back to article Asus Eee Box to debut in UK... minus Linux

Asus will bring the Eee Box desktop to the UK in August. However, the company confirmed to Register Hardware that machine will initially only ship with Windows XP Home Edition. The compact desktop contains not Intel's desktop-oriented Atom 230 processor, as anticipated, but the less power-hungry notebook version, the N270, …


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  1. Thomas

    Higher pricing and Windows only?

    Do these people understand any part of why the original Eee PC was so popular?

  2. John Latham

    No Linux at launch?

    These people are Eee-diots.

  3. Martin Owens


    These guys are obviously bonkers mad, "lets ship a discontinued 7 year old operating system with no useful software which costs money instead of that horribly functional, secure modern operating system that comes with a boat load of tools"

    The only reason asus would do this is either they have lost the presence of mind, are sadistic and love to see their customers suffer or they've been heavily bribed by Microsoft to shove windows extra pathetic down peoples throats (once again)

  4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Higher pricing

    We don't know that yet. Since it doesn't have any screen, I'd expect it to be *substantially* lower price than the 901. If it is over £200 then they're having a laugh.

    But yes, omitting a Linux version is daft. Perhaps somebody couldn't get the drivers working and thought they'd just give up.

    Oh, and I hope that silly tilted mount is detachable. If I want my hardware at a jaunty angle, I'll suspend it from the ceiling with some string.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll wait

    Getting away from Windows, and getting a full office suite, Firefox and online apps, was a major part of the attraction, so thanks but I'll wait.

    Sorry but Windows is hard work! There seems to be constant patching, constant little breaks due to software clashing with patches, constant upgrades for those softwares that clash with those patches,every week I read about a new thing Vista stops you doing, so I'm not going there....

    Enough, I just want off this expensive treadmill that forces me to walk ever faster to stand still.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something for nothing?

    if I'm reading this right, Asus are saying that choosing a laptop processor offers 2W less power consumption while giving equal performance to an equivalently-clocked desktop processor. Setting aside just how much value there is in saving 2W on a desktop when there are graphics cards out there eating 50W at idle, I want to see some independent verification of that

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Linux, no lovely

    What's happened to the Eee's curvaceous best friend?

  8. spegru

    Pricing XP

    My understanding was that M$FT was willing to supply cut priced XP for devices with a screen below 10". Since there is no screen on this then they must be paying full price.

    On a box that needs to cost below £200, that will be enough to kill it.

    Can you imagine how pc world would sell this?

    Cut down PC at say £250 plus a screen at say £150 - all in £400

    Looks pretty silly next to a laptop................

    On the other hand linux version at say £170 screen at £150 - all in at £320. A bit different!

  9. Lager And Crisps
    Jobs Horns

    Money, Money, Money, Money...

    The simple truth is that Microsoft probably payed Asus hundreds of millions of dollars not to make the Linux model available as easily as the XP one.

    Asus is more than likely getting XP dirt cheap as well. Microsoft can not let Linux (or any other competition) get a foothold in an emerging market.

    Microsoft would pay tens of billions to kill Linux outright. Ballmer sees Linux and Open Source as THE threat to their ecosystem.

    I begrudgingly respect Gates, alas Ballmer is an inarticulate thug in suit. If Gates is the organ grinder then Ballmer is the performing I have made that statement I'm getting a sense of deja vu...

  10. netean

    Linux != Modern OS

    Martin Owens: Calling Linux a "Modern OS" is a bit like calling COBOL a "modern programming language". UNIX/Linux etc has been around for years.

    The closest thing to a "modern oS" was BEos and that's 10+ years old now!

  11. John Robson Silver badge


    It might not just be the power consumption they're looking at 0 it's likely to be heat dissapation from that seemingly closed plastic box.

    I know my miniITX system (in an old sun disk enclosure) gets pretty damned warm

  12. Anonymous Coward

    very very low price

    ..i'd expect this beasty to be sub-150 . could be useful for many families in small accomodation...and think of the evergy savings if you have to leave your torrents running overnight.. (not to mention the lack of noise from the PC if its in the bedroom)

  13. Martin Owens

    Re: Linux != Modern OS

    You know what I meant, I didn't mean that it was an OS using POSIX and there for 'modern' I mean it's an OS that comes with the advanced tools, uses a package manager and was released within this year. I.E it has been worked on through time rather than simply festering through it.

    Although your point was rather pedantic.

  14. Steven Raith


    I can't see Windows launch being a driver issue, seeing as both the 901 and the EeeBox [sounds like something that would go down well at a rave?] uses the Atom N270 chipset - so there can't be that] many differences. Might be wrong of course.

    Sounds good, but I already have a 1.7ghz centrino lappy with 2gb of RAM so I can't justify wanging money on something like this. Shame really, I like the concept of it...

    [I have no telly either before anyone starts, so can't hook it up to that...]

    Steven "Student Living" Raith.

    PS: Smiley, because that's what Eee does to you. At raves anyway...

