Asus Eee Box B202 £234
19th Jan 2009 | 16:20
The Asus Eee Box is a home PC and costs just £234 - a bargain
We find ourselves in the company of Asus' latest tiny computer, the Eee Box, which is aimed specifically at people who, for some deeply personal reason, hate normal-sized things.
Don't be fooled by the size, though – the Eee Box is a fully-functional desktop PC capable of running Windows and connecting to the internet – if nothing more.
The Eee brand has become increasingly synonymous with stylish products, and the Eee Box is no exception. Looking more like an inquisitive Wii than a PC, it's small, light and almost completely silent. Itcan even be attached to the back of a monitor, if you want it to be almost completely invisible.
As with most new Asus products, the Eee Box includes its proprietary SplashTop software.
This handily boots up within seconds of the PC starting, and allows users to browse the internet and use Skype. It's always been a great feature, and it almost does everything you'd want the PC to do, without the usual rigmarole of loading up Windows. Well, almost everything.
The box's performance is exactly what we'd expect to get from a 1.6GHz Atom with 1GB RAM. This isn't a gaming system, but its playback of 720p video files was perfectly acceptable.
One slight disappointment is the lack of resolutions available – we were unable to output to anything more than 1280x800 pixels, a problem that we discovered, originated with the choice of integrated graphics chipset. If you're going to be using this for general internetting on a sub-20-inch monitor it will be fine, but employing it as a media centre with a high-resolution screen is realistically a no-go area.
The Eee Box seems to be equally cursed and blessed by its laptop lineage.
It follows Asus' Eee doctrine of being as easy to use as possible – even a goat in a boat could set this up and the manual is crystal clear. But at the same time it's fundamentally an Eee laptop in wolf's clothing: it's good for browsing and watching videos, but it's not capable of much else.
If you're after a small, stylish but barely functional PC for under 200 notes, the Asus Eee Box is perfect. But if you want a versatile gaming system you'd be much better off opting for a decent Core 2 barebones system, such as Asus' T3 series.