Saturday, December 6th 2008

ASUS Introduces World's Smallest Desktop PCs with HD Capability

ASUS unveiled HD versions of its popular Eee Box—a tiny 1L-sized desktop PC—that it launched in June 2008. With the new Eee Box B204 and B206, users will be able to enjoy viewing hardware-accelerated HD content on LCD TVs, monitors and projectors via an HDMI output—making them ideal for families seeking a simple, space-saving home entertainment solution. The Eee Box B204 and B206 are also preinstalled with Eee Cinema, a full-featured media player that enables users to play high definition content easily. Eee Cinema offers superior format compatibility and extensive media library management options. To help users navigate Eee Cinema’s comprehensive features speedily, both the Eee Box B204 and B206 come with a convenient remote control.

Built-in Video Decoder for High Definition Entertainment
The Eee Box B204 and B206 deliver crisp and fluid high definition pictures straight out of the box. They are equipped with a discrete graphics card that features a high definition hardware video decoder, vastly improving the quality of video and freeing the Eee Box’s processor to tackle other tasks. Ensuring quick and hassle-free connectivity to LCD TVs, monitors, projectors and home theater receivers is an easily-accessible HDMI output on the Eee Box B204 and B206’s rear I/O panel.

Exclusive Remote Control for Easy and Convenient Media Playback
The Eee Box B204 and B206 come with an exclusive remote control that enables users to easily browse, manage and play their media from a distance. The remote control works seamlessly with Eee Cinema, a user-friendly, all-in-one media player that supports all popular music, video and photo formats—transforming the Eee Box B204 and B206 into complete digital home entertainment centers.

The Smallest PCs in the World
A mere 1L in size, the Eee Box B204 and B206 are delightfully sleek. They are as slim as paperback novels, allowing users to reclaim the desk space previously lost to bulkier, more intrusive desktop systems. If necessary, the Eee Box B204 and B206 can even be placed in such a way that does not require an inch of desktop space—they can be mounted to any VESA75/VESA100 LCD display. Given how small and light they are, the Eee Box B204 and B206 can be ported around the house effortlessly, allowing users to enjoy high definition entertainment in whichever room they desire.

Annual Savings of US$156* from Reduced Power Consumption
The Eee Box B204 and B206 are designed and manufactured according to stringent Green ASUS guidelines. They are made with earth-friendly materials and fully comply with RoHS and WEEE. The Eee Box B204 and B206 also consume only around 20 watts of power, reducing the user’s carbon footprint by up to 90% as compared to full-sized desktop PCs**. Eee Box B204 and B206 users will benefit on the monetary front as well; those who leave their computers on 24 hours a day stand to save approximately US$156 a year*.

Packed with Uncompromising Features
Belying their small size, the Eee Box B204 and B206 are packed with a wealth of outstanding features. They support the latest Wi-Fi 802.11n wireless standard, providing up to eight times faster speeds than the previous 802.11b/g wireless standard. In addition, the Eee Box B204 features Bluetooth for quick and hassle-free connectivity to other Bluetooth devices. Both models also come with 10GB of online Eee Storage, allowing users to access their documents and media no matter where they are. Furthermore, they feature an exclusive Easy Mode within Windows that provides users with convenient access to commonly-used applications via an incredibly intuitive interface. Adding to their ease of use is Eee Bar, a fully-configurable application bar on the Windows desktop that allows users to launch programs with a click.

Another innovation present in the Eee Box B204 and B206 is ASUS Tranquiller Technology that integrates an optimized system air flow design, intelligent fan speed control and a unique heat dissipation material in order to allow them to operate coolly at an extremely quiet 26 dB*** for comfortable home computing. Moreover, the Eee Box B204 has a built-in battery that performs an Uninterruptible Power Supply (U.P.S.) function, enabling it to stay running for a period of time when main power is lost.

* According to www.taipower.com.tw. Actual savings will differ from region to region.
** Full-sized desktop PCs consume approximately 200W ~ 300W of power.
*** In idle mode. As a point of reference, the Eee Box B204 and B206 run at 26dB, virtually as quiet as unoccupied broadcast studios (20dB).

Source: ASUS
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16 Comments on ASUS Introduces World's Smallest Desktop PCs with HD Capability

#2
lemonadesoda
Cubic volume, 1 litre

ie. 10cm x 10cm x 10cm or

20cm x 10 cm x 5 cm or

20cm x 20cm x 2.5cm or

a large bottle of beer

... you get the idea

***

You know, I'm actually thinking about one of these things as a (home) webserver/media server (low client count). Yes, the HDD isnt huge, but more than enough for small webhosting requirements, plus, as a mediaserver, you can add a NAS or USB drive for extra storage.
Posted on Reply
#3
Mussels
Moderprator
well, the problem with it is that they dont say what optical drive it has. without a BD rom, its kinda useless as video card acceleration DOES NOT work on files - only disks.

edit: oh and the atom 1.6GHz cant do H264 smoothly via software acceleration. it struggles at 720P, and 1080P is a no no no.

