Asus Eee Box B202: An Atom-based mini PC

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BASICS

Eee Box comes in a package that's only a bit bigger than the product itself. Still, there's a lot of packaging bits and pieces inside, especially plastic bags. The box shows the four available colors.


Eee Box package on our desktop, with M-Audio Tampa microphone preamp and a Zonbu Mini computer in the background.


All those plastic bags!


With the Eee Box and stand came three AC cables with different plugs (for various parts of the world).
The AC/DC adapter outputs 19VDC at 4.74A; it's rated for 65W.
There's also a stand for the back of a VESA-compliant LCD monitor.

Examining the exterior of the Eee Box, we noted that the slots along the top from edge are exhaust vents for a cooling fan, and similar slots along the bottom edge are intake vents. Convection will aid a bit in cooling airflow.


Exhaust vents on top...


...intake vents on bottom.
(Note: The plastic film on this side of our sample was left on.)

A SPDIF output is said to be on the back panel, but only a 3.5mm mini jack for audio appeared to be there. The manual mentions a "mini jack
to S/PDIF adapter" which didn't make any sense. The only thing that looked like the adapter drawing was a little white plastic device... which on close examination proved to have a protective cap on one end. The way this adapter converts the 3.5mm mini jack into an optical SPDIF jack seems just short of miraculous.


The adapter, with and without cap.


The 3.5mm audio jack... converted to optical SPDIF out.

Access to the 2.5" 80GB hard drive is from the bottom. Two screws hold the sled that the drive is mounted in. Interestingly, the drive, a Seagate model LD25.2 Series SATA, has a sticker with a notice that warns: "NOT SUITABLE FOR LAPTOP COMPUTER USE". Seagate's product page states that this model "was designed and optimized for consumer electronics applications." It probably isn't engineered to withstand the level of shock that laptop drives are.


A 2.5" Seagate drive that's not for laptops.

Getting the Eee Box ready for use took just a couple of minutes. Threading the single large knurled screw to attach the stand was about the most fiddly part of the task. Note that the system accepts only only USB mouse and keyboard; there are no legacy ports.


This photo shows the relative size of the unit against a 19" 4:3 ratio LCD monitor.



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