Word got out a little early this morning regarding Asus's small Eee Box, so we can share what we saw in a preview in our offices a few weeks back. The small, Wii-looking PC will hit the U.S. via online retailers (and perhaps a few specialty brick-and-mortar shops) later this year.
The listed dimensions of the unit are 8.5-inches high, 1-inch wide, and 7-inches deep, standing upright on its included stand. It can also lie down flat.
Official specs are as follows:
- Operating system: Linux System/ Hardware Compatible with Windows XP
- CPU: Intel Atom N270 (1.6 GHz, FSB 533)
- Memory: 1 GB / 2 GB DDR2
- Hard drive: 80GB / 160GB 5,400 rpm
- Chipset: Intel 945GSE + ICH7M
- Integrated graphics chip: Intel GMA 950
- Networking: 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN, 802.11n WLAN, Bluetooth optional
- Media card reader supporting: SD, SDHC, Mini SD, (Micro SD through adapter) ; MMC, MMC plus, MMC4.x, RS MMC, RSMMC4.x (MMC mobile through adapter);MS,MS PRO
For its rear ports you get two USB 2.0, one Gigabit LAN, a DVI output, left and right audio line out with S/PDIF, and an input for a WiFi antenna. There is no optical drive, but the Eee Box does feature a user removable hard drive to simplify upgrades and repairs.
Asus is selling a variety of other Eee Box configurations around the world, but it will have three available in the U.S. One for $269 comes with 1GB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and an unspecified version of Linux. Another Linux-based model comes with 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive for $299. Finally, a Windows XP-based version with 1GB or RAM and an 80GB hard drive will sell for $299.
When it comes out later this summer, the Eee Box will complement Asus' much-talked about Eee PC laptops, and it will compete directly with Shuttle's KPC K-4500 Linux desktop. While none of those systems are exactly mainstream, they're all known for low prices and a surprising amount of features for the dollar.