Intel's Atom processor isn't quite a panacea for Asus. According to DigiTimes, the Taiwanese company will swap out the new CPU for an older Celeron chip in its next Eee Box nettop. The incoming low-cost desktop will feature a 1.2GHz Celeron 220 and a 120GB hard drive, and it will retail for $7,988 TWD—that's just under 240 bucks.
For reference, Eee Box B202 systems selling at Newegg for $299.99 today include 1.6GHz Atom N270 processors and 80GB hard drives. DigiTimes says the future Celeron-based machine will also be available for $11,900 TWD ($355) with a bundled 19" monitor.
This isn't the first time Asus has traded out the Atom from one of its low-cost machines. Back in July, the firm announced the Eee PC 1000HD, a variant of the popular Eee PC 1000H with—you guessed it—a Celeron CPU. That system doesn't appear to have popped up in our price search engine yet, though.
Asus reportedly expects to ship 100,000-200,000 Eee Box units this year and over a million in 2009. The cheaper Celeron-based system might help the company reach that goal by spurring sales.