Asus EeeBox EB1033 review: Asus EeeBox EB1033

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Pricing Unavailable
Reviewed:
Updated:

The Good Can be mounted behind your TV. More powerful than a network media player. Up to 500GB capacity. Very affordable.

The Bad No TV tuner. No optical drive. Weak performance compared to other HTPCs. Lack of A/V outputs.

The Bottom Line The EeeBox is a versatile, if slightly underpowered, HTPC solution on a very tight budget.

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The EeeBox is not your ordinary HTPC. The size of a small novel, this tiny computer comes with a custom bracket that can be mounted directly behind a computer monitor. At just 29mm thick, this is perfect for those living in a very small apartment with a minimum of desk space, yet it still packs a decent amount of punch for basic digital video duties.

Powering this little box is Intel's recent low-power Atom processor, the D2550. Extremely energy efficient, it also throws out a minimum of heat, allowing for an extremely quiet cooling system. It's only packing two cores running at 1.86GHz, which makes it a bit of a lightweight compared to other HTPCs, as can be seen in our Cinebench CPU test results below. Having said that, there's oodles more performance here than a network media player, and this can be put to good use transcoding your media files. To test its media-changing mettle, we used the x264 HD benchmark. While it did the job, there's probably not enough horsepower here to do media transcoding on the fly to a streaming device.

Cinebench CPU benchmark (fps)

  • 5.84
    Scorptech Intel HTPC
  • 5.3
    Enspire Digital AVR-500
  • 3.92
    Scorptech AMD HTPC
  • 2.95
    ODE AMD Home Media Center
  • 0.63
    Asus EeeBox

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

However, when combined with the Nvidia GeForce 610M graphics processor, this little box is plenty powerful enough to run a single HD movie stream without any stuttering or slowing down. In fact, according to Nvidia, the GPU can even run the newer 3D HD formats without any dramas. While a single VGA output is included, we imagine most home users will utilise the single HDMI output to drive their TV and speakers. Unfortunately, older amplifiers and TVs that require S/PDIF or component output will be out of luck, as the EeeBox supports neither.

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Where to Buy

Asus EeeBox EB1033

Part Number: CNETAsus EeeBox EB1033

Typical Price: $499.00

See manufacturer website for availability.