A number of vendors have launched Chromebook laptops running Google’s lightweight, no-cost Chrome OS, but PC vendor Asus is trying a new form factor with its new Chromebox.
The Chrobebox is essentially a small form factor PC running Chrome OS instead of Microsoft’s Windows OS. Starting at US$179 it’s even cheaper than a Chromebook, but you will need to purchase a display, keyboard and monitor if you don’t have one already.
Asus is positioning the Chromebox as a compact device that can simplify home, classroom or office computing, with easy set up, access to web applications and games, and integrated security with automatic updates.
“The Asus Chromebox offers the simplicity, security and speed of Chrome OS in the most compact and powerful Chrome device to date,” said Felix Lin, director of product management with Google, in a statement. “Perfect for home, the classroom or the office, Chromebox is designed for the way we use computers today.”
Users get access to Google web services, the Chrome Web store apps and, as with any Chromebook purchase, 100GB of free Google Drive storage for a limited time.
The baseline model comes with an Intel Celeron processor, and Core i3 and i7 options are also available. There are 2GB and 4GB RAM options, and it comes with integrated Intel HD graphics and 16GB storage. It features 802.11 b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi, four USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth 4.0 and an SD card reader. It also has HDMI and DisplayPort outputs for dual monitor capability and support for 4K Ultra High Definition displays.
The Asus Chromebox will be available in March.