Zotac has been making small form-factor PCs for years, with the company’s ZBOX line of mini PCs pre-dating Intel’s NUC line of tiny desktop computers. But for the most part Zotac has focused on the consumer or business space, with mini PCs that you could use as small, quiet desktop computers, gaming systems, video players, or digital signage systems.
Now Zotac is launching a new line of mini computers aimed squarely at the industrial and consumer spaces. The Zotac ZBOX Pro line of embedded computers are designed to power things like medical equipment, industrial robots, casino game systems, IoT gateways, and ATMs.
Zotac plans to showcase some of the first ZBOX Pro systems at the Integrated Systems Europe 2019 show this week.
Honestly, these are the sorts of little computers I don’t typically pay that much attention to because they aren’t really designed for home use. But there’s a big market for embedded computers and there are a bunch of other companies competing in this space, including Advantech, AAEON, Axiomtek… and those are just some of the companies whose name start with the letter A.
But Zotac’s entry into the embedded space is interesting because the company is basically launching commercial versions of its existing consumer product lineup.
That means you still have computers with a small physical footprint and a range of models including tiny, fanless, and energy-efficient solutions that can power digital signage systems and larger, more power-hungry models that offer workstation-class performance.
What’s new is cases that are meant to be more durable, additional mounting options, and longer support… plus I wouldn’t be surprised if the prices were higher. It’s also interesting to note that Zotac highlights Windows 10 and Ubuntu Linux support for all of its new Pro series embedded computers (you can certainly run Linux on the company’s consumer devices, but it’s not typically mentioned on the product pages for those models.
Here are some of the first embedded systems Zotac plans to offer: