The Eee Box's sides sport a grid textures that's spoiled only by the profusion of stickers Asus feels it has to apply in addition to the ones Microsoft and Intel's marketing dollars force it to fit. The bottom ten per cent of each side is a grille, partly for cooling but mostly for styling - there are real cooling vents on the top and bottom of the machine.
Typical SCC port array... but with DVI instead of VGA
You can lay the Eee Box flat on its side, though Asus advises against this. Asus bundles a screw-on stand that orients the computer upright and raised slightly at the front, and which gives it a Nintendo Wii-like quality, especially with the white version of the PC. Don't like the stand? Tough luck, because there's a plastic nodule on the bottom that prevents it being mounted upright without the stand. You'd be daft to do so anyway - you'd block the main air vents.
There's also an L-shaped metal plate in the box which screws into the same hole as the stand and allows you to fix the Eee Box to the back of a big telly that supports VESA 75 or VESA 100 mounting.
We tested the black Eee Box, and set next to a similarly hued keyboard and monitor - both office Dells - it looked slick, co-ordinated and ready to appear on the desk of anyone from senior management down, or on a table at home.
We can see a fair few folk sticking it next to a TV. Plug in a wireless keyboard dongle on the back, and hook the Eee up to the screen using DVI or an HDMI adaptor and you've got a smart-but-small media centre system.
Bolt it to the back of your telly
Of course, being so slim, there's no bulky power conversion kit inside the box - or an optical drive for that matter - but the Eee Box's AC brick, while larger than the ones that come with the Eee laptops, isn't big.
Since the Eee Box ships with Windows XP Home Edition, we were able to run PCMark05. During the tests, a fair amount of air was pulled through the Eee's casing but the fans were reasonably quiet. They're certainly not going to interrupt your viewing, or irritate during quiet internet surfing sessions.
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.
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.
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.
There are some pessimistic assumptions about exchange rates in the prices. The way Sterling is shifted against the dollar, there need to be.
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