Although the AMD Phenom II X4 P490 is a quad-core CPU, its 1.7GHz clock speed makes it a very slow chip, especially on tasks that don't support all four CPU cores. That explains why the Inspiron Zino HD comes in last on almost all of our benchmark tests. It placed in the middle on our multithreaded Cinebench test, which gauges how well a system will work with a single program that can support multicore processing, but the Dell is still not fast enough to come near the performance of the less expensive Gateway SX2850-33. For browsing the Web and performing basic tasks, the Dell will be fast enough. Its video playback also isn't an issue here, and it can even play forgiving 3D games, like Portal, at modest image-quality settings. For more involved tasks, like multimedia editing, performance will be slow.
The Inspiron Zino HD provides little flexibility in the way of internal upgrades, and uncovering all of the upgradable parts will take a determined effort. You can remove two screws on the bottom of the case to take off its bottom plate, which provides access to a single memory slot, but the hard drive and the other memory slots are buried deeper inside the system, and you'll need to remove a fair amount of the case to access them. Most people should consider this a closed box.
On the outside, the Zino presents a few more options. You get four USB 2.0 ports total on the system, and on the front you'll find an SD card reader and a headphone jack. On the back of the Zino you'll find a VGA port in addition to the HDMI output, as well as a pair of eSATA ports, an S/PDIF digital audio output, and a pair of analog audio jacks. The only thing we might like to see is FireWire, but the eSATA ports and the digital audio outputs especially go above and beyond the standard connection options.
|Dell Inspiron Zino HD||Average watts per hour|
|Off (60 percent)||1.16|
|Sleep (10 percent)||2.41|
|Idle (25 percent)||33.38|
|Load (5 percent)||48.21|
|Energy Star compliant||Yes|
|Annual energy cost||$14.77|
Given its slow speed, we wouldn't expect the Zino Inspiron HD to use much power, and, happily, it doesn't. None of the PCs in this $600 to $750 price range are particular power hogs. The Mac Mini also sets a near-impossible example. Among Windows PCs, at least, the Dell's power consumption falls where it should. Expect to pay just over a dollar or so a month in power costs to operate this system.
Dell covers the Inspiron Zino HD with a standard one-year parts-and-labor warranty. You also get 24-7 phone support and a comprehensive support presence on Dell's Web site, as well as on the system itself via various diagnostic and system help applications.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Apple Mac Mini (spring 2010)
Mac OS X 10.6.3; 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; 2GB 1,067MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 320M; 320GB, 5,400rpm hard drive
Dell Inspiron i570-7034PBK
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.8GHz AMD Athlon II X4; 6GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) ATI Radeon HD4200 integrated graphics chip; 750GB, 7,200rpm hard drive
Dell Inspiron Zino HD
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.7GHZ AMD Phenom II X4; 6GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5450; 750GB 7,200rpm hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 3.2GHz Intel Core i3 550; 4GB 800MHZ DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics chip; 640GB, 7,200rpm hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.8GHz Pentium Dual-Core E5500; 6GB 800MHZ DDR3 SDRAM; 32MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip; 1TB, 7,200rpm hard drive