Zotac launches a spherical mini PC with Core i5 Haswell

Zotac unveiled an unusually-shaped desktop computer at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Now the company’s first ZBOX O-series spherical desktop is official: meet the Zotac ZBOX OI520 desktop with an Intel Core i5 Haswell CPU.

zotac zbox OI520

Like all of Zotac’s desktops, the OI520 comes in two versions. There’s a barebones model that comes with no hard drive or RAM, and there’s a PLUS model that has 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Neither model has an operating system pre-installed, but both should support Windows and most recent Linux distros.

Both models feature an Intel Core i5-4200u dual-core CPU, Intel HD 4400 graphics, HDMI and DisplayPort, an SATA connector and mSATA connector, 2 memory slots (for up to 16GB of RAM, and a 2.5 inch drive bay for a hard drive or SSD.

The computer also features Gigabit Ethernet, 4 USB 3.0 ports, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and audio jacks.

The most unusual feature of the computer is the globe-shaped design which makes the system look a bit like the ill-fated Google Nexus Q. Zotac’s box isn’t quite as round as the Nexus Q though — it’d be tough to put all those ports on a complete spherical surface. So the back of the device is flat, as is the bottom (so it doesn’t roll off your table).

via Zotac


  • MiniMax

    Apple’s new Mac Pro in cylindrical shape is elegant and makes sense. But this semiglobe?? It is neither elegant nor can I think of any advantages compared to mini bricks.

    • Matt Bligg

      Isn’t this just the failed google music player/server device from a few years back?

      • Matt Bligg

        Ok, my apologies. I replied to Minimax unintentionally and before I finished reading the entire post.


      • CyberGusa

        No worries, it’s the first thing that came to my mind seeing it too… and Brad mentioned the similarities too… This should be a much more useful device though, as long as they don’t over price it…

    • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

      We have a Mac Pro in our office, the cylindrical shape makes no sense at all. I find it pretty ugly.

      • MiniMax

        Apple’s goal was to fit a strong “desktop” performance into a “small” footage. They made bricks in the past, the Mac mini is still one of the best designed small desktop computers. And the new cylindrical form minimizes the actual footprint on the desk while still giving maximum cooling for a thing that otherwise would get warm quite fast.

        Nevertheless I have put my Mac mini under the desk on top of my old Tower and probably woul do it with the next small computer the same way. Still the desk surface is cluttered with a lot of computer stuff.

  • QuanahHarjo

    I would buy one and paint it like Haro from Gundam 0079. The startup sound would be “HARO AMURO.” It would be a thing of beauty.

    Cute idea, and a nice change from all the NUC-alikes we’ve been seeing.

  • qubit86

    the globular chassis is a great way for the cpu to keep warm in the winter months. 😉

  • rocko99

    Anyone see any dimensions on this thing? Can’t find it on their website.

  • rsanchez1

    No pricing, It’s funny that they chose to name this thing the “Box Sphere”.

  • toronado455

    Cool-looking design, but is there any functionality to the sphere? Would be nice if there was some practical engineering reason for the spherical shape. As it is, appears this is just another fan-cooled noise maker.

    • Labmouse

      Well, if you design a wifi antenna into the sphere casing… :)

  • Thomas Lee Mullins

    I think that is nice. Perhaps a creative Disney fan could put ‘Mickey Mouse’ shaped speakers on it and paint eyes and a mouth on it? I think one can get creative with it.