Dell Inspiron Zino HD Mini Desktop Computer Review

Dell has recently introduced the new Inspiron Zino HD mini desktop computer. You’ll be amazed by
how many powerful features are inside such as perfectly small 8" by 8" square.
With prices starting below Rs. 19800, the Zino HD intends to provide shade to
the Mac Mini. But the options are expensive.

A cube with a hood that can
be replaced by another by choosing among ten colors (of Rs. 1650 per plate,
anyway) to give the machine tastes even to its interior: that’s the concept of
Dell Inspiron Zino HD. Structured around AMD Athlon, Athlon X2 and same Athlon
Neo X2, these configurations are primarily intended for general use and
multimedia. But if the clean design of the machine apparently won all the votes,
is it really as quiet and powerful that its manufacturer claims? And that is the
processor compared to Intel Atom or Nvidia Ion configurations? So many questions
we will be answering in this review.


Not So Ordinary

Feast your eyes on
the new ultra small and light Inspiron Zino HD mini desktop. Its modest design
breaks the mold with a mighty offering of features that reinvents your home
entertaining experience.

A Perfect Square

Designed to fit
just about anywhere, the Inspiron Zino HD packs power and entertainment into an
8" by 8" package. And with the option to interchange a choice of 7 vibrant
colors plus 3 unique designs, the Zino HD can either blend in or stand out.
Choose the standard Piano Black finish or customize yours with one or more of
these optional styles: Flamingo Pink, Formula Red, Tangerine Orange, Plum
Purple, True Blue, Spring Green and a choice of 3 patterns by artists Derek
Welch, Mike Ming and Brittany Waldner.


Transform your home entertainment center with these
show-stopping features.

  • Hi-def entertainment: Experience all your favorite movies as if they were on
    the big screen with the optional DVD-RW or Blu-ray Disc drive. Or, turn your
    living room into your own personal theater by connecting to a HD TV using the
    HDMI port.
  • Media card reader: Quickly transfer your digital photos and music from your
    digital camera with the optional 4-in-1 media card reader.
  • Ports with potential: Connect to your digital devices with the 4 USB ports,
    2 of which are located in the front for convenient access. And with an
    additional 2 eSATA ports, you can connect to even more devices, like an external
    hard drive.

Impressive Power

The only thing that’s small
about the Zino HD is its size. This mean and lean mini desktop has its fair
share of powerful features.

  • Processor: Be prepared for today and tomorrow. The AMD Athlon Dual-Core
    processors provide outstanding performance in an ever-changing world of
  • Graphics: Watch your screen come to life with integrated ATI Radeon HD3200
    graphics and optional ATI discrete graphics.
  • Storage: See it, love it, save it. Store your favorite music, photos and
    video with up to a 1TB hard drive.
Simple and Smart Services
  • Dell DataSafe Online: Our online backup service offers data protection by
    enabling customers to back up data to a safe, remote storage site using a
    broadband connection. Dell DataSafe Online is easy, flexible and secure. After
    setup, it will automatically back up data and help protect your data in the
    event of software, hardware or catastrophic failure.
  • Dell Remote Access: Enjoy what’s on your home PC from almost anywhere. With
    Remote Access Basic, you can easily access photos, music, movies and more on
    your home system using another Internet-connected computer. No more waiting
    until you get home to get the files you need!
  • Dell Support Center: Our centrally located, easy-to-use application provides
    personalized support resources. It is conveniently located on your PC’s desktop
    with quick links to service, support and system resources. Helps keep your
    system up-to-date and running efficiently through automated fixes for common
    configuration issues.

As usual with Dell, all components of the
machine, or almost, can be configured on the website. The configuration chosen
for our tests is already a powerful machine: AMD Athlon X2 3250e (double core
clocked at 1.5 GHz) processor, 4 GB of memory, AMD Radeon HD 4330 graphics card,
Blu-ray combo and DVD burner, module Wi-Fi of Standard N and 1TB of hard drive
for storage. What about the bill? It’s more than Rs. 52800.

At this rate,
even if the Zino HD envy, we regret the absence of a sound output worthy of the
name. If an HDMI fortunately this is in addition to the VGA output, it is a
shame not to qualify for a coaxial or optical S/PDIF output for connection to a
kit of home cinema speakers to 5.1 or even 7.1. The Mac Mini, not to mention it
offers a combined output 3.5 mm jack and optical!

