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Asus Eee desktop unveiled – only with XP

Asus has announced the final specifications for the first Eee Box desktop version of its popular Eee PC subnotebook — and it will include Windows XP, which has now been given a reprieve on some desktops, as well as Eee PC-type notebooks.
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Written by David Meyer on

Asus has announced the final specifications for the first Eee Box desktop version of its popular Eee PC subnotebook — and it will include Windows XP, which has now been given a reprieve on some desktops, as well as Eee PC-type notebooks.

The Eee Monitor looks like an alternative to Apple's all-in-one iMac.

Like the latest Eee PCs, the Eee Box will use Intel's 1.6GHz Atom chipset. It will also have a gigabyte of RAM, an 80GB hard drive and 802.11n Wi-Fi — all of which are specs that also apply to the XP version of Asus' soon-to-be-released Eee 1000 subnotebook.

The Eee Box also serves as a reminder of Microsoft's latest concession regarding the extended availability of Windows XP. The cut-off date for sales of the operating system was 30 June, after which customers are supposed to buy Vista instead, but Microsoft recently decided to let XP be sold on 'netbooks' — low-cost, relatively low-specified subnotebooks, like the Eee PC. This is largely because such devices cannot successfully run the more resource-hungry Vista.

In June, however, Microsoft quietly announced that it was extending this strategy to 'nettops', like the Eee Box, which is why the machine will be available with XP in August.

Unlike previous iterations in Asus's Eee range, the Eee Box will not initially be made available in a Linux flavour, although the manufacturer's spokesperson told ZDNet.com.au sister site ZDNet.co.uk that such a version would follow the XP version at some point.

However, the Eee Box will utilise Asus's Express Gate technology, which is a Linux-based operating system of sorts that is embedded into the motherboard itself. This is meant to make the machine 'instant-on', providing a quick start-up alternative to users who may want to just browse the internet rather than fire up the full operating system. Therefore, the Eee Box will, in effect, come with both XP and Linux.

As yet, there is no launch date for Australia, according to an Asus spokesperson.

Images, believed to have been leaked from within Asus, are available on the French site Blogeee.net of Asus's upcoming all-in-one PC and display the Eee Monitor, the components of which are likely similar to those inside the Eee Box.

The photographs show at least six USB ports on the machine, alongside standard ports like Ethernet, line-in and line-out. A webcam is integrated, as are an SDHC slot and LEDs to show Wi-Fi and disk activity. Interestingly, the PC appears to have integrated Denon speakers.

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