Zotac CI620 Nano: Complete Test - Computer - Digital

Discovered during the Computex 2108, the CI620 Nano of Zotac took several months to reach our laboratory. This new mini-PC from the Chinese manufacturer has a decidedly retro look for him, which has the merit of distinguishing it from the crowd. Is it a good computer?

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The least that can be said is that the CI620 Nano has a strong personality, its very special design is not clearly made to please everyone. Zotac really is the "retro" choice for its new mini-PC and the object looks like a high-tech product of the 90s, but we have to admit that the work is well done, especially as the quality of production is at the rendezvous. The whole case is metal, but the fact of opting for a "honeycomb" grid all around still gives an impression of emptiness.

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The front face surrounded by a beautiful white border is designed as for her very sober, while betting on a rather abundant connectivity. Just on this side, there's a USB 3 port, two USB 3.1 Type-C ports, a multi-format card reader, a headphone output and a microphone input, plus the power button. But it is especially on the back that this mini-PC impresses by offering four USB 3 ports, an HDMI 2 output, a DisplayPort 1.2, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, as well as the ability to set up a Wi-Fi antenna (supplied in box). Extremely complete connectivity, therefore, and clearly one of the strengths of this model.

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As often with mini-PCs, the CI620 Nano is sold without RAM and storage. The user to add what suits him. The computer opens easily by unscrewing the four feet and sliding the bottom. A Sata port is then added to add a 2.5-inch SSD drive or hard drive, as well as two SODIMM DDR4-2400 RAM slots.

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With its grill that surrounds it almost completely, the CI620 Nano tends to get warm when used a lot. After an hour benchmark under Unigine Heaven, the frame shows up to 61.4 ° C in the back and 62.2 ° C above. The heat is also high over the entire surface. The processor remains below 100 ° C regulators. The high temperatures, therefore, which are the consequence of a constantly silent PC, because it has no ventilation. Bad for some good in some way. The power consumption is overall good: so we increase 10 watts on the desktop, 41 watts more intensive (here the processing of multiple images in Lightroom) and 1.4 watts in standby, which remains a low.

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The CI620 Nano incorporates an Intel Core i3-8130U processor. It is an 8th generation CPU with 2 cores / 4 threads and displays frequencies between 2.2 and 3.4 GHz and a TDP of 15 W. For the purposes of the test, we added 4 GB of RAM and a crucial 240 GB SSD. A configuration sufficient to have a stable and fast enough version in Windows 10. Without being lightning, the Core i3-8130U offers honest performance and our set of benchmark (file compression, audio and video conversion, photo editing, 3D calculation) can reach an index of 66, an equivalent total power to that of a "low power" Core i5 of the previous generation. Of course, nothing prevents you from increasing this performance by adding more RAM. So how it is, the CI620 Nano proves a good working mini-PC and can safely media center connected to a TV.

Let it be clear: the headphone output is the Achilles heel of the CI260 Nano. If the distortion, the crosstalk and the dynamics are good (figure below), we deplore, on the other hand, a power of shaky energy, which is not even enough to reach a satisfactory listening volume with a simple mobile headset or game. As if this were not enough, the integrated amplification suffers in addition to an extremely low current resistance, which causes a great lack of dynamics – especially in the low frequencies, restored with a painful softness. We strongly recommend using a USB headset instead.

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