Print 41 comment(s) - last by joos2000.. on Apr 28 at 2:58 AM

ASUS EeeBox B208
EeeBox B208 may be the ideal small form factory HTPC

The netbook ushered in the era of low coast ultra-portable notebooks for the masses and many consumers have jumped on the bandwagon. After the massive sales that netbooks were able to generate, manufacturers like ASUS starting putting the cheap netbook hardware inside machines meant for the desktop in an effort to create small form factor systems for desktop users.

While the nettop systems haven't proved to be that popular with consumers, one place where a properly configured nettop could do very well is as an HTPC. The catch is that a HTPC connected to a big screen is typically expected to output HD video. ASUS is set to launch a new EeeBox PC B208 coming in June that will not only offer HD capability, but will feature discrete graphics and HDMI-out reports Engadget.

ASUS offers some specs for the B208 on its website and the device is similar to the other EeeBox nettops with HD capability DailyTech covered in December 2008. The B208 runs an Intel Atom 330 CPU and offers 2GB of RAM. With 2GB of RAM, the machine uses Windows Vista Home Basic rather than Windows XP. Storage for the machine ranges from 160GB to 320GB and graphics are via ATI Radeon HD 4530. Wi-Fi is integrated along with a memory card reader and Bluetooth. Outputs include HDMI and DVI-D with an adapter. The little HTPC also features S/PDIF out.

ASUS ships the machine with a multimedia remote control for operation for the comfort of the couch. The power supply for the machine is a 36-watt unit and ASUS claims that the computer emits only 26dB of sound.

Engadget expects the machine to retail for around $500.

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RE: Well...
By afkrotch on 4/23/2009 12:08:11 PM , Rating: 5
It's a nice small package, but ya, that price is a bit high. At $300, I'd be on it.

RE: Well...
By therealnickdanger on 4/23/2009 1:44:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, $300 seems appropriate. I just built a mini-ITX Atom 330 Windows Home Server with 2GB RAM andTB RAID-1 for under $300.

I'm very curious about the Radeon 4530 inside. PCIe1x? PCIe4x? PCIe16x? PCI? MXM? So far, Atom (desktop) has only had access to PCI slots, so this makes me hopeful we'll see more PCIe Atom products. Atom would be a lot more appealing if its motherboards had PCIe, I would have more places to use my old graphics cards.

RE: Well...
By elpresidente2075 on 4/23/2009 8:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
So far, Atom (desktop) has only had access to PCI slots

This isn't quite true:

I own two, and that is definitely a PCI-e port

RE: Well...
By TomZ on 4/23/2009 8:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
I figured the OP meant PCIe, since PCI is obsolete now.

RE: Well...
By therealnickdanger on 4/24/2009 11:09:59 AM , Rating: 2
Yes. PCIe = PCI-Express

Sadly, while there are a couple PCIe x1 graphics cards on the market, they suck. Atom boards without a useable, fullsize PCIe slot really limit options for HTPC use, in my opinion.

RE: Well...
By Chadder007 on 4/23/2009 10:24:04 PM , Rating: 3
Definately way too high at $500. The Dell Mini can be found cheaper and with a Core 2 Duo at some places. (Best Buy had a sale on them for $399 for a few weeks.)

RE: Well...
By joos2000 on 4/28/2009 2:58:13 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, that seems like a better price point for a machine like this. Personally, at 500 dollars I don't see the appeal at all; a Dell would make a better and computer and a PS3 would make a better Front End media box.

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