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back to article Europe welcomes Dell's Mac Mini Zino HD

Watch out Mac Mini, because Dell has launched its rival Inspiron Zino range of cute and colourful mini PCs into Europe. Dell_Zino_HD Dell's Zino HD: the flagship of the Mac Mini-esque range Zino measures 197 x 197 x 89mm and comes in two flavours: a base model with an Intel Atom 230 processor and an HD version packing your …

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Seems pricey to me.

As usual with Dell, once you start speccing it up with a pretty coloured top, more memory, the uprated video card, blu-ray drive etc you can easily go from £299 to over £650.

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FAIL

750 quid for a blueray player?

Save £300 and buy a PS3.

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Stop

Noise levels?

The key thing will be how noisy it is. The obvious market is HTPC's but too noisy and it'll fail.

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Jobs Horns

Kewl

Looks good and is a PC. Worth considering then if you're a Mactard.

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A Dell, with design sense?

say it isin't so?

I may actually buy one of these...

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OSX

I wonder if this gave Apple extra incentive to remove support of the Atom processor in the recent OSX update.

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Linux

Initial thought..

"..that might be nice to run MythTV on".. Followed by "eeew, AMD Radeon graphics". I think I'd rather buy a nice ASRock IONSTAR for a similar price. At least that thing can play 1080p video with virtually no CPU load under Linux without locking up,

(Hint, do a review of the IONSTAR box, dearest Reg, it's actually rather nice)

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Nice

Looks good, although I am not sure how that will fair against the Revo 3600 with it's Atom 330 dual core processor and nVidia ION chipset...

Bob

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Feature let down

Why is it that these media centre type machines are always great bar one feature? This one is that it doesn't seem to offer a 5.1 digital audio out. The option for a built in TV tuner would be nice. It looks big enough to fit one in.

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as a mac mini owner...

i really like these and hope they kick apple into doing something a bit more spunky with the mini. apple used to moan about beige pc's, but now they are the aluminium dullards....

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such a simple design brief

and they still manage to get it wrong.

looks bleh!

and why is it atom powered? mac mini stuffs a real processor and GPU under the hood, in a smaller chassis. stick win7 on there and you're laughing.

going for the consumer market i guess. people who don't know better, but just see the sticker price.

dell fail. again. stick to the corperate environment Michael. it's what pays the bills.

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Gates Horns

No welcome from me

At t £249 for the Atom based unit, it is expensive compared with the similarly specified HP Compaq Cq2200uk, which is now £199.99 from Comet. The OS is Windows XP Home with no Ubuntu option in the UK despite it being listed in the technical spec.

I am happy with my Cq2200uk on which I use Ubuntu (9.04 currently) , but the Atom 230 is now long in the tooth, and it disappointing that the is no dual core Atom 330 option ( all to do with Microsoft distorting the market with cheap XP licences, I guess).

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FAIL

Wait a second!

The Price of a High end model, is well into the £800 range, and it only comes with 2.1 channel sound.

Sounds like a great product, until you see the price of a model that's fit for purpose.

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error

extra £50, extra £500 more like on the Dell website

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Shame

It is lumbered with that Windows malarky. Would seem to be the perfect platform for Myth

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Blu Ray

Only seems to be in the highest priced Zino and that costs 744pounds, without a monitor. I don't know how many people need 6GB of RAM with an Atom processor but this model has it. This makes the computer less powerful than a Mac mini but costs more, with its only selling point being the Blu Ray. Surely someone can come up with a better solution.

The Acer Revo costs 300pounds, the 9400M can accelerate Blu Ray, put a Blu Ray player in it and an extra GB of RAM and surely it beats this?

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FAIL

Major fail for the base version!

Intel GMA950? How is that going to power anything!? No use whatsoever as a media centre. The HD version looks nice but I'm still buying a mac mini for home theatre duties...