Stronger than the

Good news, the performance displayed by the Athlon X2 3250th
equipping our configuration is superior to that of an Intel Atom 330, and that
about 30%, which is not negligible. Compared to a platform Ion 330, the gain
posted by the graphics card AMD-ATI Radeon HD 4330 with 512 MB of dedicated
memory reaches 40%. If performance is noteworthy, however we must remain
reasonable in relation to the use of Zino HD to play. This configuration is
clear cut either to act as a compact office station or to join an audio-video

Equipment rather well thought

With four USB ports
(two front), two e-SATA port, HDMI output, VGA output (it would have preferred
DVI), an outlet for Kensington lock, a memory card reader 4-in-1, a headphone
jack on the front, one audio output and microphone input on the back, not to
mention the inevitable Gigabit network jack, the Zino HD is rather well endowed
in terms of inputs and outputs. Only lacks FireWire, which would have been
useful to connect some DV camcorders a bit old. The lack, however, is largely
excusable. At the risk of repeating ourselves, the lack of output audio quality
is about much less understandable, especially when a Blu-ray and DVD writer are
present (optional at Rs. 9900).

A relatively quiet

With a consumption of 0.75 W in standby, 38 W in idle and
62 W at full load, the Zino HD is more greedy than the configurations based on
Atom processor. The difference, still significant, is about 40% against a
platform Ion. However, this setting is frankly not decisive for a computer room,
unless you leave your PC turned on all the time.

Regarding the highly
sensitive area of the noise generated by the housing, the results remain mixed.
Fairly quiet when the system is not overworked, irritated fan gently (to 35.3
dB) when the processor is pushed into a corner. The Zino HD begins to heat up a
lot, blowing air at 62 °C by the back gate, a logical consequence of its reduced



Processors and Chipset

  • AMD Athlon Neo X2 6850e
  • AMD Athlon X2 3250e
  • AMD Athlon 2850e
  • AMD Athlon 2650e

Operating Systems

  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
  • Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit
  • Genuine Windows Vista Home Basic 32-Bit
  • Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit


  • Up to 8GB of 800MHz DDR2 SODIMM

Hard Disk Capacity

  • 160 GB (7200 rpm, SATA II)
  • 250 GB (7200 rpm, SATA II)
  • 320 GB (7200 rpm, SATA II)
  • 500 GB (7200 rpm, SATA II)
  • 750 GB (7200 rpm, SATA II)
  • 1 TB (7200 rpm, SATA II)

Optical Disc

  • 8x DVD +/- RW


  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 (optional)

Sound Cards

  • Integrated audio with analog stereo and digital 5.1


  • Broadcom BCM57780 10/100/1000
  • Mini PCIe WLAN card (802.11 b/g or 802.11 a/b/g/n)


  • Front Ports
    • Two USB 2.0 connectors
    • One headphone connector
    • One 4-in-1 memory card reader
  • Rear Ports
    • One microphone connector
    • One line-out connector
    • One VGA connector
    • One RJ45 connector (10/100/1000)
    • Two USB 2.0-compliant connectors
    • Two eSATA connectors
    • One HDMI connector

Expansion Slots

  • Mini PCIe WLAN card (802.11 b/g or 802.11 a/b/g/n)

Chassis &

  • Form Factor
  • USFF

Dimensions & Weight

  • Height: 89mm (3.4")
  • Width: 197mm (7.8")
  • Depth: 197mm (7.8")
  • Weight: 1.6kg (3.53lb)


  • 65 W with UMA
  • 75 W with MXM Graphics card


  • Kensington Lock

Drive Bays

  • One 3.5" HDD
  • One 12.7 mm trayload ODD
  • Memory DIMM slots: 2 available


The Dell Zino HD is a great PC that can be
successfully designed, depending on the configuration chosen, turn into a job
with decent performance superior to that of a configuration based on Intel Atom.
HDMI is welcome, but deeply regrets the absence of a circuit and a more
sophisticated sound output.


  • Really compact
  • Admission tempting
  • The choice of config


  • Only 4 USB ports
  • The bill rises quickly


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