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Asus P5E3 Premium motherboard: Surf without Windows

We've just got our hands on an Asus Splashtop (aka Express Gate) motherboard that lets you surf the Web within 10 seconds of hitting the power button

A few weeks ago we told you about Splashtop -- a technology that lets you surf the Web within 10 seconds of hitting the power button on your laptop. We also told you this technology was available on desktop PCs, but only via motherboards such as the Asus P5E3 Premium.

We've just taken receipt of said motherboard and it's made our lives just a tiny bit more bearable. Splashtop seems to have had a name changed to Express Gate en route to desktops, but it's essentially the same thing -- a Linux-based front end that runs independently of Windows.

The benefit, as we've already explained, is that you can load it up in as little as five seconds. Express Gate lets you surf the Web, use Skype, instant messaging, webmail, Youtube and more -- and you can do all of this even if your operating system is completely borked.

The board is pretty hawt in other areas, too. It'll accept socket 775 CPUs including the new 45nm Intel models, a 1,600MHz front-side bus, up to 8GB of DDR3 1,800 RAM (overclocked), and it even has 802.11n draft wireless.

It doesn't come cheap at £260, but considering it has a feature list as long as some of the things you may find on a 3 phone, it's a pretty good buy. -Rory Reid