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Linux

want one for granny

in law's old 900MHz Athlon is about to give up the ghost... but this one has the "windows tax" slapped on. I need one with Xubuntu, old people don't like to see unfamiliar software suddenly

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Flame

Windows not removeable

If it was not running Windows it may have made my Xmas shopping list. If it was using the 330 - definitely. As this is not the case, I will stick to assembling one myself from whatever I can get cheapest off the boxing-day sales.

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Flame

Spec lists Ubuntu with a bigger drive

However you cannot buy that in the UK. Dell UK at its best. W*nkers..

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: James Robertson 2

No, it's £50.

Looking at the Dell site now, Zino base price is £249, Zine HD base price is £299.

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FAIL

Better Value ASRock ION 330

I'd say the ASRock ION 330 offers better value than either base version of these, at around £225 with a (overclockable) dual core Intel Atom 330, 2Gb DDR, ION graphics, Gig LAN and similar specs on sound etc.. I'd say it's also bound to be quieter and it is definitely smaller. A Blu-Ray version is also available as is a white version.

On the downside, there are no 'options' to upgrade the CPU, graphics or to wireless. Also, no OS.

I know what I'll have.

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WTF?

Dell's on a roll

Yet another major new release anouncement from dell that has lower specs and costs more than a comperable Apple computer. Way to go Dell.

Dell mini with slower CPU, slower memory bus, and lackluster (though slightly better) GPU, same HDD, burner and accessories is over 530 pounds ($845US). Mini, throwing in a $10 keyboard and $10 mouse (equivalent of the dell crap), is $819.

The Adamo XPS is a joke being 600MHz slower and $200 more than a comperable Mac with less battery life and no GPU, and only 1lb lighter and 4mm slimmer than a much more powerful and $500 cheaper MacBook Pro 15" and over $1,000 more expensive than a 13" equivalent from Apple.

Dell One system is trumped across the board in specs at the same price points as the iMac. heck, you can't even buy parts and a monitor on NewEgg to match the 27" iMac specs cheaper... (even excluding the OS!)

Dell is certainly on a roll. Downhill...

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FAIL

£750!!

seems like a lot, like someone else said, 300 for a PS3 is a lot cheaper, and also has media centre abilities, then you could spend another £300 on a half decent nettop (possibly even with HD ability as well if you get the right GMA chipset) to do your work on and still save some cash.

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Good grief!

The ASROCK 330 is under £250 including HDMI and is only about £75 more with a BR. Granted, you're stuck with a dual core atom but I've been running one for a while now and it flies with Windows 7. It's also smaller and looks nicer. The only thing the Dell seems to have going for it is the memory card reader (REALLY wish that was built into the Asrock but have a memory stick adaptor that does the job) and the Colourful cases (no thanks).

Way, way overpriced.

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Erm...

hang on....

Dell:-

PROCESSOR - AMD X2 6850E 1.8GHz

OPERATING SYSTEM - Windows 7 Pro

OFFICE SOFTWARE - Microsoft Works 9.0

HARDWARE SUPPORT - 3 years Next Business Day service

PROTECT YOUR NEW PC - McAfee Security Centre - 36 Month Protection

MEMORY - 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 800MHz

HARD DRIVE - 320GB (7200rpm) SATA Hard Drive

GRAPHICS CARD - Integrated HD 3200 Graphics

OPTICAL DRIVE - 8X DVD+/- RW Optical Drive (DVD & CD read and write)

KEYBOARD/MOUSE - Dell Multimedia Wireless Keyboard & Wired Mouse Black

£673.00 incl. VAT

Mac Mini:-

PROCESSOR - 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

OPERATING SYSTEM - Mac OS X - Snow Leopard - Full version

OFFICE SOFTWARE - Open Office 3.1

HARDWARE SUPPORT - 3 years standard warranty

PROTECT YOUR NEW PC - Antivirus not required

MEMORY - 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM

HARD DRIVE - 160GB (7,200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive

GRAPHICS CARD - Integrated Nvidia GeForce 9400 Graphics

OPTICAL DRIVE - 8X DVD+/- RW Optical Drive (DVD & CD read and write)

KEYBOARD - Apple Wired Keyboard & Mouse

£687.01 incl. VAT

So, I've tried to keep the specs the same. With the Dell you get a 320Gb hard drive but with the Mac Mini you get DDR3 RAM. Everything else is roughly the same.

