Friday, February 26, 2010

Asus EEEBox B202

I have to blog about this awesome machine. There are a bunch of factors that together add glory to this box. There is nothing extra-ordinary about this configuration, but the key factors are the form-factor, power consumption and the price (now).

Any web search would get you this configuration, but still here it is:

* CPU Intel Atom N270 with Hyperthreading
* Memory 1GB
* 160 GB SATA 2.5" HDD
* Integrated graphics with DVI output
* LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps
* Wireless WLAN: 802.11 b/g/n
* Card Reader SD/SDHC/MS/MS Pro/MMC
* Audio chip Realtek ALC662 Azalia CODEC
* Front I/O port USB x 2, Card Reader x 1, Headphone-out jack (WO/SPDIF) x 1, MIC x 1
* Rear I/O port USB x 2, GigaLan x 1, Line-Out (L/R) with S/PDIF x 1

Doesn't sound great? Read more:

Now, all this with a maximum power consumption of just 20W (did you read maximum?). This is awesome, and fits very well for a dedicated server that doesn't need a terminal. It consumes only around 1 unit (kwh) per 2 days while running for 24 hours at full load. And it's ultra silent.

Next, is the form-factor. Its sleek, neatly finished and its dimension is 22.2 * 17.8 * 2.69 cm and weighs just a kg. You just need to see it to believe it, so see it:

Now the price!! I should mention that B202 isn't a recent invention from Asus, but has been here in India for more than a year now. But the prices weren't attractive then (I guess the launch price was around 18K!!). Now one can buy B202 for as low as 10K on ebay India (I bought for 9K with a 10% discount paypal gift voucher). I believe the reason for this price reduction is likely that Asus is clearing off its inventory and is all ramped up for the next models; B206 etc., B206 has HDMI support, but I couldn't get it online in India. I originally wanted to assemble a low end machine with Atom N270 but when saw B202's price, I didn't think again.

If you are gamer, this isn't for you!! The graphics controller is the integrated graphics controller and is not that powerful. But it is more than decent for normal desktop applications at full HD resolution and video usage at half HD. It drives my LG 32" LCD TV at full HD resolution (1920x1080) without issues via DVI (mind you, I'm NOT talking about full HD "videos"). I was told that this struggles playing full HD videos -- I haven't tried. But it plays half-HD without issues, I'm ok with this. Getting a full HD video itself is a bigger pain, so I don't bother. Look at the full HD resolution on my TV:

One funny thing worth mentioning: Asus distributes the drivers in a CD for a comp that doesn't have a CD drive :) Not to blame them, there is no such cheap media available. So, you might have to do some initial gimmicks before you can start using it (yes, the BIOS does support boot from USB).

So all setup, eeebox is running, I see the desktop; what do you do now? There are bunch of things for which I use my eeebox. It's worth discussing how technology helps. Stay tuned...


  1. may i ask u question related to electronics ? w8ting 4ur +ve rply !

  2. I'm not an electronics engineer, but you can ask. Will answer if I know from my limited experience.

  3. well m reading ur blog since from the plasma os,geocities, nd i m sure. u knw abt um66 ic. this ic generates melody. but d melodies are pre programmed. do u knw ny other ic in which we can store our own melody (pic).

  4. I've never used this IC, but just checked the datasheets to know what it is. Pretty basic one.

    I'm not aware of any such ICs to store our own melodies. However, it doesn't sound difficult to build one better than this, using any simple programmable micro controller with your custom melodies.

  5. I like this blog, because this is so much about your passion to uncover and discover new stuff. :-) Though I might not get on to this one soon, you haven't failed to inspire me yet again. :-D