anyone tell me how it works? With which device should this be connected?
  • Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers.
  • USB HDD
  • So how does this compare to traditinoal desktop units?  RAM is a little low and HDD is small but other than that seems like it would get the job done.
  • It looks to be perfectly fine for basic tasks, Office, Facebook, Videos, that short of thing.
  • You would be supprised at what the new Atom processors can do - they can handle any mobile game in the store with no issues.  Any MS office, web based work will give you no issues.  My Dell Venue 8 Pro has the Atom, and I use it to run AutoCAD, Photoshop, and Sketchup with no issues.  Even 3D modeling is possible on these machines.  Dont try to run a new full PC game, but some of the older games will run on lower settings.  My DV8P is a beast with a keyboard and mouse, the little engine that could, only thing is it doesnt have micro HDMI output, so you kind of get screwed with having to use Miracast, which is laggy (kind of like running remote desktop). 
  • I love my DVP8! I am currently getting it set up for Bauldur's Gate 2. All I am missing now is a decent BlueTooth mouse and a longer power cable so that I can sit a bit further from the wall.
  • Hey man I use a Toshiba dynadock with my dvp8. Its a usb hub with two graphics cards so I can power up 2x24inch 1080p screens plus mouse keyboard, touchpad and 1tb external hd Only wish it had usb 3.0 instead of two as it slows down when watching two full screen 1080vjdeos
  • Does it get its power from the monitor/tv you plug it into?
  • No, it has it's own power connector.
  • I keep hoping that this becomes a thing http://www.zdnet.com/blog/gadgetreviews/microsoft-patents-interface-to-transform-phone-into-pc/1023 
  • Oh man......I think this would be the "we can do that" moment we are waiting for from MS - if they do this, and do it well with Windows 10, we could be looking at a true game-changer.
  • yeah, my thoughts exactly :)
  • It's a PC the size of a USB hard drive. The ultimate portable PC, or media center for your TV. We need a slightly larger one with mac mini specs though, that would be an instant buy. Core i5 with Iris graphics running 8.1....yes please. For more, I just plug my SP3 into my tv with Bluetooth peripherals
  • You should look at the Intel NUC, Gigabyte BRIX and the larger Zotac ZBOX's. Gigabyte even makes machines with dedicated desktop graphics cards in boxes not bigger then 5"x5"x3". Larger then this. And if that power is not required you can always go smaller and cheaper. Keep in mind these are barebones, you will need to add a hard drive, memory and OS.
  • Their site says USB 2.0... Will this be able to run mkv files if used as a media center?
  • It can do anything a PC can! Its is a PC just a hell of a lot smaller! Just download VLC or the matroska pack! Sorted xD
  • Wow this is awesome.
  • Link to purchase?
  • This is just amazing! One setback though is the storage.. But overall, just a great new concept, just love it
  • 32gb is enough. Otherwise you'll just fill with clutter lol
  • Use an SD?
  • ^^^exactly! SDcard and storage problem solved!
  • Well for the size of it you can't really fit much more on it, I think it was only designed to have a small HDD. just get an external usb 3.0 drive. pick up 1/2tb cheap these days!
  • I just don't see the point of this. You still need to plug in a keyboard, mouse and monitor so why not just get a tablet instead which is akin to just getting the monitor and not the keyboard, mouse and PC unit.
  • The point is, it's lightweight, portable and personal. Ideal if your fed up of lugging a laptop around.
  • That's a silly point. You still need to get your hands on a touchscreen monitor at the very least to use the PC.
  • NAS Server? HTPC? There are a lot of uses.
  • A lot of the people excited about this technology are not your average user looking to replace their tablet or computer. This technology (and price point) opens the door for an even more simplified approach to "connected things". I'm considering installing a touch screen monitor in my car, with this type of device connected to it to virtually replace my head unit. Sure, I could connect (and disconnect) my tablet every time I get in and out of my car, but I also wouldn't want to put my $1000+ tablet through that daily activity. That is where this price point is making it easier to justify its convenience. Imagine connecting to your car PC thru WiFi (if you park close enough) to move over your favorite movies/music. Current head units with even a tenth of the functionality that this could bring would be well over $1000 and wouldn't give you the ability to connect to something outside of your car monitor, like say for instance a touch screen built into your friends coffee table.
  • Think I could plug it into my note 3 for screen. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Microsoft CEO said it would run on anything. Why not a USB stick?  Now all I have go do is come up with an excuse to get one. Right now it would just be yet another gadget my wife would make a duck face about.
  • Yea. I would play too if it was like $50 but, $200 for a device, I will play with for about 2 weeks then realise that I really dont have a use for it and it sits arounnd...
  • Seems faster
  • You aren't...
  • How about directly connecting with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse and then using a screen temporarily to connect Miracast which it supports.
  • I am impressed with this :)
  • First impresson brngs a question. What's the OS & Microcode upgrade capablity?
  • Throw in 4gb of ram 64 GB storage and windows pro, would be a small dunk for business
  • HTPC!! SWEEEET!!
  • Imagine the new 1530, with an atom inside, three or four gbs ram and windows 10. I like where this is going. Not just universal app capability but actually use the device as a surrogate desktop. Bb blend, Apple hand off, android devices can already do this, with usb otg etc. I'd love to see MSFT join in. They are the desktop market. Make that affordable and portable and tablets need to change. The iPad has to effectively become a surface, as these devices effectively are...
