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back to article Asus Eee Box Atom-based desktop mini PC

Asus' Eee marque may be associated with laptops, but it's been applied to desktops too, specifically the Eee Box, a slimline unit designed to stay in one place. The key to this Eee is still low-cost laptop technology: Intel's 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor, the same chip used in Asus' top-of-the-line Eee portables. It's backed with …

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Paris Hilton

How much!?

This isn't a SCC. How much would an Acer Aspire cost without the screen and keyboard? I desparately want a box that I can use to replace an ageing NSLU2 as a SqueezeCentre, NAS and web cam motion detector.

Paris, because like Asus she doesn't do cheap either...

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Media PC

This would be just the job for a media pc. Just wish it was a bit cheaper and came with an optical drive. You could have a slot loader in the top. No different from some tellies that come with DVD built-in.

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No optical drive ???

Kinda limits it as a media centre if you can't play DVDs. Pricey, too. I'm sure it'll be a perfect fit for someone's purposes, though.

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Stop

How F@@king Much?!?!?!1!!1!OneEleven!!.

Are they Taking the Piss?? is Asus now making catheters?

so Laptop, Minus the ever so expensive Battery and Even More expensive Screen, equals exactly the fucking same price! with no useful extras?

and it doesn't even come with HDMI (or DVI to HDMI adapter!) or a bracket to fit the box to the back of the telly by the Wall mount holes...

shheesh

Im going to hang on to my money a little longer...

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Perfect!

Been looking for something to replace the old original Xbox, which is used as media station hooked up the SAN in the cupboard upstairs. That DVI connector is the icing on the cake, that is a really smart move by Asus, let's hope this pays off.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

it does come with a mounting bracket, but yes no keyboard screeen or battery doesn't make up for it...

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I have to pay for Windows?

Surely they could have knocked £50 off and released it with Linux on it?

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Dead Vulture

You failed to answer a vital question

Can it even play 720p xvids and mkv's? I know the Aspire and EEE's can't, because they are paired with a shitty graphics chipset.

If this can't play those, its no use as a media centre.

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Pardon? How much!

Same price as an Atom EEE PC, but without the costly battery and TFT screen.

£180 = fine.

£255 = Rip off.

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Flame

Re: No optical drive ???

Err...

The idea of a media center with an optical drive (or a disk for that matter) is utterly stupid. The media center's job is to play media without us ever hearing it. It must have no noise sources and no fans. And media can happily stay on the house server which can make as much noise as necessary somewhere in the loft, or the office, or the understairs cubbard or anyf***ware but behind the telly!!!

Unfortunately this also means that one particularly obnoxious part of the industry finally understands that DRM means "Digital RIGHTS Management", not "Copy Protection". These are two different things and if I am given DRM-ed media I NEED to have the RIGHT to play it over MY house network. Until then, I will continue to break DRM as needed and circumnvent it so I can have a good viewing experience without a noisy DVD drive in a noisy PC spoiling my pleasure (and I am not the only one to do so).

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Alert

Dual Core Laptop 2GBRam 120GBHD (erm Vista downgradeable)...

From PC world for £279

so this is hardly a good deal...

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XP Home == FAIL

I am not paying for Windows XP Home: do you understand manufacturers?

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Alert

Please review the video performance!

Please check the Video performance. I've been bitten by the mini-ITX 'media' PC's which have reasonable sounding specs, but can barely decode DVDs fullscreen, and die completely when it comes to things like iPlayer or DIVx

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Actual Price

Well Dabs is offering it for a bit under £200, which sounds good value.

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Linux

MythTV frontend

Nearly exactly what Im looking for - small quiet cheap (ish) box to use as a MythTV frontend. Lack of optical drive not a problem, lack of HDMI a bit of a problem, apparently can do 720p (http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/HD_Playback_Reports) so Im keen.

Linux version only of course, Redmond are not getting me as a sales statistic.

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Anonymous Coward

I saw this and thought...

... wouldn't it make an ideal thin client, if I installed a basic OS (i.e. ThinStation) etc... but for £250 I'd expect dual monitor capabilities at least :(

Needs to go <£200 really, then I'd probably buy one for home... I could buy an Atom mini-itx motherboard, case etc for enough less to make up for the style side of things...

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Bronze badge

Right Idea Wrong Price...

Still some critical.. Unanswered Questions...

720p xvids ? go or no go? DVI infers better graphics but can it perform? and what res can it support? will it drive your average 1080p tv at full res?

How well does it work with iplayer in the new high res mode?

Will it drive a USB Plug in DVD? Will it drive a USB Plug in Bluray?

does it have Bluetooth? will it cope with recording from a TV dongle??

Why is it so expensive... ?!?! cant be the battery or the screen? the keyboard or the complex hinge design...

if its £175 or less I'll buy one!

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Keyboard & Mouse

According to retailers and youtube videos, it does come with a keyboard and mouse!

I can also get this locally for £198. Play.com has them for £199.

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Why do we get shafted on the price?

I've been waiting for these. Perfect design and size, perfect for a small desk I've got that's waiting for an ancillary pc for the library. Now totally out the window because of the stupidly dense price.

