A Tiny Revival
Consumers worldwide were bitten by the "tiny bug" as they negotiated the decade. Smallish electronic peripherals became synonymous with what's cool and sexy. Before long, everyone wanted one, from diminutive phones such as the keyhole Motorola V70, to barebone systems championed by the likes of Shuttle Inc and co. Today, there's still a niche for ultra-small form factor desktops and nettops, although the gradual influx of AIO (All-In-One) computers did hurt their market share to some degree. Incidentally, Apple refreshed the Mac Mini with an NVIDIA GeForce 320M sweetener not too long ago, a sign that the Cupertino giant still believes in their mini campaign. Meanwhile, Dell has made further inroads of their own with the Inspiron Zino range. To liven up their palette, Dell is also throwing in a handful of interchangeable lids with various colors and design motifs.
There are two models tucked beneath the Zino umbrella, each based on low-cost Intel and AMD solutions. The basic Zino, launched before the Zino HD, comes with a single-core Intel Atom processor so it probably won't offer more fireworks than what a conventional netbook can provide. The configurable Zino HD, our review unit in question, is equipped with slightly more aggressive specs from AMD since Dell is angling this model as a mini Home Theater PC for HD playback as well. Essentially, Dell is relying on a dual-core AMD Athlon Neo X2 6850e to drive the Zino HD, although it is still dependent on an integrated ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200 to sweat out its graphical tasks. For a little bit more, however, you get to upgrade to a discrete Radeon HD 4330 alternative depending on your needs. Anyhow, we'll determine the Zino HD's performance quotient when we run it through our benchmarks later. For now, kindly hit that jump to check out Dell's hardware engineering in the flesh. And if you need a complete specs breakdown before getting into the details, hit the Specs tab first.