OH LOOK! £14.01 DIFFERENCE. I'll say it again for all you morons who constantly insist that Apple hardware is more expensive - £14.01 DIFFERENCE.

Now will you shut the F*CK UP?

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FAIL

Make it available with Ubuntu in the UK ....

... and maybe we'll talk.

Until then, they can cram it. Pity really, since once of these would make a nice companion for my Mini-10v netbook (which *did* have Ubuntu as an option, even if it was Dell's crappy 'remix')

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Jobs Halo

@mrweekender

Thank you and well done that man for taking time to do the comparison.

Errm... Flame out?

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unbelievable

a (long defunct) next cube knock-off from dell???

it does looks pretty similar to an apple imac...

how unbelievable is that???

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@mrweekender

If you throw away the overpriced and unnecessary McAfee software and the business service option which is clearly not comparable with a standard warranty then the total for the Dell is £428.98 or about £250 cheaper than the mac mini. So what everybody seems to agree is an overpriced PC from one of the more expensive suppliers is still £250 cheaper than a mac mini.

I'm not entirely sure what point it was you were trying to make. But it must be true because it is in IMPORTANT UPPER CASE with exciting! exclamation marks so I suppose I'd better shut the F*CK UP.

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Jobs Halo

Yup

I'm with the macboi's on this one.. plus a mac mini would look great next to my new imac :D

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Anonymous Coward

I can see the conversation in Dell's design office

(presuming they actually have such a thing, rather than a collective of blind salamanders with a set of straightedges, no sense of touch and a switch fetish)

"Shit, it looks just like a Mac mini! How can we stamp some unique Dell design nous on this thing?"

"How about we spray some ports around at random and stick a big oblong eject button on the optical tray?"

"Now you're talking! Here's a straightedge, get to it!@

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Linux

The IONs already landed. Why bother?

The IONs already landed. Why bother with this?

IONs are already cheap and plentiful and quite adequate as serving as replacements for Apple hardware. The ATI graphics is rather so-so (especially for us Linux users). The price doesn't seem competitive either.

Colorful cases?

Dell's offering is redundant. They already have a mac mini style ATI based machine that's not terribly price competitive.

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No we won't shut up.

Numerous PC users here have already pointed out the lack of value this unit represents, we don't need a Mac fanboy to tell us that. What would be the cost to add a Blu Ray player to a Mac mini? Oh wait you can't because you can't play Blu Ray on Macs.

Subtract the cost of antivirus, a free one will do for home use. No need for Windows Pro, Windows Home Premium will do for most and one of Windows's strengths is that you can choose a version that suits your needs. Most users will not need the Pro version so your argument that Leopard is a full version is irrelevant. Dell's support is next day support which means they will come out to your site, Apple ask you to come to them. The price includes online backup, Apple's Mobile Me costs extra. Add to the Mac mini's cost an adapter to connect it to your monitor. I'm a little unclear on the Mac support, Applecare costs more but I can't see a mention of a standard warranty so I didn't add Applecare.

I actually was directed to the Irish Dell site and the price came to 598 Euro. Your Mac Mini specs with an adapter comes to 766 Euro. So please leave the penny counting to the PC users.

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Erm..

@windywoo - I added 3 years warranty for both. What if I want to attach my Dell "Mini" to a network - wait no we'll just fudge that - Windows 7 home has ALL the features.. er no. Blu Ray? what about HD Mpeg4?

@Some Beggar - "If you throw away the overpriced and unnecessary McAfee software and the business service option which is clearly not comparable with a standard warranty" I think you'll find the standard warranty is 1 year on a Dell. McAfee software is useless? Ok run your PC without a full antivirus and malware protection suite for a year.

