Asus Eee Top ET1602 review: Asus Eee Top ET1602

We won't belabor the point that the Acer desktop is a far superior computer to the Eee Top, at least in the traditional sense. You get a larger hard drive, four times the system memory, and a significantly faster processor. More important is the idea that you know what you trade for the Asus's touch interface, and its self-contained, more portable design. Anyone defending the Eee Top would be correct to point out that it would be much more difficult to store and use the Acer system on a kitchen counter.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Asus Eee Top ET1602
777 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Asus Eee Top ET1602
769 

Multimedia multitasking (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Gateway MD2614u
1,122 
Asus Eee Top ET1602
3,944 
Asus Eee Box
4,080 

Cinebench
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering Multiple CPUs  
Rendering Single CPU  
Acer Aspire X1700-U3700A
4796 
2575 
eMachines ET1161-07
3343 
1721 
Asus Eee Top ET1602
830 
545 
Asus Eee Box
441 
432 

We find the performance of the Eee Top less damning than we did that of the Eee Box, mostly because, unlike the Eee Box, the Eee Top's semiportability and the touch screen offer some functional benefits over a standard PC. The Eee Box is just small and slow. But keep in mind that the Gateway MD2614u on our charts is a $549 laptop that boasts true portability, if not the touch input. That comparison is a bit less forgiving, winnowing the trade-off to performance versus touch capability and some space savings. The Eee Top is by no means unusable, and you should have little trouble browsing the Web, playing music and even 720p HD movies. But the action of opening and closing programs and switching between them is noticeably slow. On the other hand, you can stash the Eee Top's keyboard and mouse in the carrying handle (which doubles as an input-device storage rack) and it takes up less space on a kitchen counter than most laptops.

Asus includes most of the external features we expect in an all-in-one. You get useful hard buttons for volume control and to manipulate the display power and its brightness. It also has a Web cam, a media card slot, and six USB 2.0 slots between the left side and the rear panel. Audio output is limited to 5.1 analog, which we might consider using given the anemic built-in speakers.

We're sad to learn that Asus has not yet confirmed either the VESA wall-mounting plate, or the wireless mouse and keyboard for the Eee Top. You can always cook up your own solution for either, but with a VESA plate and no input-device wires, it would be easy to mount the Eee Top underneath a kitchen cabinet. As this system is practically designed to serve up recipes with iTunes going in the background, we hope Asus gets those extras to our shores quickly.

Unlike the two-year plan behind its laptops, Asus only backs the Eee Top ET1602 with one year of parts and labor protection. That's average for the desktop market, if not very egalitarian within its own brand. Asus has a variety of support resources on its North American support Web site, although you have to click the "contact us" link on the main site for the U.S. support info, as opposed to the generic support link on Asus.com. Phone support is also limited, as it's not a toll-free call, and the hours only extend from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to p.m. PST.

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:

Acer Aspire X1700-U3700A
64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.4GHz Intel Pentium Dual CPU E2220; 4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) NVIDIA GeForce G100 integrated graphics chip; 6400GB 7,200rpm hard drive.

Asus Eee Box
Windows XP Home SP3; 1.6Ghz Intel Atom N270; 1GB DDR2 SDRAM; 32MB (shared) Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics chip; 80GB, 5,400rpm Seagate hard drive.

Asus Eee Top ET1602
Windows XP Home SP3; 1.6Ghz Intel Atom N270; 1GB DDR2 SDRAM; 32MB (shared) Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics chip; 80GB, 5,400rpm Seagate hard drive.

eMachines ET1161-07
32-bit Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.1GHz AMD Athlon Dual Core Processor 4050e; 3GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE integrated graphics chip; 320GB, 7,200rpm hard drive.

Gateway MD2614u
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core RM-72; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB ATI Moblity Radeon HD 3200; 250GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

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    Where to Buy

    Asus Eee Top ET1602

    Part Number: ETP1602-BK-X0045 Released: Mar 9, 2009
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Release date Mar 9, 2009
    • Graphics Processor Intel GMA 950 Dynamic Video Memory Technology 3.0
    • Color black
    • OS Provided Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    • Monitor Type LCD
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