Asus has recently announced its first Asus Chromebox powered by a Haswell processor and runs on Chrome OS. It is somewhat similar to Intel’s NUC mini PC, powered by the same processor (more or less), but runs on a different operating system, Chrome OS instead of Windows. The Asus Chromebox comes with a $179 price tag, making it an affordable multimedia solution. Check out the rest of its features, specifications and availability below.
Asus Chromebox Specifications
The Asus Chromebox will be available in different variants. The cheaper ones are powered by an Intel Celeron 2955U processor, paired with either 2GB or 4GB DDR3 memory SO-DIMMS. The Intel Celeron processor is very much enough to run Chrome OS in most cases, since Chrome OS is a light OS (but heavily depends on internet connection) compared to Windows, and it doesn’t really need that much processing power. Meanwhile a faster and powerful Intel Core i3-4010U and Intel Core i7-4600U will also be available for those who would want 4K video display support. Although I am not sure yet whether a Core i5 variant will also be available.
Also under the hood of the Asus Chromebox are 16GB M.2 SSD with 100GB Google Drive storage for 2 years, a 10/100/1000Ethernet port and WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band connectivity with Bluetooth 4.0. There are two USB 3.0 ports, a 2-in-1 SD card reader and Kensington lock on the front side of the Chromebox. At its rear are the power connector, Gigabit Port, 2x USB 3.0 ports, HDMI port, DisplayPort and a combo mic and headphone jack.
Price and Availability
UPDATE: The Asus Chromebox M004U is now available, see here.
The Asus Chromebox has a suggested retail price starting at $179 USD. If you ask me that’s really a cheap price considering its specs and features. If you are planning to buy one, it is expected to be available starting March 2014. Aside from the 100GB of Google Drive storage for 2 years, Asus will ship its Chromebox with VESA mount as well.
Official Press Release
ASUS Chromebox is a stylish and compact device thoughtfully designed to simplify home, classroom or office computing. It is easy to set up right out of the box, and starts up in seconds to give users quick access to their favorite applications, games and websites. It provides integrated virus and malware protection and automatically updates itself for a safe hassle-free user experience.
Simplified computing for everyone
ASUS Chromebox provides a gateway to the world of Google web services and thousands of Chrome Web Store apps designed for business, education and home, including many popular services like YouTube, Hulu Plus and Netflix. Users are provided with 100 GB of Google Drive space, turning the ASUS Chromebox into a complete data hub for their other personal PCs, smartphones, and tablets. Users can access all of their data and files in the cloud by simply logging in to their Google Account on any device, anywhere.
A 4th generation Intel processor that provides very responsive multitasking performance powers ASUS Chromebox and ensures users won’t be kept waiting when working on documents, streaming HD video, browsing the web or playing the latest game. It features 802.11 b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi to speed web browsing and other online activities. Four USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth 4.0 and an SD card reader are included to ease everyday tasks such as transferring files, photos and other media. ASUS Chromebox is compatible with a wide range of USB devices, including external storage devices, keyboards, mice, webcams and USB hubs, making it easy to expand as needed.
In addition, ASUS Chromebox features HDMI and DisplayPort outputs for dual monitor capability and support for next-generation 4K Ultra High Definition (4K/UHD) displays. This gives users the flexibility to use desktop displays or large-screen TVs, giving them more room to work, collaborate or play.
Secure and safe account-based access
The account-based, login and start working or playing nature of ASUS Chromebox makes it an easy-to-use family, classroom or office computer. Users can quickly add new Google Accounts for each family member, classmate or co-worker, and can switch accounts at any time ensuring each user’s data is safe and secure. Parental controls ensure a safe web environment for kids, and ASUS Chromebox takes the hassle out of computing to allow users – young and old – to enjoy everything the web has to offer. It integrates perfectly with today’s digital lifestyles, enabling users to bring one-on-one and group conversations to life with photos and free video calls via Google Hangouts, for example, or create, edit and share office documents with Google Docs in real-time.