Packing Case Converts Into An Asus Desktop

Asus goes greener by thinking inside the box and ships its motherboards in ready-made computer cases

Asus is planning to start shipping its motherboards in boxes that can be turned into computer cases. Each case is only expected to survive for a year but, for prototyping configurations, it could be a green answer that also speeds up the process of setting up a system.

The company plans to start deliveries in June and, initially, only its Mini ITX motherboards will be available in the novel packaging.

Packing Materials Become Component Housings

On receipt, the customer will find the board can be held securely in its box. The casing also includes a cardboard mounting board to take internal peripherals, such as disk drives, DVD modules and power supplies. Panels around the outside of the case can be punched out to allow access to the motherboard’s sockets for monitor connections, USB devices, and audio ports, as well as holes for ventilation fans

For hobbyists, laboratories or systems designers, it offers a flexible, electrically safe and robust housing which can be modified quite easily to take just about any add-in module, either off-the-shelf or specially designed. Once the computer has been constructed in the box, it can be used and tested and a suitable permanent housing can then be manufactured or purchased without having to shoehorn parts into place.

Asus has not specified whether the box has been treated in any way to make it flame retardant so it is probably best to avoid overclocking the processor or other high-power usage.

Extending life

With processors running at lower power levels, however, the idea of building within a cardboard box is not as mad as it might seem. With careful use, a computer in a recyclable case would probably last much longer than the one year specified by the company.

Asus is keen to show itself as a green company and has already produced a netbook that was partially constructed from bamboo. The company has also been awarded flying colours in a recent Greenpeace study of 42 IT products from 21 companies which also included products from companies such as HP, Samsung and Apple.

Asus scored top marks for its VW-247H-HF computer monitor, UL30A notebook computer and netbook TM8172, winning in more categories than any of the other companies.