Taiwanese vendor Asus brought the Netbooks to mainstream with their popular Eee PC, leading the way for other manufacturers to jump into a now crowded category. Following that success, Asus introduced a small-form-factor desktop, the Eee Box, creating a new NetTop category, that so far has failed to take off.
But this could soon change with Asus recent announcement of the new Eee Box B204 and B206 models. The new models are powered with an ATI HD graphics cards that delivers High Definition video through an HDMI port. Asus completes its box Media Center capabilities adding their Eee Cinema software controlled by a remote control, for a complete home theater experience.
The tiny Eee Box can be VESA mounted on the back of a display, it is quiet (26 dB) and consumes only 20 watts of power! An ideal box for a Media Center front-end, to play content from a media library on a back-end Home Media Server (NAS or Desktop), as well as being an ideal device to enjoy Internet TV (Hulu, YouTube, etc) and Amazon Unbox downloads in the living-room.
Asus has not unveiled the price of these new models yet, but if it is close to the $300 of previous Eee Box models, this could be the ultimate box for a PC2TV / HTPC / Media Center solution.
Still to be seen if the 1.6GHz Atom would be capable of any TV recording, but even it is not, the B204 and B206 boxes are still great lightweight front-end solutions.
Specifications from Asus website: