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Linux Business Hardware

Asus Set To Release Desktop Eee PC Variant 171

Posted by kdawson
from the eight-days dept.
the_leander writes "The Register has pictures of the desktop version of Asus's Eee PC, reportedly called the 'Ebox.' It will be released early next month after it has been unveiled publicly at Computex in Taipei on June 3. It'll come equipped with the same Xandros Linux distribution as the Eee, though it's likely that Windows XP will be available also. But given the probable choice for CPU, Atom, ithe Ebox is unlikely to allow for the use of Vista, unless you're something of a masochist. It's expected to retail for $200-$300."
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Asus Set To Release Desktop Eee PC Variant

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  • Looks cool (Score:4, Funny)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @03:07AM (#23552833)
    I like the looks of it, but where is the floppy drive?
    • by Profane MuthaFucka (574406) <busheatskok@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @03:11AM (#23552873) Homepage Journal
      Come on, BadAnalogyGuy!

      The floppy drive on this machine is like the main character in Beckett's famous novel "Waiting for Godot" in which Godot never shows up, probably because Beckett was so drunk he forgot to write that part.
  • by ChowRiit (939581) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @03:12AM (#23552877)
    Is it just me, or does it seem somewhat odd to make a low budget PC quite so flash and stylish? Surely, if you're trying to get sales by having THE cheapest machine on the market, then perhaps people might not care how it looks so much as how much it costs?

    I would have thought you could shave at least $50 off the price if you built it in a really boring, plain case, without silly stands or LED buttons...
    • by Profane MuthaFucka (574406) <busheatskok@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @03:15AM (#23552893) Homepage Journal
      Pretty is just as cheap to mass produce as ugly. GM should take a lesson.
      • by Kjella (173770)
        If people have one definition of "pretty". Multiple designs cost quite a bit if you run different product lines with different stocks, unless it's really simple like snap-on covers. There's a reason the beige box was fairly popular, it's the most inoffensive box possible. What some consider flashy and cool like neon and blinking lights others think is cheesy and about as classy as a cheap strip joint. Even Jobs caved in and offered a black MacBook and colored iPods for those that really, really hate white.
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      It's just plastic
    • by dominique_cimafranca (978645) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @03:56AM (#23553083) Homepage

      People won't just buy it for its price or features, they'll also buy it for the wow factor. If the production cost difference is minimal, why not go the extra distance?

      Where I am, the EeePC is outselling other competitors (Classmate, Astone UMPC) precisely because of that. Sure, it's pricier, but you won't get embarrassed whipping it out in a café.

      Looks like the EBox was designed to look like a Wii.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zakezuke (229119)

      I would have thought you could shave at least $50 off the price if you built it in a really boring, plain case, without silly stands or LED buttons...

      I don't know what it costs to manufacture PC cases. I would guess $10 to $15 for a cheap one with a power supply. While you can get away with some cheap sheet metal, there are those folds for the card cage. This thing looks like you can mass produce it in a mold without those pesky inside folds or rivets. I mean it looks nice, but I'm thinking the price mark would be similar to that of a regular PC case.

      Also, I think also tried their hand at beige box PCs. I had a couple of hand me downs which were no

    • It's a white plastic box on a stalk. The desktop stand is the first thing to go into the trash. What's stylish about it?
    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      You need a specifically designed case. Making it stylish isn't really more complicated or costly than to make a boring one. A power status LED is something I would consider unavoidable, and it costs less than a dollar.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rogerborg (306625)

      I would have thought you could shave at least $50 off the price if you built it in a really boring, plain case, without silly stands or LED buttons...

      Why would you think that? Silly stands and LEDs cost pennies, not $50 per unit. It costs money for someone to produce the design, but that's a fixed cost, not per unit, and since they just cloned a Wii (and their previous design cloned the Acer Veriton, which was itself a bloated Mac Mini), that's not such a huge expense either.

      And even if they could sha

    • Remember the Mac Mini ?

      The first branded computer to bring awareness of small-form factors to the masses ?
      It was also marketed as cheap way to upgrade one's desktop, and it wasn't specially ugly either.

      Asus is trying to market PCs as commodity technology, as appliance.
      And it's usually the nice design which makes a cheap appliance attractive rather than the power under the hood.
  • by penguin king (673171) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @03:22AM (#23552923)

    "The Register has pictures of the desktop version of Asus's Eee PC, reportedly called the 'Ebox.' It will be released early next month after it has been unveiled publicly at Computex in Taipei on June 3. It'll come equipped with the same Xandros Linux distribution as the Eee, though it's likely that Windows XP will be available also. But given the probable choice for CPU, Atom, ithe Ebox is unlikely to allow for the use of Vista, unless you're something of a masochist. It's expected to retail for $200-$300."


    I really do.... I feel the karma drain
    • by the_leander (759904) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @04:43AM (#23553291) Journal
      Not my fault, honest!

