We suspect few people would look into a PC like the Eee Box for day-to-day productivity, and from the massive performance difference above, you can see how we'd point to the Gateway SX2840-01 if application speed is of concern. But even when you consider simple media-oriented tasks like converting audio files, possibly while watching a video file to pass the time, the Eee Box still isn't a very impressive performer for its price. It finishes about 10 minutes ahead of the Dell on our multitasking test, but in more likely situations--such as our standalone iTunes conversion test--it even comes in behind the $199 .
Even though you can't get inside the Eee Box easily, Asus includes a fair amount of connectivity options. You could add a TV tuner via one of its many USB ports, for example. In addition to the HDMI output, you also get a standard VGA jack, as well as an S/PDIF digital audio out jack on the back, and microphone and line-out jacks on the front of the case. Rounding out the Asus' adequate but not remarkable inputs are an eSATA jack on its back and a media card slot on its front.
|Asus Eee Box EB1501||Average watts per hour|
|Raw (annual kWh)||79.68972|
|Energy Star compliant||Yes|
|Annual power consumption cost||$9.04|
Nettop PC power consumption is almost an oxymoron. As with the Acer Aspire Revo and other Nettop's we've seen, the Asus will be almost imperceptible on your power bill. What's probably more interesting is that despite their slow, low power parts, no Nettop has managed to unseat thein terms of power efficiency.
Unlike Asus' other desktops, at least the Eee Box shows up on Asus' support Web site. However, even though the company acknowledges the existence of this system, doesn't mean its support resources for it are worth much. True, you get an industry-standard yearlong parts-and-labor warranty, but the 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT weekday phone support hours are severely lacking, and the maze of online help is useless.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270; 1GB 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics chip; 160GB 5,400rpm Western Digital hard drive
Mac OS X 10.6.2; 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; 2GB 1,066MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400M; 160GB, 7,200rpm Fujitsu hard drive
Asus Eee Box EB1501
Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Atom N330; 2GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 64MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics chip; 200GB 5,400rpm Seagate hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.5GHz AMD Athlon X2 3250e; 3GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) ATI Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics chip; 320GB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.93GHz Intel Core i3-530; 6GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics chip; 1TB, 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive