Review: Zotac ZBOX MI553



Zotac is a name that comes to mind when you think of mini PCs. The company has been churning out one mini PC after the other for years now. The latest mini PC to come out of Zotac’s stable is the ZBOX MI553.

With the MI553, Zotac seems to have refreshed the overall design, giving it a more minimal and elegant look and feel. Measuring just 184-by-72-by-184mm (WHD), the ZBOX MI553 series of mini-PCs are equipped with an Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor operating at 2.5GHz with a max turbo frequency of 3.5GHz. The two SODIMM slots can accommodate up to 32GB of DDR4-2400 dual-channel memory.

Graphics are handled by Intel’s HD 630 chip that provides resolutions up to 4096-by-2160 at 60Hz by using the DisplayPort 1.2 connector. The MI553 can also offer a resolution of  3840-by-2160 at 60Hz from the HDMI 2.0 output. The Zbox MI533 is Optane Memory-ready and features two M.2 SSD slots and a single 2.5-inch 6Gbps SATA hard drive slot.

The review unit we received was a barebone variation. This means that the MI553 does not come with the memory, storage and operating system preinstalled. We went ahead and installed 4GB of DDR4 memory, a WD 2.5-inch 500GB SATA drive and Windows 10 as our OS of choice.

On the front of the MI553, you will find the power button, the LED indicator, USB-C port, a USB 3.1/SD card combo slot, the microphone port and a 3.5mm audio jack. At the rear, you will find the power port, a Thunderbolt 3 port, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, four USB 3.0 ports, a gigabit wired Ethernet port, and the wireless antenna connector.

The MI553 supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity options. Gaining access to the inside of the unit is a simple matter of pressing two tabs in the rear of the chassis and lifting the top off. This makes maintenance and upgrades a snap.

Getting the MI553 up and running is a walk in the park. The included instruction sheets make the entire process quite a breeze. Once it is up and running, you can place the MI553 anywhere in your living room – it matches perfectly with any decor.

Overall performance of the MI553 is quite good for a mini PC. The ZBOX MI553 is capable of offering a resolution of up to 4K at 60Hz. It also has a dual display support. You could also use the mini PC for mid-level casual gaming sessions.

The Zotac ZBOX MI553 is perfectly suited to be used as a media center PC. The MI553 comes with a 7th generation Intel Core 15-7300HQ processor, 4K resolution, better wired and wireless connectivity and a lot more for a price of AED 2,099. If you are on the market for a home PC, you should definitely check out the Zotac ZBOX MI553.

Price: AED 2,099



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