Joined on 02/16/11
Super atom smasher
Pros: Very quiet cpu fan, very low actual measured TDP, in the range of less than 14 watts. DirectX10 graphics under W7. W7 performance measure comparable to a 2700MUD atom or an E350 AMD, but gives twice the speed, a score of 2000 under Linuxes, with the peacekeeper benchmark.
Cons: Gosh golly, no speedstep, meaning it stays at one frequency. No "governor=conservative" kernel command lines in Linux, they don't work. If you want speedstep, you need to go to a 65-watt package. Which is ironic.
Overall Review: On the newer 1155 desktop boards, the latest bios has a "performance" section that lets you overclock the device. Not recommended, wait for the 23 nanometer celerons that will replace this one on the same board. Under any Linux with a libtheora, it runs ALL of the peacekeeper benchmark tests, especially with a google-chrome browser, yielding a peacekeeper score of around 2000, compared with atom boards with 800 to 1000 scores. I am using a 60-watt power brick connected to a DC2DC converter to run this toy.
Great on 32-bit Windows
Pros: Very quiet, extremely good video. Good sound under Windows 7.
Cons: Fails to do analog sound under Linux. I tested this before, and decided to buy this again to be completely sure. The tool that I found since my last test, that was supposed to make the sound work, doesn't. Also, the 8 gb. sandisk flash hard drive is barely adequate for 32-bit Windows 7 and causes the installer to do a partially compressed installation. Runs extremely well, smooth and fast, with this limited-space installation. I would be extremely grateful if an Asus representative would add his comment to this, stating in simple terms how to do analog sound under, say, slackware Linux.
Overall Review: There may be a way to open this box without damaging it, so as to change the ram, but I am not willing to attempt all that bending.
Deceptively good machine
Pros: This is made by a subsidiary of asus, which designed an extremely good machine from the most basic parts. I wish the motherboard were sold separately, because it would make a great netbook. As it is, it is quiet, runs very cool, since the case fan doubles as the cpu fan, gives great streaming video and sound. The video chip is top notch, and gives great "motion compensated" streaming video. The AMD 450 double core atom is an improved E350, with less heat dissipation.
Cons: The other reviewer is correct, the connectors are basic. If you need more sophisticated connections, asus makes a "deluxe" board for under $200 bristling with usb3, hdmi, etc.
Really good, a little tricky
Pros: Wow what a great entertainment center for the money. Low heat (less than 20 watts core), great sound chip, terrific video. Runs circles around the other brand. Latest Linux kernels and open source drivers run well also.
Cons: Under Windows 7, success in installation depends on putting the SATA cable into the "right" socket. Try alternate SATA socket if installation problems. Also, may need to move memory to alternate memory bank. The eBlu program updates the bios, worth doing.
Overall Review: Try turning the case fan to blow towards the cpu heatsink, and connect the case fan wire to the cpu fan connector, three connector pins out of four. Depending on the case, provides just the amount of cooling needed to keep the case cool. I am using a power brick and 20-pin DC2DC device, works fine.
Really updated review
Pros: Smooth running, cool, low power draw. Can be set up to do accelerated high-definition video with Windows media player, flash, and Microsoft's flash. The very newest Linuxes have 3.2 and 3.3 kernels that make using the sound chip easy.
Cons: Takes some practice to get the setup right. In particular, depending on the Linux, you may have to compile a more recent open-source video driver into the xfree86. With the recent open-source driver compiled in, video is unusually good, even accelerated, and an improvement over the manufacturer's proprietary version. Playing with the frequency ladder system gives you a cool-running desktop warrior.
Pros: It works in high definition and two channels. If you have desktop speakers, what more could you want? Also, it has a usb extension cord so that the dongle dangles instead of sticking out.
Cons: It has a constant volume channel device that you may not want to fiddle with. Maybe this is a pro.
Overall Review: If you bought something like the Asus eeebox 1021 or the eeebox 1020, you know the ALC887 sound chip doesn't play nicely with Linux. This usb dongle does play nicely with linux; and, as a bonus, it makes the ALC887 sound chip play nicely also. So, you can have Linux on your eeebox and have sound work also.