  • I was hoping to buy a small computer for the living room and this would be perfect.  Probably not going to buy one until after Christmas, but by then there should be more options.
  • This would be perfect to run Windows Media Center with a Ceton Cable Tuner (Network version).  Zotec and Intel excellent form factor.
  • So now they've move to windows wonder if the markup will still be as high
  • I ve just got answer from the hdmi stick PC manufacturer (yes hdmi not USB, confirmed) they ship the stick with Windows 8.1 installed but without license, I m asking how much with the license... and they have predetermined it to go with 2GB RAM.
  • I ve just got answer from the hdmi stick PC manufacturer (yes hdmi not USB, confirmed) they ship the stick with Windows 8.1 installed but without license, I m asking how much with the license... and they have predetermined it to go with 2GB RAM.
  • I think these are really interesting its like a mac mini with some advantages and disadvantages.
    Atom processor seems fast enough to me.
  • I'm torn between replacing my mother's older PC with a replacement such as this (which would make use of the nice display) or just buying her a surface so she has something she can take where ever.  Choices.
  • I think Mac Mini has competation, if we can have such small powerful devices, with a small footprint, it is easy to manage and move around. 
  • They lost me at Atom processor...
  • Why? What applications do you run that requires anything faster? I've got a 3yo netbook with an aging AMD Atom-equivalent processor in it that run runs Office, Visual Studio, and Music Studio on Windows 8.x with no problems. Really, the only lag I notice is when an application first launches compared to the same application on my workstation.
  • Amperage Draw?  This could make an Awesome file copy machine with 3x USB ports. 
  • Correction those are 3x USB 2.0 not USB3.0 ports.  HUGE difference. 
  • A great review of this machine can be found here: http://www.computershopper.com/desktops/reviews/zotac-zbox-pico-pi320#review-body
  • would this run no mans sky?
  • No!!! From a desktop pc I expect desktop things. This is just cheapass Windows tablet specs in a box... Not worth my mondt, not now, not ever! And the price of $199,- is way to high if you know you can have a 8inch Windows tablet with the same specs and a touchscreen. For $99,- or maybe $129,- it would be a fair price, but now? No it's plain out robbery! Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • *not worth my money Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Not sure that I would use a Tablet as a media center. This one might cost more but you have a versatile device that can do a lot for a lot of use cases. I wonder all those companies who have a conference room, would they use a tablet? they just stick one of these behind the monitor or under the desk and you have a multimedia conference room. A file server? would you use a tablet? I am adding a file server in my loft and this one could be perfect.
  • Now just give me this with a 6 inch lumia phablet and I'm set!
  • File server, here I come...
  • Can it play Crysis?
  • I wonder if the power supply is bigger than the PC.
  • I want.....
  • I would buy one of these over any amazon fire tv chromecast apple tv any day. Nothing beats a Windows PC in function and reliability.
  • The great thing about this type of device it has no purpose now, but it allows people to experiment, play and find ideas we did not think of. stirring imagination is a beautiful thing.
  • Can this actually be used as a normal PC???
  • FYI - Zotac website states only (3) USB 2.0 ports. No USB 3.0 as the article states.
  • I wonder how well it would run MediaPortal? I could make an awesome Media PC if it can handle it. All my media is on a NAS so storage doesn't matter.
  • A lot of people are asking about what this could be used for - I just want to say, I do product devlopment, prototyping, and small-scale manufacturing, and something like this is INCREDIBLY useful, especially with the full Windows OS.  A lot of people are using Raspberry Pi's in devices, from Bitcoin ATMs to Photo Booths - and that's great, but the Pi has some pretty major limitations, especially when it comes to running off-the-shelf software.  THIS on the other hand, is INCREDIBLY versatile.  I recently purchased a Dell PC to run a CNC router in my shop, and now I'm wishing I'd seen this instead.  Less room in the shop, no moving parts, very low power, simple, straightforward, and exactly what I need.  Hell, I might pick one up to run my Mill too, if I decide to go DNC instead of loading g-code via USB drives. People keep grousing about specs and wanting more or to run games and such, but that's not what this is about.  This is going to be used for running kiosks, ATMs, robots, drones, mobile fabrication facilities, 3D printers, and easily put very accessible computing in the hands of damned near anyone who wants it.  THAT is cool as hell.
  • Great device. Eagerly expecting one here in India
  • This is a great idea. Really what a was looking for. Silentpc with the latest OS, small enough to bring around with you for when you need it + add a small portable HD and that's it. Moreover, it is great to stick behind a TV, old or not so new and have the power of Microsoft OS and programs rather than the dummy Android.
    Perfect as a connected TV media center for my other rooms as well where I only had a monitor diplay. Who needs a aerial anymore? Well done Zotac! I will really consider buying one as soon as it is released in the UK.   
  • I have a zotac Xbox nano as a htpc and its fantastic! I might have to replace it with this one tho...no fan noise would be awesome!
  • Mine came today and replaced my zotac nano. This thing is awesome! Has handled everything I've thrown at it so far. No fan, no lights on the front! Fantastic htpc.
  • Also, I usually take my tablet and Miracast on vacation. This way I can just bring this (same size as Miracast) and a pocket Bluetooth keyboard.