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ASUS Eee BOX B206 review: Asus Eee Box B206

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The Good Appealing design; relatively low price.

The Bad Poor performance; can't play most high-definition video formats.

The Bottom Line The Asus Eee Box B206 falls between two stools -- it's not powerful enough to take on other media-centre PCs and can't play back high-definition video as well as many of the cheaper media streamers on the market. That said, for undemanding users who aren't into HD video, it's worth a look

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6.5 Overall

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The Asus Eee Box B206, priced at around £310, is essentially a netbook without the screen. Under the bonnet, it uses many of the same components, including an Intel Atom processor. Preloaded with Asus' own media-centre software and with only an HDMI port for video output, the B206 is clearly designed to sit next to your HD Ready living-room TV and feed it your digital photos, videos and music tracks.

Positives
The B206 is seriously small. In fact, it's so small that you can use a special bracket supplied in the box to bolt it onto the back of any display with standard VESA fixings on the rear. This means you can use it to instantly turn any TV or monitor into an all-in-one-style PC.

This feat of miniaturisation has been accomplished through the use of netbook components, including a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor. Asus has also included a decently sized 160GB hard drive and a dedicated ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450 on-board graphics chip to help out the Atom chip with video decoding.

Despite its small size, the B206 is relatively well specified when it comes to connectivity options. There are four USB ports (although one of these is used by the PC's remote-control infrared receiver), an HDMI port, an SD card slot and a stereo audio output that doubles as a digital audio output when used with the small adaptor included in the box. There's also decent wireless support, with both wireless-n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth present.

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