  15. James Pickett
    Gates Horns


    "or they've been heavily bribed by Microsoft"

    Seems highly likely. You'd think a firm like Asus could capitalise more on their position.

  16. Brian Gannon

    I will be waiting

    I will be waiting for the Linux version, as I imagine the savings made from not paying for the XP license will manifest itself in 2GB of memory and a larger hard disk. Ironically I will be replacing the Linux install with XP provided by my employer.

  17. KenBW2

    Did anyone else see...

    ... a zoomed in picture of a tiny square with a keyring on it?

    No? Just me then.

    I propose we all wait for the Liux version to show them we don't want the Windows version - it'll only count as a sale for MS.

    As for me, if the Linux version is <£200 I might be severely interested...

  18. Steven Raith


    I can't see Windows launch being a driver issue, seeing as both the 901 and the EeeBox [sounds like something that would go down well at a rave?] use the N270 chipset - so there can't be [i]that[/i] many differences. Might be wrong of course.

    Sounds good, but I already have a 1.7ghz centrino lappy with 2gb of RAM so I can't justify wanging money on something like this. Shame really, I like the concept of it...

    [I have no telly either before anyone starts, so can't hook it up to that...]

    Steven "Student Living" Raith.

    PS: Smiley, because that's what Eee does to you. At raves anyway...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    well as long as there is no Microsoft Tax

    that's the sticking point.

    I will be avoiding it until they offer a bare bones, or Linux version.

    Amd Linux is modern, it is hip n'happening,

  20. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Is it some twisted market test?

    Maybe it's a market test? Perhaps someone at Asus thought the Linux EEE sold so well because it had a head start, and wants to see if releasing the next model with XP first will behave similarly. (Hint to Asus: It won't. People are sick of the Microsoft tax, and more and more people are finding out, to their shock, that XP will be unsupported by the end of the month.)

  21. Stephen Bungay

    I thought ASUS was smarter than this...

    ASUS has made a mistake, they've rolled out new and innovative hardware with a dead Operating System. Even if the Eee desktop could run Vista (and ruin it well), that too is a dead O/S; it just hasn't stopped twitching.

    As M$ fights to hang onto it's business model, they look less and less like a progressive, innovative tech company, and more and more like a cornered rat. The trail of corporate ruin in M$ wake is a good indication that they are dangerous to deal with even in good-times, now however they seem willing to do anything to preserve the status-quo (even ruin the credibility of a standards body).

    It used to be said that nobody got fired for buying IBM, I have also heard people say that their success was assured because of their close ties to M$. ASUS doesn't seem to understand that they will be more successful WITHOUT M$ holding their new baby back, they don't need M$ to succeed, M$ needs them.

  22. shrewd

    Asus set to loose first mover advantage.

    bowing to microsofts anti competitive wishes will probably mean they wont dominate the market in the way they could have....

    oh well i'll be waiting for some non-asus linux gear.

  23. Mikey

    I'm guessing the reason for XP is...

    ...that people who want to move from a box bog to something smaller like this can make that transition more easily as its something they're used to. This would be a smart move, as it should result in a high volume of initial sales. Then, once the intial demand is out, they can then ship the version everyone else wants. At least thats my guess on why.

    Personally, I wouldnt mind an XP version. Would slot right into the network here without fuss, and could easily add programs I use to it without having to find an OSS version that does the job in a similar way. That, and it means I can leave the main rig off when I dont need it. To each their own (As long as they stop whining about it, anyway ;O)

  24. Bas Scheffers
    Paris Hilton

    Could have been media streamer

    This could have been the (near) perfect video streamer to hook up to your telly. DVI and S/PDIF are there, but wanting to save an extra $10, they put in a crappy GMA 950 instead of an Nvidia or ATI chipset capable of decoding h.264 and outputting 1080p.

    Instead they put in a chipset that does only 1600x1200 and is unable to offload MPEG decoding from the CPU.


  25. Sebastian

    real specs and prices:

    Processor: Intel Atom N270 (1.6 GHz, FSB 533)

    Memory: DDRII 512 MB / 1 GB / 2 GB (see US configs below)

    Storage: 80 GB / 120 GB / 160 GB / 250 GB (see US configs below)

    Chipset: 945GSE + ICH7M

    VGA: On-board Intel GMA 950, 1600 x 1200 maximum resolution

    Networking: 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN, 802.11n WLAN, Bluetooth optional

    SD/MMC/MS slot: SD, SDHC, Mini SD, (Micro SD through adapter) ; MMC, MMC plus, MMC4.x, RS MMC, RSMMC4.x (MMC mobile through adapter);MS,MS PRO

    Audio: Azalia ALC888 Audio Chip

    Front Ports:

    USB x 2

    Card Reader x 1

    Headphone-out jack (WO/SPDIF) x 1

    MIC x 1

    Rear Ports:

    USB 2.0 x 2

    Gigabit LAN x 1

    DVI out x 1

    Line-Out (L/R) with S/PDIF x 1

    WiFi antenna


    19Vdc, 4.74A, 65W power adaptor

    Mouse (optional)

    Keyboard (optional)

    VESA mount (optional)

    WiFi antenna


    Dimensions: 8.5" x 7" x 1"

    Net Weight: 2.2 lbs.

