Asus has more nettops than you can shake a stick out along with one of the largest catalogs of netbooks on the market. The company generally crams the latest tech into a few of its models and a new version of its EeeBox has surfaced that sports new hardware.
We'll admit, it took us a short while to figure out the difference between ASUS' new Eee Box EB1501U and Eee Box EB1012U nettops compared to their outwardly-identical predecessors - each uses Intel's dual-core Atom 330 processor paired with NVIDIA Ion graphics - but the key is in the connectivity. That "U" suffix stands for USB 3.0, with the EB1501U getting two front-mounted USB 3.0 ports and the EB1012U getting three spread across the front and side panels.
ASUS' Eee Box EB1501 was already standing out as a potentially decent HTPC, and the company have added another feather in its metaphorical cap by apparently introducing a Blu-ray version. Announced back in October 2009 with Intel's Atom 330 CPU, NVIDIA Ion graphics and a slot-loading DVD burner, the new Eee Box EB1501-Bo367 with Blu-ray is now showing up with several European online retailers.
ASUS' Ion-packing Eee Box, the EB1501, has finally gone up for pre-order in the US. Priced at $479 at Amazon, the compact nettop uses Intel's dual-core Atom 330 processor along with 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard-drive, WiFi b/g/n and an HDMI output. Unlike most other nettops we've seen, the EB1501 also squeezes in a slot-loading DVD burner.
Is something afoot with ASUS' Eee Box EB1501 nettop? The Ion-toting mini desktop PC has had listings at a few major e-tailers for a while now, but ASUS UK has apparently contacted some UK sites to say that the EB1501 is shipping as of today; meanwhile the NetbookReviews team spotted that Play.com had updated their pages with a "due for release on 27/11/09". All well and good, but a quick check of the site today shows the release date has disappeared and the nettop is showing up as "out of stock".
Update: ASUS UK have been in touch to tell us that the EB1501 is indeed shipping today in the UK, and that they've been in contact with the retailers to ask them to update their listings.
ASUS' latest NVIDIA Ion based nettops have been well and truly pawed over by NetbookNews.de, and considering that the Eee Box EB1012 at least seems destined for the US market it's only right that we should take an interest. The EB1012 - and the ASUS Eee Box EB1501 - uses Intel's dual-core Atom 330 1.6GHz processor, paired with the Ion 1080p-capable graphics chipset, with the key difference being that the EB1501 finds room to squeeze in an optical drive.
ASUS have stepped up their nettop game with the arrival of the ASUS EeeBox EB1501. The first of the company's range to include an integrated optical drive, the EB1501 also includes Intel's Atom 330 dual-core CPU and NVIDIA's 1080p-capable Ion graphics chipset, turning the neatly-balanced nettop into a pretty impressive media center PC.
ASUS haven't been holding back from USB 3.0 adoption - we've already seen the next-gen high speed connector show up on their motherboards, Eee Box nettops, digital media players, netbooks and more - and now they're throwing in some fighting words along with it. The company has basically said that not all USB 3.0 implementations are created equal, suggesting their motherboard chip can make data transmission almost 75-percent faster than rivals can manage.
ASUS' Eee Box range arguably came of age when the company announced the 1501, their first NVIDIA Ion based model. Packing a DVD drive and various video output options, we've been waiting to see when it might show up in the wild; that question has been answered by the guys at Newgadgets.de, who grabbed some live shots of the Eee Box 1501 at a press conference in Munich.
Earlier in the month we heard that Atom N270 based netbooks and nettops would be unlikely candidates for inclusion in the Windows 7 Upgrade Program, and that's looking to indeed be the case. ASUS have announced details of their program, including which models will be eligible, and only two of the company's sprawling Eee PC netbook line are included: the 1101HA and the 1005HA.