Asus hops on the Atom home server bandwagon

— 2:36 PM on November 18, 2009

Following in the footsteps of HP and Acer, Asus has announced a small-form-factor Windows Home Server machine based on Intel Atom hardware. The new Asus TS mini is debuting at an affordable $349.99, and with dimensions of just 9.6" x 3.8" x 8", it should be easy to tuck away in a closet or on a shelf somewhere.

Internally, the TS mini has pretty basic hardware: a 1.66GHz Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and a spare 3.5" drive bay. A small power brick supplies the necessary juice (just 24.5W at idle and 27.9W under load), and a single Gigabit Ethernet port provides the system's connection to the outside world. Asus has included six USB 2.0 ports and two external Serial ATA ports, however, leaving room for a decent collection of external hard drives and other devices.

The company offers a $529.99 model with a 2TB hard drive and 2GB of memory, too. TS mini servers come with a year's worth of 500GB web-based storage service courtesy of Asus, but you're probably better off chucking in a second hard drive if you really care about failure tolerance. (Both TS mini variants come with Windows Home Server pre-installed, so setting up automated backups and selective redundancy should be a piece of cake.) Losing 2TB of data to a single drive failure would be a shame.

You can already pre-order the TS minis at Newegg for $349.99 and $529.99, depending on the model. The e-tailer quotes a November 23 release date, so these puppies should start shipping shortly.

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