Yeah, is it any reason why you Windows plebs are being told to shut up - face it you're WRONG!

However stick Ubuntu on it and I'll gladly admit it's cheaper.

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@JEDIDIAH

Ion? Are you kidding me? Ion is total shit compared to having a real dual core CPU!

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Nice to see an AMD offering from Dell.

Pity it wasn't cheaper.

Between a mac mini and a dell I suspect if I ever was in the market for one of those, I'd probably get the mac unless there was a significant difference in price/specs.

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Anonymous Coward

Odd.

The design seems rather eccentric. A 'four-in-one' card reader but no Firewire?

Granted, the technical specifications are fine for the majority of home and office users, but I see nothing here to tempt the Apple faithful (I'll wager you can't install OS X on it). Love those wacky colours though.

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Anonymous Coward

@mrweekender

I've never needed AV software on my systems - I just don't visit dodgy sites and bother to understand what's going on in/on my system. Not to mention how viruses are far and few between now, it's mostly user installed malware via social engineering or crappy 3rd party software.

My windows stats on infections....

Total instances virus infections over a 10 year period: 0

Total instances of malware infections over a 10 year period: 0

Your point of running windows without them is what exactly? all you're proving is that education is a far effective tool in combatting infections than bloated scare ware.

The Dell machine *is* over priced crud, but then what to you expect from a mainstream maker? The mac mini certainly has a better CPU, video adapter and bus speed, but you're paying for it. As usual.

And before you go off on a foaming fanboy rant, I also own Apple machines.. I'm happy with them, they do what I need to, tho I still need to keep my windows machines around because they have their own flaws (crappy file browser, ever tried to record the audio of an application using audacity with a macbook? recent problems with active directory and SMB browsing since snow leopard that is *still* to even be addressed by Apple! To name a couple).

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Megaphone

And the audio?

I hope that box passes raw digital audio through the HDMI port. All I see in the specs is "2.1" audio output. That would be very unimpressive in a home entertainment system.

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Gates Horns

Windows Strengths

"one of Windows's strengths is that you can choose a version that suits your needs"

How exactly does that work again?

Linux = You get the whole shebang for free, no need to *choose* which bits you don't want.

OSX = You get the whole shebang for $29, no need to choose which bits you don't want.

Win7 = The whole shebang costs $300. To get the price down to a slightly less ridiculous level you are forced to predict which bits you won't need later. Even then it is by far the most expensive "solution"

Viva la choice!

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Erm

weekender you are just making up shit now and putting words into peoples mouths. Two people just showed you how your comparison was wrong and your answers are borderline gibberish and at best misjudged.

Give it up, go and play with your shiny Mac toy and leave the thinking to the people who know what they are talking about.

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Stop

OSX doesn't cost $29

The true cost is hidden in the price of the Mac hardware. Much as I love Linux, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wasn't technically minded as I would spend all day answering questions about it.

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Stop

Apple vs. Blu-Ray

There's a good reason why Apple don't fit Blu-Ray hardware as standard: most of their sales are in the laptop sector. Their desktop models are—with the sole exception of their Mac Pro series—also based on laptop components. (Including the iMac.)

So Apple need Blu-Ray drives that are (a) laptop-size, and (b) cheap enough to not push the prices up too high. (There are also some licensing fees involved for the DRM side too. Dell don't have to worry about that: they don't make operating systems or video playback software. Apple do.)

Finally, there's the small matter of iTunes. Apple's approach to media is that the internet should be your primary source. Instead of buying physical media, you simply download it. At present, iTunes doesn't support the higher HD resolutions, but most consumers will be hard-pressed to spot the difference on a typical 720p TV. (Most of the flat screen TVs already sold aren't capable of full 1080p in any case; "Full HD" TVs have only been affordable for about two years or so.)

The only other advantage of Blu-Ray is archiving. For backups, most people just buy another hard disk; it's quicker and much, much easier.

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