Eee Box Looks Good

By Mike on 4:29 pm

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The Small Form Factor (SFF) PC market has long been dominated by Apple's Mac Mini. The entire system is about the size of two typical CD wallets stacked on top of each other. The Mini has a couple of issues with it though, namely it is in my opinion the Apple system that has the least value given it's rather pedestrian specs. However, in terms of PCs, there really is nothing that small that can directly compete with it.

Asus is looking to step things up in that market to challenge the Mac Mini. Today, they officially announced the Eee Box along with full specifications and pricing. The official specs are...

  • Operating system: Linux System/ Hardware Compatible with Windows XP
  • CPU: Intel Atom N270 (1.6 GHz, FSB 533)
  • Memory: 1 GB / 2 GB DDR2
  • Hard drive: 80GB / 160GB 5,400 rpm
  • Chipset: Intel 945GSE + ICH7M
  • Integrated graphics chip: Intel GMA 950
  • Networking: 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN, 802.11n WLAN, Bluetooth optional
  • Media card reader supporting: SD, SDHC, Mini SD, (Micro SD through adapter) ; MMC, MMC plus, MMC4.x, RS MMC, RSMMC4.x (MMC mobile through adapter);MS,MS PRO
On top of that it includes two USB 2.0 ports, gigabit LAN adapter, DVI output, audio out connectors with SPDIF, and a socket for the Wifi antenna. The version of Linux used wasn't specified but it will presumably be Xandros. The great thing about Linux is that it's easy to install the distribution of your choice. The base model with Linux is $269. The base model with Windows XP is $299. The top end Linux model is also $299.

I wasn't too impressed by the Eee PC but the Eee Box is definitely shaping up to be a very nice system. Obviously this isn't a gaming system. Some people have also expressed concern about it's Atom processor not being able to process HD video. It also lacks a CD/DVD drive. Given it's low price, I'm not too too concerned about that. It sports plenty of horse power for SD video and it's decent size mechanical HDD can store a lot of music, photos, and movies making it perfect as a basic HTPC. Compared to other off the shelf HTPC systems such as the PS3 or Xbox 360, it's cheaper and offers plentiful storage. Built in Bluetooth makes it ideal for setting up in a living room so people can surf the web or do work from their couch, with the system connected to an HDTV. Asus has also made the HDD easily upgradable for future storage expansion. It uses a standard 2.5'' SATA laptop drive. For the average user, this system will fulfill all there needs.

Source: Crave

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