HDTV Lounge

ASUS Eee Box B204 / B206

I think I have just found my dream HTPC (home theater pc / media center). Asus have just announced the ASUS Eee Box B204 / B206.  Building on their previous popular models, the Eee Box B206 and B206 now include the all important HDMI output, delivering both HD video and audio.

Asus call the Eee Box range the world’s slimmest PC, and they sure are.  The tiny unit features the low power Intel Atom N270 CPU as found in many netbooks, and a powerful 256MB ATI Radeon HD 3400 GPU, along with 1GB of RAM, and 160GB SATA II HDD.

The important thing here, if you’re planing to use it as a HD HTPC, is the graphics, the ATI Radeon HD 3400 GPU features a Unified Video Decoder, which uses the GPU hardware to decode HD content including x.264 media, such as blu-ray. This way the lowered powered CPU can play back HD content as the graphics card is doing 90% of the work.  This to me is very exciting, as I could connect up my external USB blu-ray drive and play back blu-ray movies.

The ASUS Eee Box B206 / B204 are so small, they can even be mounted behind your LCD HDTV or computer monitor.  A no show HD media center!

There is also 802.11n WiFI for fast streaming of media and files, a multi-card reader, four USB 2.0 inputs, Gigabit Ethernet, Windows XP Home, and 10GB of online Eee Storage.

The ASUS Eee Box B204 version includes Bluetooth, and a built-in battery which works as a UPS during a power failure.

With HDMI, powerful (blu-ray / 1080p capable) graphics, remote control, and a small and quiet, energy efficient design, which can also be LCD mounted, the ASUS Eee Box B204 and B206 look very tempting!

No price details or release dates for the Asus B204 or Asus B206 are currently known.

Update: If you’re looking for a little more power, but will want the same tiny size, the newly announced Asus Eee Box B208 should be ideal.  The Asus B208 features a dual core Intel Atom N330 and more powerful ATI Radeon HD 4350 series.  It has also been added to my shopping list!