At a glance
- Super svelte and attractive
- Surprisingly fast and expandable
- Runs Docker apps
- Affordable with affordable PCIe modules
- Can cause cable spaghetti
- Not dead-easy past the basics
- Needs more and better documentation
If you’re looking for an affordable home media server with low power requirements, the Docker-based ZimaBoard–with its plethora of ports and add-on modules–will do the job. And if you’re tech-curious–it’s a lot of fun.
Price When Reviewed
$199.90 with Intel Celeron 832, 8GB of DRAM, and 32GB of NAND storage (other configurations also available)
Best Prices Today: Icewhale Technology ZimaBoard 832
The ZimaBoard family of micro-severs are wrapped in a super svelte, sexy, case/heat-sink. If that means nothing to you, think of it is as the guts of a NAS box sans the box and storage bays. If those descriptions don’t do the trick–it’s a tiny computer for use on your home network.
There are ports aplenty that you can hang stuff on, and apps for everything from media serving (our interest in this review) to network routing, to eventually controlling your household IoT tech.
Truth be told, while the ZimaBoard is perfectly usable, it and its CasaOS operating system are works in progress. They’re also a heck of a lot of fun–at least for enthusiastic DIYer.
Design and features
The first thing that struck me about the ZimaBoard is just how small it is. When Icewhale Technology pitched us on a review and described the available options,