CNET First Look
Asus Eee BoxThe Asus Eee Box is a novelty at best. It can't come close to the same performance and robustness of even the most basic standard budget PC, and a low-end laptop can do everything it can do and more.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hi, I'm Rich Brown, senior editor for CNET.com. Today we're gonna take a look at the Asus Eee Box. This is a tiny little PC. It's a very, very budget priced, low performing, little desktop. The idea is that it's gonna work in sort of a basic web browsing, word processing system, maybe a secondary system or a PC for somebody who's not that comfortable with computers. We don't find it to be the best value, unfortunately. You can get a mid-tower budget PC that's -- will easily outperform this system. And for space savings, we think a laptop is actually a better idea because you don't have to plug it in to anything. Still, we can see it has some appeal for people who maybe are very design minded, who maybe want a little, little tiny system to put next to a television, or those who are really environmentally conscious. The benefit of a system as small as this one is that it requires very little power. It comes with Windows XP, as well as an extra little software layer in front of that, if you just want to get on the Internet. And the very basic hardware on this system prevents you from doing any serious computing. So there's no optical drive in this system, but it does have a few front panel ports that are useful. There's a four in one media card reader, a pair of USB ports, as well at the typical audio inputs for headphone and mike. And around back, you can see that there's a digital audio out, Ethernet networking, a couple of USB ports, DVI output, as well as input for an 802.11 wireless antennae. This system does come with 802.11N; that means it's fast wider bandwidth wireless than you get from many typical Wi-Fi devices. Now, Asus did make this system fairly flexible in terms of how you want to set it up. You can take it off the stand and set it down on its side. There's also one little bit of upgradability here, in that you can slide out a hard drive bay from the bottom. But because all the hardware in the system is laptop-based, and very low end at that, this is really, really a slow little desktop. You can pay roughly the same amount for a mid-tower PC and get three or four times the performance. So again, this is a very limited little system. It does a few things well, but in general we think you'll be better off with other solutions. So I'm Rich Brown, and this is the Asus Eee Box. ^M00:01:55 [ Music ]