Asus Eee Box B202 Desktop System Evaluation

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Asus certainly made a splash this year with their line of ultra-light, ultra-affordable Eee PC notebooks and they've been fleshing out the product line ever since with a wealth of new offerings, as the company continues to milk the product's successful brand name recognition for all it's worth.  Since their initial release we've seen a number of different notebook-based Eee PC products come to market, including machines pre-loaded with either Windows XP or Linux operating systems.  In addition, Asus has even brought out larger models, with the 10" display and near full size keyboard of the Eee PC 1000 series of notebooks, not to mention larger storage options and systems based on the new Intel Atom processor. 

And the end-user and modder community following that the Eee PC product line has garnered is something straight out of a business management text book case study.  How a company was able to create such a buzz and following behind a product line is something to observe and a success story that competitors will envy for product launches to come.  For starters, it's obviously safe to say that Asus put plenty of engineering resources behind their Eee PC project and you almost have to wonder, are they done yet?  Not quite.  In the realm of small form-factor, low cost computing, there's another market niche' that, believe it or not, the Eee product line has yet to bring out an offering for -- the low cost desktop. 

Today marks the introduction of the $349 Asus Eee Box but we've had a unit in house for the better part of a month now.  Just what does $349 buy you in terms of capabilities and features, in an absolutely tiny footprint?  You're about to find out.

   

Asus Eee Box B202
Features and Specifications

Processor: Intel Atom N270 (1.6 GHz, FSB 533)

Memory: DDRII-400 512 MB / 1 GB

Storage: 80 GB

Chipset: 945GSE + ICH7M

VGA: On-board Intel GMA 950

Networking: 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN, 802.11n WLAN

SD/MMC/MS slot: SD, SDHC, Mini SD, (Micro SD through adapter) ; MMC, MMC plus, MMC4.x, RS MMC, RSMMC4.x (MMC mobile through adapter);MS,MS PRO

Audio: Azalia ALC888 Audio Chip

Front Ports:
USB x 2
Card Reader x 1
Headphone-out jack (WO/SPDIF) x 1
MIC x 1

Rear Ports:
USB 2.0 x 2
Gigabit LAN x 1
DVI out x 1
Line-Out (L/R) with S/PDIF x 1
WiFi antenna

Accessories:
19Vdc, 4.74A, 65W power adaptor
Mouse
Keyboard
VESA mount
WiFi antenna
Stand

Dimensions: 8.5" x 7" x 1"
Net Weight: 2.2 lbs.
Gross Weight: 6.6 lbs.

OS: Windows XP Home Edition

Bundled Software:  StarOffice and MS Works

Configuration and MSRP:
$349 1GB memory, 80GB HDD, Windows XP


The Asus Eee Box is built around Intel's new Atom N270 processor, and as you can imagine, it just sips power.  We'll have more detail on this later but you'll note that the processor is clocked at a healthy 1.6GHz with a 533MHz FSB.  Our system came configured with 1GB of DDR2-400 system memory, though higher densities, as well as 512MB configurations, will be available too.  The Eee Box is also based on the Intel 945GSE Express mobile chipset with integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics and an ICH7 companion Southbridge I/O controller hub for enabling its SATA, USB and Gig-E LAN connections.  You'll also notice the machine is equipped with Realtek's ALC888 Azalia HD audio CODEC, but does only come with a single stereo audio output jack, though it also offers a combination S/PDIF output to any standard audio amplifier for a wider range of high fidelity stereo output.



 

  

Asus bundles the US configuration of the Eee Box with a USB keyboard and mouse, so the only thing you'll need is a monitor with DVI input, to be up and running, though a standard VGA connection can also be driven with a DVI-to-VGA adapter.  The Eee Box kit comes with a detailed User's Manual, a Quick Start Guide, a warranty card, and a couple of DVDs - one with the System Recovery image and the other a Support CD that contains a number of useful tools for reconfiguring or restoring the Eee Box, including a utility to create a bootable thumb drive with the factory OS image.  In addition to these items, Asus also included a 65W power adapter as well as a Vesa 100 adapter plate that actually allows you to mount the Eee Box on the backside of an LCD screen.
 

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I'm sold, now when is this going to be available? Newegg's got nothing and Amazon has a pre-order price of $349. I can't even find a mention of this thing on Asus's website

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Hi Retro,

Thanks for visiting HH and welcome. I'm sorry to report that $299 was in fact a typo. We've adjusted the pricing to $349, according to current MSRP.

Thanks

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Expected availability is August 11 in the US market.

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Thanks guys. I was waiting to see this. Impressive to say the least. I was surprised to see it did better in things it wasn't really meant to. I think $299 is a more realistic price point. While nothing to brag about, a low end system from a retail outlet would be just $50 more and give you a lot more upgrade options to extend life. Unless of course your primaty reasaon to buy is the power consumtion. (Or lack thereof!)

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my parents are looking for a nice computer in the $400 range. I think your video Davo just sold this one. Thanks man for the great review!

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Yeah I am really loving the video! This pc would make a nice little box for a mom. I'm kinda lusting after it for a little linux box.

 

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It would make a great linux box thats for sure

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