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Eee Box leak: "finally" a Mac mini rival

updated 03:55 pm EDT, Fri May 30, 2008

ASUS Eee Box Leak

ASUS' Eee Box (alternately labeled the EBOX) is the first system to truly meet the design standards of the Mac mini, Anandtech claims after receiving a sample of the desktop ahead of its projected June 3rd unveiling date. The site confirms that the system uses a 1.6GHz Atom and that this is instrumental to a small design: while helped by the lack of an optical drive, the size and cool nature of the Intel chip shrink the Eee Box to a size "quite similar" to the Apple TV while still serving as a full computer, according to the report.

"Ever since the release of the Mac mini I've yet to see a PC maker really come close to introducing a competitor," says Anand Lal Shimpi. "But ASUS has finally done it with this thing."

The mini computer is also characterized as having a similar level of connectivity with 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and gigabit Ethernet. In contrast to the Mac, however, the Eee Box will have a near-instant pre-boot environment: the Linux-based ExpressGate from some other ASUS mainboards will let users browse photos or the web, make Skype calls, and handle instant messages through Pidgin without starting up into the full desktop operating system.

Early testing also shows the Atom to be surprisingly quick given its low-end focus, with the inexpensive chip still capable of playing 720p HD video in H.264 and higher for less intensive formats like DivX.

ASUS outfits the Eee Box with 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and DVI out. The price and release date are still unavailable despite the leak, though the site notes that there will be three different trim levels in black and white colors. Most observers now plan for a sub-$300 starting price tag.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. jimothy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000


    Listen closely!

    If it doesn't run Mac OS X, it's not a Mac "rival," "killer," etc. Having a case that looks kinda, sorta like a Mac isn't what it's about. The same applies to the iPhone and iPod.

  1. jhawk95

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006


    No Optical Drive?

    Apple's MacBook Air has a solution for loading data and applications from a disc despite the lack of an optical drive.

    What is the solution for this POS? Does Linux support this? Will this?

    Smell you later Eee Box or EBOX... choose one name only... stop confuing people.

  1. theiliad

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Apr 2001



    man, you guys are childish...

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    Dear oh dear

    you sound scared or something. Checked out Ubuntu lately?

    Me, I'm thinking, ooh, mythbuntu. :-) Or at least a cheap and chearful ubuntu box, and that can be real pretty these days. Seriously, I am thinking it, and I'm a proud and happy owner of two new-ish macs...

    (I really hate it when I accurately type in the captcha and it says i didn't...)

  1. ibugv4

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2003


    yes, it can run mac os

    The EeePC (I have one) is capable of running Mac OS X, thanks to OSX86. This is important to me, as I cannot justify spending the $ for Apple's hardware anymore and this machine would fit my price range and connect to my HD TV with the DVI cable.

    Design wise, it is the only competitor. When comparing computers the OS is rarely a factor, it is hardware and design of the hardware. This is the first mini PC to come out that is actually on-par with the design of the Mac Mini.

    You people who seem to think that anything that Apple didnt slap their logo on is junk, are the same morons who give me $70 an hour to fix your broken Mac.

    Ubuntu is nice, but really look at gOS Spaces (, which will make ANY Mac user think twice about badmouthing Linux since it practically duplicated the OS X look and feel (in fact the icon designer was one who worked for Apple back during the OS X dev days).

    Apple and its users are quickly becoming very Microsoft like. I am glad to be a part of the real open source community (Linux).

  1. chas_m



    Wha -- ?

    I thought the MacBook Air haters had taught me that no optical drive = completely unusable computer! Now I'm all confused ...

    You people flip-flop more than John McCain. Lower the price enough and you'll accept a computer made of rock that runs the Flintstone OS. Feh.

  1. loudpedal

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Oct 1999



    It only took 4 years to copy the mini! What will they do next? Tune back in three years (their copying process is probably going to get incrementally better).

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    Asushipnotized man

    I want it, NOW!

  1. Salsa

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Oct 2003


    Not a MacMini Threat

    Nope, this isn't a direct competitor to the MacMini. It is much closer to a competitor to the AppleTV. I would seriously consider buying this to run XBMC. I have tons of videos in DivX and other common formats not supported by AppleTV.

    Even so, I think that most potential AppleTV users would stick to AppleTV for simplicity. Also, AppleTV is not a money maker for Apple anyway.

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