Zotac MAG ION Nettop Review 32

Zotac MAG ION Nettop Review



Zotac is well known for their graphic cards and their ITX mainboards for all types of platforms. They are one of the few to offer both 775 and AM2 based mini-ITX boards. With the rise of the Atom in combination with the ION chipset from NVIDIA the company is offering various ION based boards ranging from "A" to "F" with either single or dual core Atoms along, each with their own set of unique features.

Now, Zotac is going a step further and is entering the Nettop market with their Zotac MAG. The unit is based on the Atom 330 coupled with NVIDIAs ION plattform. One of the most interesting aspects is the low MRSP of 249 €

Acer Aspire
Revo R3600
ION 330
IdeaCentre Q110
CPUAtom 330 2 x 1.60 GHzAtom 330 2 x 1.60 GHzAtom 330 2 x 1.60 GHzAtom 230 1 x 1.60 GHz
Hard Drive160 GB 5400 RPM320 GB 5400 RPM 320 GB 5400 RPM 160 GB 5400 RPM
Optical DriveN/AN/ADVD-RWN/A
Memory Size2048 MB4096 MB2048 MB2048 MB
WirelessWLAN 802.11b/g/nWLAN 802.11b/gN/A N/A
SPDIF, Mic/Headset,
6x USB 2.0, Ethernet
6x USB 2.0, Ethernet
SPDIF, Mic/Headset,
6x USB 2.0, Ethernet
HDMI, Headset,
4x USB 2.0, Ethernet
Card ReaderSD, MMC, MS,
MS Pro, xD
MS Pro, xD
Dimension (D x H x W)186 x 189 x 38 mm180 x 180 x 30 mm 186 x 195 x 70 mm156 x 176 x 20 mm
Price*249 €349 €279 €299 €
*MSRP shown, retail may be a bit cheaper - especially online shops.


Zotac ships the MAG in a sleek cardboard box with a plastic handle. The unit is small enough, so that you can carry it and all the contents home in such a compact package. As expected, the black and orange color theme is clearly visible and the AMP! font has been used to spell out "MAG". The front of the box only has an image of the Nettop. Turning the package over, we can read up on the unit and its features in greater detail. Zotac has also included two images with all the connectors of the MAG. For those, who care about the specifications, they are located on the side.

The inner package is black and simply reads "Zotac MAG - mini all-in-one giant". If I did not know better, I would expect a mini hulk to jump out of the box by now.


You get the usual pair of manual & drivers/application CD with the MAG. The manual is well written and holds all the necessary information to get the unit up and running. Zotac has chosen to ship the unit without an OS, which allows for the cheap price, but they may offer it with Linux instead. So you are left to fend your own battle to get everything up and running. Luckily - as we will see later on - this is an easy task.

A weight down stand is also part of the accessories, along with four screws and a VESA mount. With this plastic contraption, you can hang the MAG off the back of your flat screen TV or monitor. My TV has VESA 100 x 200 mounting holes, thus I was not able to do so.

The included power supply is rated for 19V at 3.42 A which translates to around 65 W. This is more than enough for the ION platform as we will see during our power tests. The upside of such a unit is the high efficiency when compared to normal PSUs.
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