Asus has announced the availability of its Eee Box 1501 desktop PC that includes an optical drive and dedicated graphics chip with HDMI output, despite its small form factor and low price.

Showcased at an event in London last month, the Eee Box 1501 is designed for home entertainment, and is one of the world's smallest PCs to feature a slot-loading Super Multi DVD-RW, according to Asus.

The compact system is based on Intel's dual-core Atom 330 processor with 2GB to 4GB of memory, a 250GB Sata hard drive and Nvidia Ion graphics adapter with VGA and HDMI outputs, the latter supporting full 1080p high-definition playback.

It also has support for 5.1 surround sound speaker setups and an S/PDIF output, and the entire system unit is small enough to be Vesa mounted behind a flat-screen monitor.

The Eee Box 1501 has 802.11b/g/n and gigabit Ethernet, plus six USB ports and a card reader slot. It ships with Windows 7 Home Premium at a suggested price of 339 including VAT.