Asus' stylish, Ion-powered Eee Box EB1501 has begun appearing in U.S. e-tail listings, and it's a little more expensive than we thought. Amazon currently offers both black and white versions of the machine for pre-order at $479 with free shipping.
Both shades conceal a dual-core Atom 330 processor, Nvidia Ion integrated graphics, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, 250GB of 5,400-RPM mechanical storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, a slot-loading optical drive, and Windows 7 Home Premium. Amazon doesn't say anything specific about the optical drive, but when Asus announced this nettop in October, the firm talked of a full-fledged DVD burner.
Amazon's listing makes no mention of an availability date, either. For what it's worth, though, Amazon Germany quotes a two- to four-week lead time for what looks to be the exact same nettop.
Based on the €399 European price tag, we originally expected the Eee Box EB1501 to sell for $400-450 in the States. $479 seems a tad high for an Atom nettop, but it's not exceptionally pricey. The ASRock ION 330HT that popped up on Amazon last week has very similar specs and a $458 price tag. (A Blu-ray version can also be had for $588.99.) The Asus-branded system looks more stylish, but ASRock does bundle its machine with a Windows Media Center remote.