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Despite of hype, the Asus Eee Box nettop from Asustek Computer has not turned out to be a massive success, unlike the Eee PC netbooks. In a bid to improve popularity of the Eee Box, the firm unveiled new versions of the product with discrete graphics chip as well as HDMI support. Moreover, there are Eee Box solutions incoming with more advanced central processing unit (CPU) inside.

This week Asus unveiled its Eee Box B204 and B206 (with integrated battery that performs U.P.S. function) that are still based on is based on Intel Atom processor N270 (1.60GHz), Intel core-logic and feature 1GB of DDR2 memory, but now come with ATI Radeon HD 3400-series graphics cards with 256MB of memory onboard, high-definition multimedia interface as well as 160GB hard disk drive. The systems come equipped with remote controller. The new Eee Box machines still lack optical drive, but they feature 4-in-1 card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11n controller and, most importantly, Windows XP Home operating system.

The inclusion of HDMI connectors as well as remotes is likely to attract attention of multimedia enthusiasts who would use the Eee Box in their living rooms. In addition, with HDMI support, the systems gain compatibility with multimedia-oriented displays with HDMI connectors.

But that is not all. In the coming weeks there will be more new Eee Boxes from Asustek. Instead of the single-core Intel Atom N270/1.60GHz that is presently installed into the Asus Eee Box, the company has reportedly decided to utilize Intel Celeron 220 chip with higher performance and also install larger 120GB hard disk drive into the device. The price of such systems will be lower than that of the initial Eee Box version to boost demand and will be about $240, according to DigiTimes web-site.

Low performance, insufficient storage space, too simplistic integrated graphics core and the lack of HDMI are the key reasons behind lackluster welcome of the Eee Box by the market. Unlike Eee PC, which provides ultimate mobility amid low price, a combination never seen before; the Eee Box could boast with low performance and affordable cost only, something that is very common since low-end PCs have been available since personal computer started to gain popularity back in the eighties.

With ATI Radeon HD 3400-series GPU inside, more capacious hard drive, HDMI support and remote controller, the Asus Eee PC B204/B206 can be easily considered as low-cost small form-factor PCs for the living room. Obviously, one can hardly play video games on such a systems, but the nettops of such kind should be fine for multimedia playback or streaming. Meanwhile, the rumoured Celeron-based Eee Boxes may gain acceptance on the market of office PCs.

Tags: ASUS, Eee, Intel, Celeron, ATI, Radeon

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