Dell Inspiron Zino HD nettop PC
An Athlon-powered desktop PC with netbook performance
- Inexpensive, eSATA, hard drive is upgradeable
- Can't play Full HD content smoothly, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth not standard, no remote control
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.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
Dell's Inspiron Zino HD is an attractive, Windows-based nettop that's an alternative to other small form factor PCs like Apple's Mac Mini. It offers plenty of connections and has good performance for basic computing, but slow high-definition video decoding and the lack of a remote control make this a poor home theatre PC.
Enclosure and connectivity
The Dell Inspiron Zino HD isn't the smallest nettop PC we have seen, but it's definitely one of the most attractive. With a rounded shape and a choice of seven different coloured lids, the PC's styling is svelte and fits in with the modern decor of both home offices and living rooms.
The list of connections is surprisingly comprehensive. The front panel offers two USB 2.0 ports, a headphone jack and an SD/MMC card slot. A DVD burner is also available (a Blu-ray combo drive is optional); we would have preferred a slot-loading DVD drive for better aesthetics.
On the back you'll find microphone and line-out jacks, VGA and HDMI ports, Gigabit Ethernet as well as two eSATA and two more USB 2.0 ports. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are optional extras.
Nettop PCs are often best used in environments other than the desk, such as in a home theatre setup or as a kiosk in the kitchen. The Inspiron Zino HD ships with a wireless keyboard and mouse, but Dell hasn't seen fit to bundle a remote control with the PC. Avid home theatre users will have to purchase a remote and either use Windows Media Centre or an alternative solution like Boxee for media streaming and playback.
The Dell Inspiron Zino HD is cramped inside but the hard drive is upgradeable.
Configuration and performance
From a hardware perspective, the Dell Inspiron Zino HD is little more than netbook-like components stuffed into a slightly bigger enclosure without a screen. This means that the nettop PC is geared for basic computing, though offers slightly more memory than netbooks and a 3.5in internal hard drive rather than integrated flash memory or a 2.5in drive. It isn't as upgradeable as tower PCs, but enterprising users should be able to swap out the hard drive for up to 2TB of storage if necessary.
We tested the entry-level, $599 configuration of the Inspiron Zino HD nettop PC, which is powered by a 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e processor, 3GB of DDR2 memory, integrated ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics and a 250GB hard drive. It runs a 64-bit version of Windows 7. Beefier configurations offer up to 8GB of memory, as well as a choice of faster single and dual-core processors.
|Price||WorldBench 6||3DMark06||3DMark Vantage||iTunes Encoding
|Dell Inspiron Zino HD||$599||37||604||P42||4m 14s||4m 21s|
|ASRock Ion 330HT-BD||$720||35||1393||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|HP Mini 311||$899||31||1470||N/A||7m 36s||6m 58s|
|ASUS Eee Top ET2002||$999||36||N/A||N/A||6m 40s||3m 42s|
|Dell Inspiron One 19||$999||N/A||821||N/A||1m 8s||1m 9s|
|Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z||$999||N/A||828||N/A||1m 6s||1m 9s|
As expected, the Dell Inspiron Zino HD nettop PC has slightly better performance than an Atom-powered netbook, though the single-core processor isn't fast or particularly handy for multithreaded applications. Multitasking was the processor's weakest point, taking 1154 seconds to simultaneously perform tasks in Firefox and Windows Media Encoder. The integrated graphics aren't impressive either. While this nettop PC might be okay for Flash-based games, it won't match Ion-based platforms like ASRock's Ion 330HT-BD media centre PC or the HP Mini 311 netbook.
In real world use, we found the Inspiron Zino HD was sluggish when performing even basic tasks like running a CD or installing software. It performed a lot faster when we disabled all start-up applications and services, though this means you won't have access to antivirus or Dell's bundled applications.
The nettop PC's performance also makes it a poor option for a home theatre system. The Inspiron Zino HD repeatedly froze when we attempted to watch 1080p WMV HD files, making movies and even short films unwatchable. We were told that upgrading to the latest AMD Catalyst graphics drivers (10.3) should fix any playback issues, though we weren't able to test this. Despite its "HD" moniker and HDMI connection, it is suitable only for standard-definition content and the odd 720p movie.
Like many netbooks, the Dell Inspiron Zino HD nettop is good as a low-cost solution for basic computing tasks like browsing the Web, checking e-mails and doing homework. It will chug when asked to do anything else, and certainly isn't the "HD" machine that Dell wants you to think it is.
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Settings in iOS 10: Every notable change you need to know
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSalesforce Technical Consultant/Architect Global IT Company - SydneyNSW
- CCProject Manager - Adelaide basedNSW
- CCSolution Architect - Financial applicationsVIC
- CCSenior Mobile Application DeveloperNSW
- CCProject Support SpecialistVIC
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- CCTest Automation EngineerVIC
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- CCSystems Engineer (Systems Architect/Designer)VIC
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- CCUI UX AnalystWA
- CCTest ManagerWA
- CCBusiness AnalystSA
- TPProject Coordinator/Junior Project ManagerVIC
- CCMDM Consultant/DesignerVIC
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- FTBI Developer l Microstrategy , HadoopNSW
- CCDeployment EngineerSA
- CCSQL Database Administrator (DBA)NSW
- CCDigital Communications ManagerNSW
- FTSalesforce Technical Business Analyst (Brisbane based)Other
- CCDevops EngineerNSW
- FTJava Developer/IntegratorACT
- TPInsights ManagerWA
- CCUser Experience Designer - Part time - Short contractACT