The Ultimate Media Center from Asus

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:

Model B204 B206
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home Microsoft Windows XP Home
CPU Intel Atom N270 (1.6GHz) Intel Atom N270 (1.6GHz)
Chipset Intel Chipset Intel Chipset
Graphics ATI Radeon HD 3400 series with 256MB DDR2 memory ATI Radeon HD 3400 series with 256MB DDR2 memory
DIMM DDR2 SO-DIMM 1GB DDR2 SO-DIMM 1GB
Storage 160GB HDD SATA II 5,400rpm
10GB Eee Storage
160GB HDD SATA II 5,400rpm
10GB Eee Storage
Card Reader SD/SDHC/MS/MS Pro/MMC SD/SDHC/MS/MS Pro/MMC
Bluetooth Yes No
Wireless 802.11n 802.11n
LAN 10/100/1000Mbps 10/100/1000Mbps
Audio Chip Realtek ALC662 Azalia CODEC Realtek ALC662 Azalia CODEC
Rear I/O Giga LAN x 1, USB 2.0 x 4 Giga LAN x 1, USB 2.0 x 4
Video out: HDMI port x1 / DVI-D port (through adapter)
Audio ports x 1 (with S/PDIF out)
Video out: HDMI port x1 / DVI-D port (through adapter)
Audio ports x 1 (with S/PDIF out)
Other Built-in battery that performs a U.P.S. function N/A
Accessories Remote control, stylish stand and 36W adapter Remote control, stylish stand and 36W adapter

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  1. Pingback: Disruption Matters » Blog Archive » The Ultimate STB!

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