Though the Zotac ZBOX won't win any awards for blazingly fast performance, for just a shade over $200, you get a nice-looking, thoughtfully designed platform to which you can add the HDD, RAM, and OS of your choice. If you're frugal with your additional hardware choices (or have some extras already on hand), this price is very tough to beat, even compared to entry-level desktops.
The ZBOX would make a great, affordable system for someone who just uses a computer for Internet, email, word-processing and media viewing.
It's not really the best choice for media encoding purposes, but given its slim profile and low power consumption, the ZBOX would also perform well as a file/media server for a home network, or as a second system.
Though Zotac deserves praise for the ZBOX's affordability and stability, some bottom-of-the-barrel performance numbers will probably cause more serious users to look elsewhere.