EeeBox EB1501 has Ion graphics, DVD drive

Small-form-factor nettops aren't really known for their aesthetic flair or power, but Asus' new EeeBox EB1501 has broken the mold somewhat with a sleek, "ballerina-inspired" design, a dual-core Atom 330 processor, and Nvidia Ion integrated graphics.

Not only that; the EeeBox EB1501 also has a slot-loading DVD burner built right in—something missing from virtually all standalone nettops. Other features include HDMI output, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, external Serial ATA, S/PDIF audio out, a 250GB hard drive, and dual SO-DIMM slots for up to 4GB of RAM (the system comes with 2GB as standard).

Software-wise, Asus will bundle the EB1501 with Windows 7 Home Premium, which includes Windows Media Center software and hardware-accelerated DVD playback. Considering the OS choice, we wouldn't expect this machine to be available before October 22, Windows 7's official launch date.

What about cost? The folks at Engadget have posted the European price: €399. That works out to $580, as the site says, but remember European prices are typically higher than in the States. We'd bet on U.S. pricing somewhere around $400-450.

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