      Seriously though, I'd put in a link to the inquirer as well (they had larger pictures of this device), which was removed and had forgotten to add the price. This was my first ever submission to Slashdot so I had actually run a spell check. What I submitted was error free.

      Thank you editors. I really did need the pedant hoards blasting me for this...
  • Mythfrontend box (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @03:22AM (#23552929) Homepage
    That's what I thought when I saw it. Sweet deal.
    • by batkiwi (137781)
      An xbox 1 would be more capable.

      It likely won't be able to upscale SD let alone play anything HD.

      A popcorn hour is cheaper and more capable as a front end...
    • by tji (74570)
      Yes, I thought the same thing. The obvious question is about the CPU power and capability to play HD content.

      Other things I've read about the Atom processor mention speeds in the realm of 1.6GHz. Depending on the type of core, this may be enough, but probably not.

      Dual core Atom processors have also been announced, but the low cost Asus box will probably not have that.

      The other factor is the GPU. If it used one of the newer Intel integrated GPUs, there would be a chance of using XvMC or possibly VAAPI to
  • Wow... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RuBLed (995686) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @03:32AM (#23552983)
    It's like a portable desktop...

    Seriously, if it is slim and small enough I can clearly think of several nice uses. It's a perfect living room pc, a kitchen computer ( I dont want my mom to get my laptop dirty when browsing recipes ), a car pc (someone would definitely do this), what else.. ohhh.. and a beowulf cluster, imagine a server rack of these..
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zakezuke (229119)

      Seriously, if it is slim and small enough I can clearly think of several nice uses. It's a perfect living room pc, a kitchen computer ( I dont want my mom to get my laptop dirty when browsing recipes ), a car pc (someone would definitely do this), what else.. ohhh.. and a beowulf cluster, imagine a server rack of these..
      Why not a laptop?
  • by jkrise (535370) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @03:47AM (#23553045) Journal
    People buy desktops for connecting to backend office infrastructure, and sad to say, the Windows-Office lockin still rules in this space. Skype and other stuff like Image manipulation might make sense in the Home Linux market, but there are already plenty cheap hardware out there that can run Linux for under $200. The gBox for one.

    So Asus will find it very hard to push these desktops unless they race to the bottom. Which might rule out Windows XP as well.
    • People buy desktops for connecting to backend office infrastructure

      Some (meaning relatively few) people buy desktops for that. Probably many of the people you work with. I know how to connect to my office's Exchange server and VPN, but I don't do it from my home desktop (occasionally with my laptop from work, but I rarely even do that). Most home users, however, buy desktops for sending e-mails, browsing YouTube, MySpace/Facebook and the blogs of friends and families, playing games, and for their kids to do their homework on. Most people out there don't know about Ex

  • ...It'll come in windows and linux flavours, but the linux one will have half the ram and hdd capacity as the windows version and cost a twice as much due to 'lesser availability'.

    Actually MSI is making the linux version of its 'Wind' notebook [gizmodo.com] with 50% less RAM, 50% less battery and taking away bluetooth!

    Needless to say, many are miffed that they would have an unwanted software charge attached just to get the more capable hardware!
    • actually (Score:5, Informative)

      by nguy (1207026) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @04:34AM (#23553253)
      ...It'll come in windows and linux flavours, but the linux one will have half the ram and hdd capacity as the windows version and cost a twice as much due to 'lesser availability'.

      Actually, for the announced configurations, the Eee 900 with Linux will have 20G flash (instead of 12G) and be slightly more expensive as a result. A fair tradeoff.

      For the HP 2133, the Linux versions are consistently cheaper than the equivalent Windows versions.

      So, direct your anger elsewhere. These mini laptops have been good for Linux.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by lbbros (900904)
        I believe the OP is referring to the situation in Australia, where the Eee 900 with Linux will cost more than the Windows version.
        • True, and that sucks... but it's still got superior hardware with 20GiB of flash instead of 12GiB on the Windows version. So apparently the cost of Windows XP licenses in Australia (or MS's other incentives) are not enough to offset the 8GiB extra flash. Either that or, more likely, Asus is just profiteering on the basis that Linux users are more likely to be relatively wealthy educated techies.

          No word on if the batteries are any different between the two models; I noticed an article linked off TFA which me
        • by deniable (76198)
          In Australia, the Windows version is advertised at $599. The Linux version (with 20GB drive) is $650. The OP said double the price.
      • by vidarh (309115)
        In the UK the Eee 900 is offered at exactly the same price with Linux and Windows by at least some retailers, but still with the 8GB difference in amount of flash.

  • Wouldn't it be better for Asus to release low cost motherboard designed for Small Form Factor case like the Mac Mini. The motherboard would then have slots for DDR2 memory. Then come out with new SSD hard drive that can fit into a slot specially designed for the Asus motherboard and replaceable when it goes bad in 2-4 years.

