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Asus unveils Celeron-based Eee Box

Switch to a Celeron processor is expected to drop the price of the new Nettop to compete better with low-cost desktops and laptops.

The new Asus Eee Box B203 is powered by the Intel Celeron processor instead of the Intel Atom featured in previous versions. Asus

Asus has beefed up its Eee Box line with the addition of a Celeron-based B203.

As expected, Asus' new Nettop is largely unchanged from the B202, but it features a budget-minded Intel Celeron 220 CPU, instead of the Intel Atom found in earlier versions. Asus also increased the hard-drive options in the new model, offering a 120GB and 160GB version in addition to the 80GB offered in previous versions.

The B203 comes with four USB ports, a flash card reader, a DVI output, and Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity. The Nettop runs Windows XP Home, but Asus recommends Windows Vista.

Pricing wasn't available on Asus' Web site on Sunday night, but the processor change is expected to drop the cost of the Eee Box from $350 to $240, allowing the small form-factor desktop to better compete with similarly low-cost desktops and laptops.