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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2011
Verified Purchase
Plug in a drive, add memory, and an operating system and go. I was running in minutes.

Be advised there is little or nothing in the way of useful information with the bare bones package. You get a computer, power brick, and a stand in a box. There's a disk that may or may not have useful stuff on it. And some small screws. Also a plate that evidently allows attaching the computer to the back of an Asus monitor.

You need to know that the two flat-head screws on the grille with a small metal bail are for the drive slot. And the other two screws hold the side cover, same side as the screws are on, in place. It's a snap-fit cover, but go easy. A tongue depressor or a pallet knife helps here. Inside is a metal plate with a single screw over the memory compartment. Two slots.

Running Ubuntu Linux 10.04. The long term support release. A useful alternative to Windows anything. The fine points of which are another place and another time.

I've had it a day. No disappointments and no surprises so far.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2012
Verified Purchase
I wish I could give this item a good review but I can't. It played HD video files from my local and network storage flawlessly; however, when attempting to stream SD & HD content from Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, etc.., the video was jerky, like frames were being dropped. I tested this both wireless and using a network cable, no difference. I tested my internet bandwidth using speedtest.net, I was getting 20Mbps down, more than enough to stream HD let alone SD. I tried using all drivers included on the supplied CD ROM, no go. I updated the machine with all the latest drivers through windows update, no go. I tried updating the drivers for the most likely culprits, the video card and network card, from the vendor websites, no go.

I tried both the CCCP codecs and the core AVC codecs. No go.

I tried both turning off hardware acceleration and enabling hardware acceleration in Silverlight & Flash. Neither had an effect. No go.

For the curious, I installed 4GB DDR2 800 RAM, and a 5400 RPM drive, same hardware as the full featured eeeBoxes. I tried both Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit and 64 bit.

ASUS support was absolutely no help, terrible in fact. When I wrote to them they replied back that I should ensure I had a strong wireless signal after I had just told them the same information I supplied above. Clearly their technicians have no idea what they are doing or just supply canned responses. On the same note it took them over 7 days to respond. In the response email they asked me to fill out a survey where an option was available to have them call me. I used this option over a week ago and I am still waiting for that phone call.

So if you plan to never stream internet videos; this little machine would be great, but who falls into that category this day and age?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2012
Verified Purchase
The listing clearly states that this item has 2 USB 3.0 ports, one on the front and one on the side.

As another reviewer pointed out, this computer does NOT contain any USB 3.0 ports.

Here is the lspci output:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation N10 Family DMI Bridge (rev 02)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family PCI Express Port 3 (rev 02)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family PCI Express Port 4 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB controller: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB controller: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.3 USB controller: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB controller: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation NM10 Family LPC Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation N10/ICH7 Family SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family SMBus Controller (rev 02)
02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GT218 [ION] (rev a2)
02:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation High Definition Audio Controller (rev a1)
03:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 06)

Notice that there isn't a single USB 3.0 controller listed.

Unfortunately, I can't find anything near this price-point with USB 3.0 (other than a ZBox with reports of intermittent USB 3 functionality), so I'm not exactly sure if I'm going to return this yet or just deal with USB 2.0 for now since 480mbps USB 2.0 is still faster than the Internet connection I'll be using to get data onto this.

If USB 3.0 support is important to you, do not buy this computer.

As for everything else, the form factor is great. The noise is non-existent. It's a very nice computer for the price, otherwise. I'm not running a GUI on it, so it's plenty fast for my needs.

But I really hate being lied to on the specs.

UPDATE (6/25/2012): I decided to return the PC since I really did want USB 3.0 and the Asus rep that replied to this original post confirmed that this unit is not supposed to have USB 3.0 ports. I bought the Foxconn NTA350-0H0W-B-A-NA (say that 10 times fast) instead. I did alert Amazon to the issue with the listing and they said they would get the listing updated, but that was over a week ago and I can see they still have not updated the listing.

I've updated my review to 4 stars (previously 2) since, with the knowledge that it's only supposed to have USB 2.0 ports, this computer is actually a very fine piece of machinery with a solid build.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2012
Verified Purchase
Add a memory Ram, a HD and a Operational system and Go! You will have, maybe the cheapest solution to a media center.

I put 4MB of RAM, 500GB of HD (7.200 RPM) and the XBMCbuntu as OS and ran very well. I don't know if it needed this kind of configuration, but works very well for me.

My unique complaint is about a complete absence of the manual to install the memory, the HD and the OS. Maybe you will need the help for some expert or look for some help in the internet. I got the second option and it worked.
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on July 14, 2012
Verified Purchase
I bought this to set up as a home theater PC. It us a convenient size and installing memory and a hard drive was very simple. Getting everything set up was fine, but when I brought it to the living room to hook up the wireless signal started cutting out. I downloaded the latest drivers and it improved some, but it will still often have a weaker and slower connection than the other devices in the room, causing some lag when trying to stream media from our other computers.

Overall it was quick to set up and it does what it needs to, but I am disappointed in the quality of the wireless card.
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on April 29, 2014
Verified Purchase
First of all, it was not conveyed in the original listing that this unit didn't come with a hard drive or ram. So I paid $200 for a skeleton system. Fine, I got the rest of the parts pretty cheap. However, this is the second time now that some chip has come loose and it won't boot properly. I don't think I'll buy something like this again. I'll probably build my own or use a raspberry pi
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on September 10, 2012
Verified Purchase
I really bought this for one main goal, to view my Plex content in the least expensive but most full featured way possible. Plex is a media streaming software that lets me see my videos on any device. Since I already had some small hard drives and memory not being used, this Asus was a very affordable box to let me watch my Plex content. I have not had one problem streaming my 1080p content to this device. I actually have two of them I like the original so much and am looking to get a 3rd for my last TV. I will say that I'm using it with a wired connection not wireless. My one issue with it so far is the blue LED light, it is very annoying and I haven't found a way to disable it yet short of putting tape over it. For those of you that need a Plex box and even have some old drives around gathering dust, this box is a fantastic option!
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on August 10, 2012
1/5.

Great idea... HDMI and Optical output, small size, minimal noise and solid input/outputs make for a great addition to any home theatre or living room.

Terrible execution. 720p from youtube can not run smoothly. The graphics card is not powerful enough to handle full screen HD, which defeats the entire purpose of this computer. Don't buy this base model. Spend the extra $ and get another level up to get something that works as advertised.

ASUS really does a poor job here, don't bother even creating this model, its like building a 3 wheeled car...
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on June 29, 2012
Verified Purchase
The two principal reasons that I bought this product was the support for USB 3.0 and WakeOnLan. Unfortunately, as pointed out below, there is no USB 3.0 support. If I would have known this earlier I'm not sure if I would have settled for this device, but now I did and I must say that everything else is pretty sweet. I really like the form factor and the fact that it is running rather cool without using any fans. The WOL is also working as intended and I now have a server that I can power on from anywhere over the Internet.

I would also like to point out that even though "lspci" shows only 5 USB ports (4 of which are listed as 1.1), all 6 of them work fine and they all have a USB 2.0 interface. You can determine this by connecting a USB 2.0 device to a port and then run "dmesg | tail -n 40 | grep usb" which will say that you are connected via ehci_hcd, the USB 2.0 connection (1.1 = uhci, 3.0 = xhci). So overall, I am disappointed with the lack of USB 3.0, but still happy with my purchase =)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2012
Verified Purchase
my Zotac Zbox recently died and i switched over to this model. BEWARE: this barebones model does not have USB 3.0 ports on it. USB 3.0 ports have a blue color coded connector tab and this does not. USB 2.0 speeds
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