Zotac MAG HD-ND01
Full HD video decoding and gaming are possible thanks to nVidia's ION platform. Don't count this nettop out
Ratings BreakdownEditor's Rating:
- Value for money:
Card reader: Y
Form factor: Nettop
Graphics: nVidia ION
Internal storage: 160GB SATA
Memory: 2GB DDR2
Zotac is known for its GPUs and boards and the company has now branched out into mini-PCs as well. The ‘MAG' short for ‘Mini All-In-One Giant' is the firm's first creation and our MAG HD-ND01 proved a cracking product all around.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the MAG is its incredibly compact and attractive frame. The nettop is smaller than the box used to hold a small pizza and finished in black with silver accents, is quite a looker.
Zotac has also made it exceptionally easy to place, as you can lay it on your desk or, using the supplied mounting frame, bolt it to the back of your PC's LCD or even a Plasma or LCD TV.
In testing the MAG proved a performance powerhouse. Its dual-core 1.6GHz Atom CPU, 2GB of RAM and nVidia ION GPU worked brilliantly together when running apps and thanks largely to the ION GPU's hardware-based video decoding features, the HD-ND01 also played back a Full HD 1080p video with audio smoothly.
On the gaming front the GPU's abilities allowed us to play games such as Call of Duty 4 though with reduced graphics and resolution settings. Turning these up caused the game's framerate to drop below 30fps.
At a cost of US $299 the HD-ND01 is attractively priced given its capabilities. The only issue we have is that the MAG doesn't offer an integrated optical drive.