    In other note, the style of the case is beautiful. It would be nice if it would have Fast Wifi/Ethernet and HDMI/Composite Video out. Then use VideoLAN to stream video from desk
    • by nguy (1207026)
      There are already plenty of small, low-cost motherboards around. But who wants to bother with them? And other companies just aren't picking them up enough.
  • by zakezuke (229119) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @04:17AM (#23553175)
    Before I go into monologue mode, it looks like Dell already has something in the ultra slim ultra cheap arena. Dell EPP Inspiron 530S starts under $400, ok not as cheap as the Asus solution, but still.

    I do see a need for an Asus EEE laptop. Something ultra cheap that you can kick around, get some work done on it, but not be too worried if it gets lost or stolen. I see slightly less of a need for an Asus EEE desktop. The market is pretty flooded with desktops, so much so that getting something in the Socket A to 939 class for $200-$300 on closeout is very possible. While duel core is all the rage, the last time I checked new egg a 4000+ single core 939 was well under $50, and that is nothing to sneeze at. A 2000mhz socket A system does the job for most people IMHO.

    So the real question is this... do I want a trimmed down might as well be a laptop desktop, or do I want an older machine that might out perform it. There are no facts or specs to backup this assertion, it's just been my experience that new ultra cheap has often been outclassed by 3 year old goods.

    • if this is based on the EEE then there are a few good points it might have inherited.

      noise - the EEE is nearly silent in use.
      power consumption the EEE uses only 22 watts tops.
      how does that compare with your old desktop system?

      pulling figures out the air lets say your desktop uses 250 watts and this uses 25 then thats 6 kw a day against .6kw or 2,190 kw a year against 219 a year using a figure like 10cents a kilowatt then your desktop has cost you $219 dollars and the eee desktop $21.90 close to $200 a year
      • by zakezuke (229119)

        noise - the EEE is nearly silent in use.
        power consumption the EEE uses only 22 watts tops.
        how does that compare with your old desktop system?

        Valid point. To be fair I never measured it, but it's safe to presume above 150watts.

        However.. for the $200-$300 bracket, you can get a used laptop.
        HP compaq 6720s Compaq Presario v2000s are just two examples I found in seattle.craigslist.org.

        It could be a good mythtv frontend, music server. it has the wife acceptance factor built in.

        You know it could be, presuming it has some sort of expansion slots on it.

    • it's just been my experience that new ultra cheap has often been outclassed by 3 year old goods.
      Even in electric power consumption?
    • by Eil (82413)
      I have to disagree. I think there is a market for this sort of thing because I am in that market. I set up lots of computers for friends and family and this Asus thing is exactly what I'd get for them. Their needs are usually rather simple and they don't want a huge mid-tower taking up their desk. A Mac Mini would be perfect, except that it starts out at $600 before taxes and shipping. Plus a good percentage of that price is probably OS X which most of my family has no intention of using. (Either they alrea
      • by zakezuke (229119)

        I have to disagree. I think there is a market for this sort of thing because I am in that market. I set up lots of computers for friends and family and this Asus thing is exactly what I'd get for them.

        I'm willing to be totally wrong on the subject. For size and power consumption, you have laptops. The real question I have is how does this thing perform in contrast to laptops in the 2000+mhz class.

        What I'd hope for personally is some standardization of laptop motherboards and screens based on this. One of my biggest complaints about buying into a laptop is the fact that the boards and screens are rather proprietary. If you lose a screen or a system board, you are stuck having to buy an old part at ne

  • I keep reading here 'you get the same as regular PC for the same money with more power'.
    WTF?

    No, you don't. This thing is the size of a friggin' external HDD! It probably consumes less than a third of the power of a regular desktop and - optical media, hardcore gaming and CAD aside - can do everything a bulky box can do. And a gaming rigg or CAD machine costs a 4-digit sum anyway and serves a totally different market.

    About half a year ago I replaced my large linux tower with the first ATX casing ever (an Inw
    • by argent (18001)
      Funny, I have the opposite experience with my Mac mini. The small size is cute, but the fact that it's completely unexpandable (don't talk to me about external drives, I've got that too) means that less than a year after I bought it, it was having trouble with some software... I'd have replaced the ancient video card in it but, look, there's no option for that!

      And this wasn't "high end gaming", this was *Flash web plugins*.

      To add insult to injury, making it that small meant they had to cripple the USB bus t
      • I have to agree - you have tradeoffs with the Mac Mini.

        First of all, if you load up all four USB ports, it non-longer looks graceful; it looks like a spider spewing web over my desk.

        Second, I have to agree on the lack of expandability and low-power USB: I've had to add an external USB hard drive to get the capacity I crave, and I've had to add a USB powered hub in order for the Mini to recognize my USB laser printer. I don't even TRY gaming on it, because I know how that will end up.

        Reality: the Mini is a
        • by argent (18001)
          At least the ASUS machine is probably not going to end up a ~$300 box selling for $600. :)
  • These mini style PCs are great. Quiet, cheap, low power etc. But one if it can't play MKV files then they are hard to use as media center devices.

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