Sigh. I'll build my own then. It'll be half the price and twice the spec, but just be a big bigger, so I'll have to hide it behind some books.

Idiots.

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Found an answer

http://hothardware.com/Articles/Asus-Eee-Box-B202-Desktop-System/?page=5

720p, yes, wmv format anyway.

1080p, nope, that shitty powerdrawing good-for-nothing intel chipset really has to be ditched ASAP.

If this had even a lowspec graphics chip in it for hardware decoding this would be a no-brainer purchase for many people. I await the next, inevitable as this company is insane, version very soon.

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Is this really smaller then anything out there?

How does this compare in size to a Mac mini? Looks thinner (due to no optical drive) but doesn't look tons smaller as the article implies.

Of course the Mac mini is known to have a huge power brick. I'd like to see a picture of the brick for this beast as well.

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Anonymous Coward

North American pricing looks better

At my local shop, they're selling for $360 Cdn which works out to about £178.

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Ideal as a Media Director for LinuxMCE?

I've been looking for a small quiet pc that I can mount behind a monitor to use as a portable computer/media centre for display at various locations around my automated home. Initially it seemed that the lack of 1080p would be the only significant stumbling block for this machine. It seems, however, that the LinuxMCE (my solution of choice to integrate media services and home automation) people have it running 1080p comfortably.

http://forum2.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=5929.30

If could buy this cheaper, without XP or a hard drive, it would be perfect.

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Stop

I can't see the point.

I can see the point of Eee netbooks. This thing I can't see the point of.

okay it's really small, so what ? It's not designed to lug about, and who really has a probably hidding a small desktop pc anyway ?

As many other's have said, it's missing a DVD drive.

When I am at home power consumption ( I'm not into this carbon-crap that's spouted out from the sky-is-falling-in-chicken-licken-little-pseudo-science-brigade ) is not a major issue, battery life on the move is.

I've got a Small Form Factor PC with a Core-Duo, and DVD in it, and it rocks.

Asus really aren't going to sell many of these, it's just not as compelling as the original SCCs or my Small Form Factor PC.

It's a machine in a niche thats so small I really don't see many people wanting one, and undoubtedly Asus will launch 10 more variants before the month is out.

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Damn!

Been waiting for these for many moons, only to find XP Home smeared all over its hard drive. Not buying it until it's closer to £180, with Linux (or indeed no OS; I'll be reinstalling anyway). Then I'll have five.

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Paris Hilton

WTF?

I've been a fan of the Reg eve since it's inception, but I'm sorry to say the reviews have deteriorated from brillant to medioce to this...useless! To be honest it sounds like something written by DSG staff than by a Reg(TM) employee I don't expect cpu clock speeds at different voltages or anything, but just some common sense from the author! I mean how can he mention media centre without mentioning output resolution? A test of playing an HD Divx pehaps? 1080p output or screen stretch? Can it play Iplayer/40d in hires mode without jerking? Bluay/NAS plug in? HD/SD recoding from TV with an input? How can the author have the audacity to make a statement including 'media centre' without mentioning these. Cheese!

Paris coz she could write a better review. George O, postgrad at Oxford University

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Anonymous Coward

Don't buy from DABS !!!

Actual Price wrote :-

Well Dabs is offering it for a bit under £200, which sounds good value.

---------

DABS is owned by BT. Boycott the Phuckers until Phorm is dead.

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Exchange rates

There are some pessimistic assumptions about exchange rates in the prices. The way Sterling is shifted against the dollar, there need to be.

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Go

Its a small business machine - thats the point

Everyone is missing the point its a small business machine.

I bought one for a gas station back office machine.

it is great, runs office 2007, IE and MS money, Excel 2007 thats all that is needed

replaced a really aging tower and even thought the specs aren't the best on the market it does the job. Perfect office machine. It came with the adapter to put on the back of the monitor. works like a charm, love it. and yes, we ran full screen .mov movies in Itunes/Quicktime and they play not a $2,000 video setup but its not needed for the role this machine will serve.

I see this replacing 10,000 of thousand of aging dell tower on corporate floors.

its perfect, takes no space, and does exactly what it needs to.

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R
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I own one

A few points.

Ubuntu 8.10 installed nicely. 8.04 didn't.

I had luck with both VGA out and a DVI-HDMI cable.

Wireless required ndiswrapper. Nothing complicated. Others may have more luck, but once I had it running, I was happy.

It can play 720p happily - though at high cpu usage. 1080 is a no go.

For sound I needed to use ALSA.

The computer comes with a wired keyboard, wired mouse and VESA mounting bracket. I use a gyroscopic mouse for easy control across the room.

The computer is about 70% the size of a mac mini.

One problem is a lack of USB ports. 2 on the back and 2 on the front. Keyboard and mouse can use up the back two so without using an adapter, anything else like a hard drive, bluetooth adapter etc will be stuck in the front which is unsightly.

The case is a pain to open - about as easy as opening an ipod. Once you do though, it's simple to add another 1GB sodimm to take the box to 2GB, the limit of the Atom chipset.

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