    Gross Weight: 6.6 lbs.

    US Configurations and MSRP:

    $269 1GB memory + 80GB HDD Linux edition

    $299 1GB memory + 80GB HDD XP edition

    $299 2GB memory + 160GB HDD Linux edition

  26. Alastair

    Resume from S3 suspend?

    If it resumes from S3 suspend, I'll 'ave one.

    if it doesn't then Asus have missed another trick..


    and someone asked if the stand came off? - appears so:


  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista CD included?

    Even if this box is incapable of running Vista will it be shipped with a Vista cd so MS can claim another sale for their dead duck OS?

  28. Geoff Mackenzie


    I've been waiting eagerly for these for months, was planning to buy 4 and replace all my clunky old servers.

    Hey ASUS, I'll buy them *later*, with *Linux*, and you'll make *less money* because the prices will have fallen a little by then!

    Not that I'd be sticking with their default OS anyway but nothing in this world will make me part with cash for a Windows XP Home edition license. I mean, ye gods.

  29. Ash

    Notebook atom N270 instead of 230

    The reason they have gone for the laptop 1.6ghz atom is because the chipset for the 230 has the power hungry and heat producing northbridge on board, whereas the chipset for the N270 consumes a lot less power.

    The few watts they save on the CPU is irrelevant compared to the optimised chipset.

  30. bluesxman

    RE: Could have been media streamer

    There's no S/PDIF, just a bog-standard stereo socket -- at least, that's according to the Anandtech article I read a couple weeks back (where they actually had a pre-release version in their sweaty hands to play with and dissect).

  31. DrXym

    Strange behaviour in Asus

    It seems Asus have great ideas for products but they're handing the specification and marketing to a bunch of monkeys. Seriously what the hell are they thinking?

    Why would they deliberately burden your product with a higher price and / or lower spec just so it can have Windows on it? It's perfectly understandable that there is a Windows option, but Asus are just hurting themselves by not shipping the Linux version.

  32. alain williams Silver badge

    Spec of Linux version

    I would prefer the Linux version to be cheaper rather than have more hardware ... it has got 1GB RAM & a fast enough processor ... what do I want lots of disk for ? I keep all my files on a server, I just want a local disk for the OS -- so get rid of the hard drive and put the solid state drives from the laptop version in to it.

    All this makes it eat less electricity -- one advantage is no fan which means quieter and more reliable.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Isn't shipping with linux

    Only thing I can think of as Asus were proud of linux on the eee and all it's other types. Now they apparently aren't yet aren't public as to why???

    Sad day for asus. Then again after the battery fiasco, are we surprised?

  34. Nigel

    Upgrade Path

    Can someone ask them, on the record, what the upgrade path is when Microsoft withdraws life support from XP? Vista? (Cue manaical laughter).

    It is possible that Microsoft is giving away XP licenses, or even paying ASUS to ship it with XP, if MS is scared enough of Linux being seen to be the better option. And if I were Microsoft, I would be.

    I'll buy one to run Linux if the price is right, XP or no XP.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Optical Output (Media Center)

    I am a bit confused, the Anandtech review showed it did not have optical out but the specs says it has. It could be a good XBMC device.

  36. bluesxman

    @ Optical Output (Media Center)

    Yeah I noticed that. Now I'm wondering (assuming the spec. posted above is correct) if there's an optical out *inside* the 3.5mm socket -- my cranky old iRiver H140 MP3 player has just such a hook-up.

  37. Richard Barnes
    Thumb Up

    One obvious use...

    I have a 32" LCD HDTV. Like most of them, it has a VGA port. I download and/or stream a lot of video, a lot of which can be viewed at the HDTV's native resolution - 1024x768p. I also have an extensive music collection, some of which is also with accompanying videos, and all stored on an external HDD attached to my main PC that's shared over the network as a sort of "mini server".

    I've tried streaming through the Xbox 360 via WMP11/TVersity/Winamp Remote, and it's variable in quality to say the least. I've been considering getting an old Xbox, soft-modding it to XBMC and using that; no VGA option, though, so it'd be at SCART quality at best (there is a component YPbPr cable for the old Xbox, but it takes up so much processing power to use it pretty much makes it useless). The Wii, although it can do net access via Opera (and therefore access Winamp Remote/TVersity) and can output at HD, does so at 480p, which to be frank looks awful.

    Now this... this is a low-cost, low-power (it uses less power than my 360 in standby!) PC I can connect via a DVI-HDMI cable to get an awesome picture and stream it all effostlessly off the network. Basically, it's a full-PC Slingbox...

  38. N


    This would be a perfect under-TV box - providing they give it HDMI.

    Should be cool & quiet unlike the blast furnace that masquerades as my Xbox 360 (love the games, hate the noise).

    Imagine sofa-surfing, legibly, on your nice big TV. Media streaming. Even a spot of gaming perhaps. All with lovely open sauce, when they get round to it.

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