eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeBox First Impressions

Picked up one today, gunna use it at work, we have an LCD on a mobile stand that needs a PC to drive it for interactive stuff. That I can bolt this to the back of it is very nice.

Paid $488 ex GST, but they can be had cheaper than that.

Intel Atom 1.6
1GB RAM
80GB HDD
gig-e
802.11b/g/n
Intel GMA 950 video
XP Home

The box! The printed outer layer slips off.

First layer. It also had a lid on top of this bit.

Lift out the eeeBox tray and you can see all the gubbins that come with it.

From left: Stand (required), VESA mount to allow it to be screwed to the back of most desktop LCD’s, AC adaptor and triple prong power cable. Also comes with a UK one too. The bag has the Wifi antenna, a minijack to SPDIF adaptor, manuals and a restore DVD and support/drivers CD. You don’t even get them on a $2k laptop, but on a $500 machine that doesn’t even have an optical drive? Cool.

There it is! Complete with that protective film that I LOVE to pull off.

With adult human hand for scale.

Front, behind the flap. HDD light, power button, SD/MMC slot, USB, headphones, mic.

Rear. Wifi, power, DVI, USB, gig-e, SPDIF out.

First impressions:

Quiet. Very quiet. Fan goes full speed on boot up for a few seconds, but after that, you have to put you ear up to the exhaust vent to hear anything. Nice size…same size as a Wii, but about half the width. Good weight, feels solid.

Feels snappy enough after a brief play, but anything I/O heavy feels a little slow, as to be expected with a 5400rpm laptop drive. Not loaded with crapware! Acrobat Reader and ASUS Update stuff is it.

However, it also ships with something called ‘ExpressGate’. What this is is a linux based quick boot environment loaded with a web browser (Firefox based), Skype, Pidgin for IM and an iPhoto like app. Talks to both the network cards and the SD reader, and also takes up a 3GB partition on the hard drive. Touted as ‘instant on’, it’s more like about 25 seconds from boot to browsing, but hey, it seems nifty enough. I’ve now vaped it since we wont be needing it, but could be useful in some cases. I understand that some standard ASUS motherboards come with this functionality now.

Haven’t tried it to see how it behaves with HD media yet as I’m busy replacing XP Home with something a little more useful, but I will be!

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