Zotac ZBox Sphere Oi520 Series review

Zotac thinks outside the box with a spherical mini PC

ZBox Sphere Oi520
The ZBox Sphere is minimal in both size and appearance

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We liked

The ZBox Sphere looks a lot better than the average mini PC. The design is definitely unconventional, it won't look out of place in the living room, and guests will probably ask you what that cool looking gadget is in the corner.

There's a surprising amount of internal storage capacity too. Whip out the included drive and replace it with a 2TB model, along with an mSATA SSD, and you'll get excellent boot-up times and won't need to worry about connected external devices or streaming from a NAS. If you do stream, though, the fast network speeds of 802.11ac mean you don't need to worry about Ethernet cables trailing around your house.

It's both relatively affordable and reasonably powerful, for its size. The ZBox Sphere will make short work of simple tasks, cope with all forms of media, and potentially a few games too.

We disliked

The plastic feels fragile in places, particularly the lid, which feels as though it's just waiting for a heavy object to crack it open like an egg. And the mechanism for sealing the ZBox shut is easy (at least for this reviewer) to get wrong.

Final verdict

The ZBox Sphere is an inexpensive barebones mini PC that comes in a striking semi-spherical form factor. It's no powerhouse, but still carries a reasonable specification that means it's more than capable of effective media playback. When you also take into account the relatively affordable price, it makes a great living room media player.