The review itself and some of the comments here just seem misleading or misinformed.
Of course, HD playback is only possible on the Atom with DXVA, even my 2.5Ghz Athlon X2 struggles with 1080p content without a decoder enabling offloading.
That said, the problem is Microsoft's current restriction to only allow netbooks/nettops with XP. It's tougher to get DXVA working on this OS but still far from impossible. As this box is marketed for consumers, Asus should take the necessary steps and configure it right out-of-the-box, but building my own HTPCs for years now, I know this is a tedious process.
Using VLC as a test method seems flawed at best.First, I think typical consumers don't use this player, they expect everything working after a double-click, so Windows Media Player seems to be the player of choice. Secondly, VLC's DXVA support is rudimentary at best. Of course, an Atom wouldn't be enough for that scenario.
If Asus were to install the standalone filter from the MPC-HC project (mpcvideodec.ax) almost every HD content would work right out of the box in Windows Media Player, even MKVs.
Regarding WMV9 files. Who really encounters this format in real life these days?
In summary, the flaws you pointed out in the review are mostly not the machines fault, but the state of todays HTPC world. Look at all the boxes out there, designed and advertised for your living room. Without putting some configuration effort, blood and sweat into all of these, none of them just work with all the available video formats and trade-offs have to be made.