The buzz created by the Asus EEE PC could be the best thing that happened to the computer market for quite some time; the glut of beige box has now subsided and instead, we are facing the prospect of using slim, energy efficient, powerful, cheap and attractive laptops; what could we ask for more!
But there's another trend that could spell the end of ugly big black/beige boxes and could turn the industry upside down; it is the fact that mainstream desktops and laptops could potentially use the same components very soon, thereby enabling substantial cost cutting based on volume produced.
Large manufacturers like Asus and MSI have already grasped the potential and it is not surprising that Asus, the firm which launched the EEE, is being a small nifty desktop PC called the EEE box which has a lot in common with the original EEE PC; MSI has also plans to release a WindBox.
The EEE Box as tested on Anandtech is a showcase product that is set to be launched fairly soon at around £150 and will be able to run most applications 24/7 and consume only 20w, a fraction of its bigger counterparts.
This extreme frugality is due partly to the advances in microprocessor architecture combined with the use of integrated components and, in some cases, solid state storage.