I've recently bought a Zotac Nanobox ID61-U from Newegg to replace an E-350 setup. The main complaints I had with the E-350 setup was the weak CPU not providing enough power for remote desktops and smoother Gchat sessions. It was also not powerful enough to run less-than-optimal HD video.
Link to box @ Newegg:
- Really tiny box, roughly size of 5-6x CD cases stacked together. Incredible how much stuff you can cram into boxes this small. USB3, Displayport, HDMI, and eSata. It's basically as future-proof as you can get on connections, short of thunderbolt connector. A 3.5mm to TOSLink adapter provides optical SPDIF connections, for older receivers too. The design of the box is not too-bad for PC product. It's definitely not very polished aesthetic-wise, and the plethora of ports certainly doesn't help either. The antenna for integrated Wifi is removable, so you can get better antenna if need arise. Definitely function first, form second. But it's not too bad looking, unless you're one of those industrial design folks.
- You're limited to 1x 2.5" drive and 1x SODIMM slot on this tiny box, which is understandable given the dimensions. 4 screws holds the bottom panel that gives access to the drive and RAM compartment. Almost tool-less except for the drive bracket. The CPU / HM65 chip side is not visible/accessible without taking out good chunk of the unit and screws off. Would've been nice if there was some cover over the area where 2.5mm drive resides, to prevent metal parts touching each other... (I crafted a small piece of plastic cover to go between the board and the HDD).
- Definitely satisfied with the speed of the unit. The difference between the E350 and this ULV Sandy Bridge is dramatic. Running two 1080p trailers via VLC at the same time was handled well, the CPU peaked around 80-85%. Youtube HD was no issue at all on Chrome. Using Logmein while chatting (the issues I wanted to solve) was also much smoother. All the while the CPU remained at 60*C or below using cooler unit similar to what they use on laptops these days. This should be plenty of performance for casual family PC.
- For $200, this is pretty spiffy unit. A self-built mITX unit might give you more expansion options, but you'd have hard time reaching this performance/dollar. The hardware is entirely mobile-centric, the same CPU & Chipset (Celeron 867) used in the brand new Chromebooks and the Wifi-module is surprisingly, an Intel unit, single-band Centrino 130. If you want to build a <$300 family/office PC that can fit anywhere, this combo is truly hard to beat right now. The only weakness is in casual gaming. If they can fit a Trinity APU into size of this box, I'd be willing to grab one for myself as movie / casual gaming box.