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Iwill ZMAXap SFF Review - First Glance and The Contents

While over at Computex in Taiwan this year we saw Iwill showing off their new line of small form factor PCs that were just about ready to hit the market - it was a bit hard to miss all the hype of the new Iwill small form factor systems with all the Taiwanese folks walking around the halls with the small form factor systems sitting on top of their heads. We have the ZMAX (AP) here today that utilizes Intel's 865G chipset which we haven't used for a while now with the array of motherboards coming in utilizing the new 915 and 925 chipset from Intel.

By: | SFF PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Sep 27, 2004 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8%Manufacturer: Iwill

First Glance


When pulling the ZMAX out of the box, it has an absolutely beautiful finish - probably what you would call gun metal grey. Not only that though, it is almost iridescent, so it gives off a sparkle kind of look which looks fantastic. This is one of the better paint jobs we have seen on any small form factor to date.


Moving around to the back of the case you can see that it utilizes a chipset with onboard graphics. We see two network ports on the back - one labeled 10/100 (powered by Realtek 8100 chipset on logic board) and the other gigabit (powered by Intel PRO/1000CT Network Connection GbE chipset). The multiple network ports are quite handy as if you have broadband internet but don't have a router you can easily plug it into the 10/100 port and still be logged onto a network. On the other hand if you're not on a network at home but you do go to the occasional LAN, it is handy to be able to plug into the network without having to edit the settings for your broadband Internet connection.


Multiple network parts are something we are seeing more and more of these days as they are quite useful and the extra costs that apply with the extra port are quite minimal, it would seem. The only other plug that really grabs your attention on the back is the external SATA connector. This is something that we have seen Gigabyte implement on a number of their motherboards and it is good to see that someone else has decided to come to the party as it is a feature that is also quite useful.



Underneath where your CD-ROM hides away you can make the panel flip up which hides a 7 in 1 card reader. This is something else that is becoming more and more common amongst small form factors. With the increase in digital cameras sales, media like SD, MMC and CF has grown so much that people can now easily remove the card from their camera and insert it straight into the PC. From there you can access everything from My Computer.




As you can see from the picture above, when you plug any USB device into the front access ports, the port changes color to let you know if the device is working or not.


The Iwill ZMAXap comes with built-in 802.11b wireless networking support via the Inprocomm IPN2120 Wireless LAN chipset. The antenna included (which you can see in the picture below) is quite unique but works quite well and looks stylish, much like the end of a jet aircraft - just push it into its location on top of the case and you are just about set. It would have been nicer to see 802.11g wireless included for quicker networking access but at least wireless is included which we don't always see on small form factor systems. You'll even be able to setup a software access point using the included software which can save you a few dollars by not having to buy a separate hardware solution.


The Contents


The content of the ZMAXap is quite bland; there really isn't much to it. We have included in the package SATA power connector, a SATA cable, a small pack of screws, user manuals and an interesting looking antenna that is used for the 802.11b wireless.



The package is quite disappointing but it's probably enough to get you started.




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