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Asus Eee Box a thick white slice of cheap computing heaven

$269.That's the base price of the upcoming Asus Eee Box, a shiny slice of plastic pound cake set to launch in mid-July in the U.
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Written by Andrew Nusca, Former editor on

$269.

That's the base price of the upcoming Asus Eee Box, a shiny slice of plastic pound cake set to launch in mid-July in the U.S. and a bit later for French-speaking Canada (oui, c'est vrai.)

It will run on a 1.6 GHz Atom processor in Windows XP and Linux flavors, both of which are less green than a loaded iPod: $269 for the base 1GB RAM, 80GB storage Linux model and $299 for the XP version. Memory ranges from 512MB to 2GB and storage from 80GB to 250GB, and 802.11n is standard.

As far as I can see, there's no optical drive nor HDMI, but it does have a reasonable number of ports -- perhaps useful as part of a TV-centric setup? Nevertheless, for the price, it's small form factor bliss.

Stats are as follows:

Name and Model: Eee Box B202

OS: Linux System/ Hardware Compatible with Windows XP

Processor: Intel Atom N270 (1.6 GHz, FSB 533)

Memory: DDRII 512 MB / 1 GB / 2 GB (see US configs below)

Storage: 80 GB / 120 GB / 160 GB / 250 GB (see US configs below)

Chipset: 945GSE + ICH7M

VGA: On-board Intel GMA 950, 1600 x 1200 maximum resolution

Networking: 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN, 802.11n WLAN, Bluetooth optional

SD/MMC/MS slot: SD, SDHC, Mini SD, (Micro SD through adapter) ; MMC, MMC plus, MMC4.x, RS MMC, RSMMC4.x (MMC mobile through adapter) ; MS, MS PRO Audio: Azalia ALC888 Audio Chip

Front Ports: USB x 2 Card Reader x 1 Headphone-out jack (WO/SPDIF) x 1 MIC x 1

Rear Ports: USB 2.0 x 2 Gigabit LAN x 1 DVI out x 1 Line-Out (L/R) with S/PDIF x 1 WiFi antenna

Accessories: 19Vdc, 4.74A, 65W power adaptor Mouse (optional) Keyboard (optional) VESA mount (optional) WiFi antenna Stand

Dimensions: 8.5" x 7" x 1" Net Weight: 2.2 lbs. Gross Weight: 6.6 lbs.

US Configurations and MSRP: $269 1GB memory + 80GB HDD Linux edition $299 1GB memory + 80GB HDD XP edition $299 2GB memory + 160GB HDD Linux edition

What do you think? Cheap enough to have as a backup machine or gift to a child, or a Wii-lookalike with nothing under the hood? Tell us in TalkBack.

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