[section_title title=Closer Look – External]Closer Look – External

With any pre-built system or in this case, pre-built HTPC, you need an epic accessory bundle to go with it to make sure you have all that is required to get your system off the ground straight away; nothing worse than not having an adapter on hand etc.  ZOTAC have done just this, the ZBOX EI730 PLUS has all the tools needed to get you going right from the start.  Included aside from the ZBOX itself are the following accessories:

1 x HDMI – DVI adapter

1 x Driver installation disc

2 x Information leaflets including instruction booklet

1 x ZOTAC ZBOX information card

1 x Wi-Fi antenna

1 x Stand for the ZBOX

Plenty of stuff here needed to get you going; most importantly the HDMI – DVI adapter as there is no native HDMI port included on the E1730 PLUS itself.

The ZOTAC ZBOX EI730 PLUS itself is a thing of beauty; it has a lovely all black finish although it does attract fingerprints like dung does flies.  Not to be deterred, this is a very nice looking piece of kit with relatively small dimensions (200x200x60mm) which is very impressive given the hardware this thing contains.

Aside from the Intel Core i5 4570R and 8GB of DDR3L memory, we have a large 1TB 5400RPM HDD and to top it off, it utilises the latest Iris Pro 5200 graphics interface from Intel; a big improvement over the older on-board graphics featured on some older ZBOXES.

On the side of the EI730 PLUS, we have 2 front panel audio 3.5mm ports (headphone and microphone), SD card reader, 1 x USB 3.0 port, LED indicator lights and a power switch.  The side panels also feature a matt black theme in contrary to the front panel which has a glossy black finish.

The back features ventilation for the CPU cooler (we will take a closer look at that soon) and the serial number sticker which is very important for warranty purposes.  In addition to this are 4 x rubber stands which allow the ZBOX to be laid flat on your desk without the fear of scratching your surface or the ZBOX itself; who wants a scratch on their £500 HTPC?  I know I don’t!

On the flip side, we have the rear I/O of the actual motherboard; not that this is interchangeable of course!  On the rear we have 2 x DisplayPort connections, 1 x DVI-D, 2 x USB 3.0 and 2 x RJ45 Ethernet ports.  This allows a pass-through to another device such as a media box, games console or any other device.  An optical audio connection and of course a port for the Wi-Fi antenna is included; pretty much a solid package aside from the lack of a HDMI port, I still believe an adapter isn’t acceptable on an expensive piece of equipment like this.


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