That said, they'd make a great non-HD media box, and they'd be awesome for a net PC.
Posted on Reply
#4
twicksisted
Mussels said:
well, the problem with it is that they dont say what optical drive it has. without a BD rom, its kinda useless as video card acceleration DOES NOT work on files - only disks.

edit: oh and the atom 1.6GHz cant do H264 smoothly via software acceleration. it struggles at 720P, and 1080P is a no no no.

That said, they'd make a great non-HD media box, and they'd be awesome for a net PC.
out of interest... if you ran the file of a virtual disk... would it work that way... (apologies for going off topic)
Posted on Reply
#5
theJesus
Darn you Mussels! I was all excited and giddy about this and then you had to come and rain on my parade :(
Posted on Reply
#6
Weer
Mussels said:

edit: oh and the atom 1.6GHz cant do H264 smoothly via software acceleration. it struggles at 720P, and 1080P is a no no no.
Well, what do you expect out of a single-core 1.6Ghz CPU? My E2200 can only run one instance of 1080p video.

Besides, what's the point of it being the smallest PC in the world if it has a price tag of a considerably large computer, with the add-on of the Blue-ray player.

I say we wait for the N-300 dual-core Atom series, ready next Summer. That's what I'm doing. And anyone buying an Eee PC should do the same.
Posted on Reply
#7
tkpenalty
Anyway apart from the non-existent feature (i.e. ability to play HD files properly), this SHOULD be the fastest nettop lol.
Posted on Reply
#8
Mussels
Moderprator
twicksisted said:
out of interest... if you ran the file of a virtual disk... would it work that way... (apologies for going off topic)
if it was an ISO image of the file, yes. if its had its file structure/file type changed, then no.
Posted on Reply
#9
Rexter
Well you guys seem to miss a point. But that is understandable since that pressrelease doesnt tell sh*t.
It has a radeon 3450 strapped to its back, that is why it can suddenly use hardware decoding.
Posted on Reply
#10
Mussels
Moderprator
Rexter said:
Well you guys seem to miss a point. But that is understandable since that pressrelease doesnt tell sh*t.
It has a radeon 3450 strapped to its back, that is why it can suddenly use hardware decoding.
except that the decoding only works on a BD-ROM drive. which the unit doesnt have.
Posted on Reply
#11
Rexter
Mussels said:
except that the decoding only works on a BD-ROM drive. which the unit doesnt have.
Well cant the 3450 decode mpeg2 as well? Most divx/xvid etc. codecs can use hardware acceleration. Not to mention the drivers for the card itself can do some encoding magic.
Posted on Reply
#12
Mussels
Moderprator
Rexter said:
Well cant the 3450 decode mpeg2 as well? Most divx/xvid etc. codecs can use hardware acceleration. Not to mention the drivers for the card itself can do some encoding magic.
mpeg 2 is not HD. the CPU was already capable of that.

No the drivers can not do any magic. I have ATI and Nv cards here, and it most certainly doesnt help either.
Posted on Reply
#13
Wile E
Power User
Mussels said:
except that the decoding only works on a BD-ROM drive. which the unit doesnt have.
No. Some decoders will use gfx acceleration on normal files.
Posted on Reply
#14
Mussels
Moderprator
Wile E said:
No. Some decoders will use gfx acceleration on normal files.
well my HD3200, my 8800GTX, my 8800GT, and my intel GMA 3100 dont do it. I get better performance from coreAVC than any other codec/playback, even ones that claim to be hardware accelerated.
Posted on Reply
#15
Rexter
Mussels said:
well my HD3200, my 8800GTX, my 8800GT, and my intel GMA 3100 dont do it. I get better performance from coreAVC than any other codec/playback, even ones that claim to be hardware accelerated.
Sounds odd? I can switch it on and off as i please, even enhance the picture quality if i want to. And my computer can easily show several 1080p movies at once (know its not necessary) when hardware accelaration turned on.
Posted on Reply
#16
Mussels
Moderprator
Rexter said:
Sounds odd? I can switch it on and off as i please, even enhance the picture quality if i want to. And my computer can easily show several 1080p movies at once (know its not necessary) when hardware accelaration turned on.
admittedly my ATI card is only a 3 series, but please PM me with details on where this hardware acceleration setting is, and what software you use.
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