The Zotac ZBOX CI660 nano is compact desktop computer that measures 8″ x 5.1″ x 2.7″ and features a fanless design: there’s ventilation on every side of the computer and heat sinks to help keep the computer cool during operation.
Zotac first unveiled the ZBOX CI660 nano at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and it should be available for purchase in the US soon. The company will sell the little computer as a barebones unit that comes with a 15 watt Intel Core i7-8550U quad-core processor, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and plenty of I/O ports… but you’ll need to supply your own memory, storage, and operating system.
Fortunately it’s extraordinarily easy to install those components: you don’t even need a screwdriver to open up the case or put memory in the computer. You may want to use one when installing an SSD though.
When Zotac asked if I’d like to review the CI660 nano, I was pretty excited to try out this modern fanless computer. I use my home office to write most of the content you read on Liliputing, but I also use it to record and edit podcasts and other audio projects from time to time — and doing that with a noisy laptop fan whirring inches from a microphone is less than ideal.
The Zotac ZBOX CI660 nano has a more powerful processor than my 2-year-old laptop and it’s quieter.
The computer supports up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM and there’s a 2.5 inch SATA 6.0 Gbps connector for a hard drive or solid state drive.
Unfortunately I didn’t have any DDR4 SODIMMS lying around when the CI660 nano arrived, but the folks at Patriot offered to help out: they sent me two sticks of Viper 4 series 8GB DDR4 RAM, plus a Patriot Burst 2.5″ SATA III SSD.
So those are the components I’ll be using when I review this computer. Thanks to Zotac for lending me the computer and to Patriot for sending memory and storage to make this review possible.
Performance will probably vary depending on the memory, storage, and operating system you choose — but 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM and 240GB of storage should be more than sufficient for the blogging and audio editing I plan to use this computer for. It should also allow the system to work as a media center, a home network file server capable of running silently 24/7, or for a variety of other purposes.
I’m just starting to test the computer, so I’ll hold off on offering any thoughts on real-world performance for another article. But I wanted to share a video and some photos showing just how easy it is to transform this system from a barebones PC to full-fledged computer.
The CI660 nano’s other features include an HDMI 2.0 port with support for 3840 x 2160 video at 60 frames per second and a DisplayPort 1.2 port which can handle resolutions up to 4096 x 2160 pixels at 60 Hz.
There are two USB 3.1 Type-C 10 Gbps ports on the front of the computer, along with mic and headphone jacks and a USB 3.0 Type-A port.
On the back there are four more USB 3.0 Type-A ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and an antenna connector.
Zotac also plans to offer several other ZBOX CI600 series models including the CI620 nano with a Core i3-8130U dual-core processor and the CI640 nano with a Core i5-8250U quad-core CPU.