General System Testing
When I get any new system I run the Windows 7 experience index. It assesses your system and gives you a score based on its findings. The highest score you can receive for each category is 7.9. The ZBOX Nano scored a 3.8, which is what the Zotac ZBOX HD-AD02 scored. The Sapphire Edge HD2 scored a 3.5.
Many of these small systems are going to be used at Home Theater PC’s (HTPC’s) and my favorite HTPC software for the PC is Boxee. It is incredibly easy to use and the interface is just great. I went ahead and installed Boxee and had it running within minutes. There were no issues playing media through Boxee locally, or over the network or Internet.
The ZBOX does come with dual IR receivers. Why do you need 2? One is located on the front of the device and the other one is a USB receiver. If you mount the Nano on the back of your display or on the wall the front receiver will basically be unusable, so that is why there are 2 receivers. The remote works great not only in Windows Media Center but also in Boxee and other HTPC software.
As always we test how HD movies perform on these mini PC’s. I tested both a 720p and 1080p movie which were in .mkv containers. Both played fine without any issues. Here is a video of me messing around in Boxee on the Nano.