as if Asus thinks it's time to take the humble Atom processor to the next level by offering two new Eee Box models, both with HDMI output. The Eee Box B204 and B206, as the two new models are called, are not your average nettops, as both of them feature ATI Radeon HD 3400 graphics.
This might seem like an odd combination, as the Eee Box relies on the mobile Atom N270 CPU and the Intel 945GSE chipset, but the two new models will come with a mobile Radeon HD 3400 graphics card with 256MB of DDR2 memory. This is also how the systems get HDMI connectivity, as the Intel 945GSE chipset doesn't support HDMI.
Both models will also have 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB SATA hard drive, Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 2.0 ports, optical S/PDIF out, 802.11n WiFi, a memory card reader and a remote control. The B204 model will also feature Bluetooth, and strangely enough, a built-in battery that will act as a UPS, which is likely to increase the cost of this system considerably.
It looks like the two new Eee Box models could become popular HTPC systems, although you'd need an external optical drive if you want to watch disc-based movies on them. On the upside, Asus will supply the Eee Cinema software which should handle most media formats according to the press release. Another neat feature is the fact that both systems can be mounted on the back of a display using the VESA mounts which are standard on most, if not all, modern flat screen displays.
No launch date was revealed and it's anyone's guess what the costs of these upgraded Eee Box systems will be, but we'd expect them to be a fair bit more expensive than the current models.
You can find the press release here