Summary: In the right configuration, Dell's Inspiron Zino HD will fit seamlessly into your living room as a PC-based video source. Due to its uneven handling of even standard-def video, this $468 build isn't quite up to the task. Fortunately, Dell offers the right upgrades to get you to the hallowed ground of PC-based video content--just be prepared to spend a little bit more to get there.
Pros: Living-room-friendly design; better-than-Nettop performance thanks to AMD CPU; 802.11n networking rare at this price; easy to hook up to your TV via HDMI port.
Cons: Integrated graphics chip chokes on HD and some standard-def video sources; Blu-ray option currently unavailable.
Excerpt: We’ve come to realize that there is no single ideal build for a home-theater PC. Some folks want an HD tuner, while others want Blu-ray. Some even expect their HTPC to function as a full-tilt boogie gaming rig. Then there are the users who want nothing more than the ability to browse the web on their glorious 60-inch TV set and dive into the vast sea of streaming content. For these latter folks, Dell’s Inspiron Zino HD seems like a perfect fit.
Pros: Small and quiet enough for easy living-room deployment; low price.
Cons: Low-clocked Athlon X2 doesn't have the juice to run unoptimized code well.
Excerpt: Let’s take you back to 2005 when Apple introduced the Mac mini, a full-fledged computer inside of a 6.5 inch square enclosure. It was very impressive at the time, but now there are many competitors on the market including the Dell Inspiron Zino HD, which we’re taking a look at today. More thoughts on the computer itself and what you might use it for after the break.
Pros: Compact enclosure perfect for the living room., Built-in 802.11n wireless networking., No bloatware installed.
Conclusion: I love how the “mini desktop” is starting to take off, and even more glad that Dell as jumped in (because they will soon show up in the outlet, and you can usually get in on great outlet coupon deals!). The Dell Zino HD 400 is a good fit if you are looking to use it to watch HDTV and Bluray, record HDTV, playback general media files, etc while keeping it in a small, sleek package to compliment the style of your home entertainment center.
An Athlon-powered desktop PC with netbook performance
Good Gear Guide.au
26 September 2010
Summary: The Dell Inspiron Zino HD is a basic, low-cost computer with some media playback capabilities but little else. An HDMI connection means you can connect the nettop PC to televisions easily, but it won't play 1080p high-definition content smoothly.
Pros: Inexpensive, eSATA, hard drive is upgradeable
Cons: Can't play Full HD content smoothly, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth not standard, no remote control
Excerpt: More and more of Dell's range have colourful designs and the Zino HD is no exception. The top of the Zino is available in a range of attractive colours and patterns, while the rest of the design is both sleek and curvaceous. Although it's not quite as small as Apple's Mac mini, it's still small and is also whisper quiet. For a mini PC at this price it's generously equipped. There's an optical drive that can play, but not write, Blu-ray discs.
Excerpt: Dell has certainly improved in its production of Desktop PCs. Even though it is a well established producer when it comes to Laptops, it has been a bit low in the production of Desktop PCs, and particularly, mini PCs. So, in order to revive its position in the market, it has revamped its mini PCs [...