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CNET First Look
Asus EssentioThe Asus Essentio is perhaps the best conceived of the recent round of living-room-friendly slim tower desktops. It's just powerful enough, and it comes with the right mix of features to allow it to do what living room PCs do best, without overreaching.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:04 >> Justin: Hey, it's Justin Yu, Assistant Editor for CNET.com and this is the Asus Essentio Slim Tower PC. Now we've recently seen a pretty big influx of slim living room Desktop PC's but this Asus is definitely one of our favorites. It's a closed system meaning you can't access or upgrade the internal components and there's even a sticker on the back to warn you from even trying, but the stock components are actually pretty good enough so that you don't even have to. You get a 2 point 2GH Intel Core Duo Processor, 4G of RAM, an integrated video chip, and 640G of storage space. Now, I know that some of you out there will be dissuaded by the closed box system and how it'll affect long-term usability but let's take a look at the features before you shut it down. First of all, the computer really does have all the connection you need to make it a full-fledged home entertainment PC. It's got HDMI video ports and VGA video outputs on the back to accommodate a wide variety of monitors or HD TV's and the high capacity hard drive can store loads of your MP3's and video files, and it can even connect wirelessly thanks to the built-in 802 dot 11N networking adapter. Now the chassis, as you can see, is almost like an Xbox 360 but definitely with some added extras like 2 USB 2 point 0 ports, a media card reader, 7 point 1 Analog audio jacks, and a S/PDIF input port. The Essentio also comes with this wireless keyboard, mouse, and remote control combo for navigating it through Windows Media Center and other on-screen controls, but, unfortunately, the computer does not have FireWire or external [inaudible] ports. Now, aside from a couple performance missteps we thoroughly enjoyed our time with the Asus Essentio. The attractive case and impressive features are definitely enough to overshadow the lack of expansion options we talked about earlier. So, if you're looking for a PC to compliment your home theatre setup, this Asus is definitely one of our top picks. I'm Justin Yu and this is the Asus Essentio Slim Tower Desktop PC. ^E00:01:56