Asus Prepares Quad-Core, Discrete GPU-Toting Eee Box PC
Looking like a cooler, quieter and thinner alternative to Gigabyte's BRIX Gaming, the Eee Box EB1037, latest of its line, has just been announced by Asus. Lurking within the 1.1”-thick case are a quad-core Intel Celeron processor and Nvidia GeForce 820M graphics – which, while slower than the BRIX's counterparts, are still in the ballpark.
Earlier reports have stated that these new Boxes are fanless, but unfortunately it seems the EB1037 actually contains at least one fan. It may still end up quieter than the BRIX Gaming and that system's dual side fans, though.
Anyway, the Celeron J1900 chip can scale its four cores up to 2.42Ghz depending on workload, while the GeForce 820M (similar to the desktop GT 620) chip has 512MB of DDR3 memory. 8GB total system RAM is supported, while disk and solid-state storage options range from 320GB-1TB and 64-128GB, respectively.
802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a gigabit LAN jack make up the network connectivity, while video outputs include VGA and HDMI. There are two USB 3.0 and four 2.0 ports, alongside a microphone jack and combo headphone/optical S/PDIF. There's also a card reader up front.
Meanwhile, an accessory common to most nettops is included with the Eee Box EB1037: the VESA mount, which allows you to pin the computer to the back of any supported monitor. This gives one a clean, iMac-esque setup, though you'll be dealing with Windows 8.1 instead of Mac OS here.
So far, availability and pricing are a bit sketchy. I did find one Australian retailer listing a configuration with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD for $537.65 AUD. That's roughly $480 USD. Too steep? We'll have to see how things are when the machines hit US shores.