Zotac has introduced the industry's first compact PC featuring Frore's AirJet solid-state cooling system. Zotac's ultra-compact Zbox Pico PI430AJ is powered by Intel's Core i3 processor is designed primarily for everyday home and office computing, as well as applications like digital signage.

As far as specifications are concerned, Zotac's Zbox Pico PI430AJ is a fairly sophisticated machine featuring Intel's eight-core Core i3-N300 CPU, 8 GB of LPDDR5 memory, and an M.2 SSD. For connectivity the PC offers a Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.2 adapter, a single GbE port, a USB Type-C port, two USB 3.2 Type-A connectors, and two display outputs (DisplayPort and HDMI).

The Zbox Pico PI430AJ has two major selling points: it is as small as modern smartphones, and it is passively cooled using Frore's AirJet solid-state cooling module, or chip. AirJet's module dissipates heat from electronic components by propelling ultrasonic waves of air across fin-like structures on each chip. This mechanism effectively directs a cool flow of air across the chip's surface area, moving heat away from the silicon components while not collecting dust. Compared to conventional fan cooling methods, AirJet stands out by offering equivalent heat dissipation with enhanced power efficiency and quieter operation. Specifically, each chip can remove 5W of heat, with the capacity to scale up; for instance, two chips can expel 10W.

Zotac's Zbox Pico PI430AJ seems to use two AirJet modules, so they can dissipate up to 10W of power, which should be more or less enough for Intel's Core i3-N300.

Zotac claims that its Zbox Pico PI430AJ Mini PC is now available for purchase in both Windows and barebones versions in select regions (primarily APAC and EMEA, from the looks of things), but is disclosing its recommended pricing.

While Frore's AirJet solid-state active cooling makes a lot of sense for Zbox Pico PI430AJ as it enables it to run faster for longer periods, it should be noted that for Zotac this mini PC is a way to try out the technology in a mass-produced product. That said, if AirJet meets Zotac's expectations for performance, reliability, manufacturability, and costs, expect the company to use it for other PCs as well.

Source: Zotac



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  • meacupla - Friday, October 20, 2023 - link

    If they had equipped this with 12GB or 16GB of RAM, that would have been perfect. Reply
  • nandnandnand - Friday, October 20, 2023 - link

    It was previously reported that it would come with up to 16 GB. Maybe they'll make that model available later:

  • NextGen_Gamer - Friday, October 20, 2023 - link

    VERY nearly the perfect NUC-computer, at least to me. It has the 8-core Core i3 N300, a full PCIe 3.0 x4 slot for the M.2, and state of the art cooling. But that 8GB of LPDDR5 memory! As someone else here already reported, I really hope Zotac makes the 16GB model announced available as well. Reply
  • Techguy123 - Friday, October 20, 2023 - link

    It's could a be limitation of the cpu. I do feel the 8gb is deal breaker however the 7w tdp limit has me concern about the performance. I know the n300 is huge step up from the Celeron they previously offer this form factor. I hope Anandtech will review one this year. Reply
  • nandnandnand - Saturday, October 21, 2023 - link

    There is no limitation. Alder Lake-N can support 16 GB officially, 32 GB unofficially (always single-channel).

    As for the TDP, Intel didn't put out base/turbo TDPs for Alder Lake-N, unlike every other chip they have put out since Alder Lake, but it's known they can use more power than what is stated. If the AirJet cooling can "dissipate 10W", I'm not sure that it is the limit of what the CPU can use. 15-20W sustained could be fine, for example. That mystery can be solved by reviewers, and I assume there will be some high profile reviews given this is the first product using AirJet.
  • cbf123 - Friday, October 20, 2023 - link

    Correction, it’s not passively cooled. This is an active cooling element. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Friday, October 20, 2023 - link

    As a lot of others have already pointed out, 8GB RAM is insufficient. 16GB would be a much better starting point. I feel like this undermines the unique cooling solution and discourages early adopter interest. Yes, I get by with 8GB just fine, but I think most people would be quite discouraged and avoid a purchase. Reply
  • wr3zzz - Friday, October 20, 2023 - link

    Airjet sounds great but why is the first adapter not a standard 15W notebook of the obvious intended market for this cooling solution? What are the current issues? Reply
  • Techguy123 - Friday, October 20, 2023 - link

    The issue is the performance for higher power CPU and maybe cost. AirJet mini is readily available now so it fits Zoctac mini PC perfectly. I'm sure laptop are being develop with air jet pro are in the work. I think they said at CES AirJet pro are still in development for mass product at later date than the AirJet mini. Reply
  • meacupla - Saturday, October 21, 2023 - link

    I think it might have to do with designing a new PCB around Airjet.
    For a Mini-PC, all you have to do is design a new cooler and enclosure.

    For a laptop, the existing PCB is not designed with Airjet cooling in mind. The PCB has a cutout for a blower type fan, and a spot for the heatsink fins at the end of a snaking heatpipe.
    15W cooling would still require 3 Airjets, so I would guess that requires a complete redesign of the PCB and internal layout.

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