Asus Eee Box PC EB1501 review

Price when reviewed

Asus was among the first to market with its miniaturised, Atom-powered nettop PCs, but Acer’s Aspire Revo R3600 was the one that stole our hearts. Where the first nettops simply disguised a netbook in desktop PC clothing, the Revo added a dash of gaming and video decoding potency courtesy of Nvidia’s Ion chipset. Now Asus has gone one better, redesigning the Eee Box from the ground-up, adding a dual-core Atom, Windows 7 Home Premium and even a DVD writer for good measure.

Visually, it’s a real cut above its predecessors. Gone are the boring, angular lines of the original model; the EB1501 emerging as a curvaceous, attractive little devil. A silver base holds the Eee Box up at a jaunty angle, giving easy access to the two USB ports, memory card reader, the microphone and headphone sockets and, most novel of all, the slot-loading DVD writer. For those tempted to adopt the Eee Box as a basic do-it-all PC, or even give it pride of place in their lounge as a Media Center, the optical drive is a crucial addition.

Asus Eee Box PC EB1501

And there’s no doubt that, on paper at least, the EB1501 seems like a great candidate for these applications. The dual-core Atom 330 processor is backed up by 2GB of memory, and the 250GB hard disk is generous enough. But, even with the dual-core processor at the helm, the Eee Box struggles. It’s not that Windows 7 Home Premium is unusably sluggish, but it certainly can’t compare to the way Windows feels running on more capable dual-core processors. Our subjective qualms were borne out by mediocre benchmark results: the Asus is unarguably faster than the Acer Aspire Revo R3600, which managed a lowly 0.29, but still limps to an overall result of 0.39.

Forgive the Eee Box’s sluggish performance, though, and it has plenty to offer as a compact media centre PC. The array of connections at the front of the unit are supplemented at the rear by another four USB ports, eSata, Gigabit Ethernet and both VGA and HDMI ports. Wireless networking in the form of 802.11n comes as standard too. One major issue, however, is that the Atheros chipset proved incompatible with the WPA2 encryption on our Labs network; an annoyance that forced us to drop back to WPA encryption.


Warranty1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity250
RAM capacity2.00GB
Screen sizeN/A


CPU familyIntel Atom
CPU nominal frequency1.60GHz
Processor socketSocket 437


Motherboard chipsetNvidia ION
Conventional PCI slots free0
Conventional PCI slots total0
PCI-E x16 slots free0
PCI-E x16 slots total0
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free0
PCI-E x1 slots total0
Internal SATA connectors0
Internal SAS connectors0
Internal PATA connectors0
Internal floppy connectors0
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR2
Memory sockets free0
Memory sockets total2

Graphics card

Graphics cardN/A
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetNvidia ION
Graphics card RAM512MB
DVI-I outputs0
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
DisplayPort outputs0
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard diskSeagate Momentus 5400.6
Hard disk usable capacity233GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Cache size8MB
Hard disk 2 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 2 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speedN/A
Hard disk 2 cache sizeN/A
Hard disk 3 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 4 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacityN/A


Optical driveLG GA10N
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical disk 2 make and modelN/A
Optical disk 3 make and modelN/A


Monitor make and modelN/A
Resolution screen horizontalN/A
Resolution screen verticalN/A
ResolutionN/A x N/A
Pixel response timeN/A
Contrast ratioN/A
Screen brightnessN/A
DVI inputsN/A
HDMI inputsN/A
VGA inputsN/A
DisplayPort inputsN/A

Additional Peripherals

Speaker typeN/A
Sound cardN/A


Case formatN/A
Dimensions39 x 193 x 193mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supplyAsus
Power supply ratingN/A
Power supply efficiencyN/A

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays0

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)6
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portno
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
3.5mm audio jacks3

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2
Front panel memory card readeryes

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardAsus

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodRecovery disc
Software suppliedN/A

Noise and power

Idle/eco noise levelN/A
Peak noise levelN/A
Idle power consumption22W
Peak power consumption31W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score0.39
Office application benchmark score0.32
2D graphics application benchmark score0.46
Encoding application benchmark score0.33
Multitasking application benchmark score0.43
3D performance (crysis) low settings17fps
3D performance settingLow

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