Often, people purchase a device with the intent of running a web browser on it. I understand the appeal of Joshtekk.com and we can all relate to the desire for it to have a dedicated machine. Google, through Chrome OS, targets this market with a line of laptops dedicated to web browsing. They are effective against virulent infections, a useful feature for casual Joshtekk encounters, with its limited native applications and simple recovery process.
ASUS is, by no means, first to this market. Samsung had a couple of Chromebox models almost two years ago. That said, the ASUS Chromebox will start at $179 USD (which is much cheaper than Samsung's $329 offering). The base model will contain an Intel Celeron 2955U processor (the aforementioned Samsung packed a Celeron B840), which is not a high-performance processor, but may suffice for your web browsing needs. If not, an Intel Core i3 model has also been announced but I do not have pricing to relay about that one. A Core i7-4600U version may or may not surface, as well. Its graphics will support options up to an Intel HD 4400.
One feature that is unexpected is its video outputs. The ASUS Chromebox supports both HDMI and DisplayPort connections for dual monitors and 4K. Given that this is a 5-inch by 5-inch (and fanless) design, with access to Netflix and other streaming services, it could make a good replacement for a "smart TV".
The ASUS Chromebox will be available in March starting at $179 USD. This price comes with 100GB of Google Drive space, free for 2 years. Also free: a VESA mount kit to, I believe, attach the Chromebox to the back of an HDTV.
If interested, read on for the press release.
Announcing the ASUS Chromebox
The ASUS Chromebox is a compact and powerful device delivering an incredible Chrome OS experience at an unbelievable starting price of $179
Fremont, CA (February 4, 2014) — ASUS today announced the Chromebox. 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.
"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, Google. "Perfect for home, the classroom or the office, Chromebox is designed for the way we use computers today.”
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 100GB of Google Drive space1, 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) displays1. 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.
AVAILABILITY & PRICING
ASUS Chromebox will be available at leading North American resellers in March with pricing starting at $179 US. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information on availability, configurations and pricing.
Google Chrome OS
Intel® Core™ i7-4600U Processor (optional sku in selected markets)
Intel® Core™ i3-4010U Processor
Intel® Celeron™ 2955U Processor
2GB / 4GB x DDR3-1600MHz; 2 x SO-DIMM
Integrated – Intel® HD Graphics (up to 4400)
16GB M.2 (NGFF) SSD, 100GB of Google Drive space for limited time
Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n; Bluetooth V4.0
1 x 2-in-1 Card Reader
4 x USB3.0
1 x HDMI
1 x DisplayPort
1 x LAN (RJ45) Port
1 x Audio Jack (Mic-in/Speaker-out)
1 x Kensington Lock
1 x DC-in
4.88 x 4.88 x 1.65”
1 support for 4KJ/UHD 4K resolution requires Core-i3 or higher SKU
1 Specifications and product availability are all subject to change without notice and may differ from country to country. Actual performance may vary depending on applications, usage, environment and other factors. For more details about the products mentioned in this press release, please visit http://promos.asus.com/us/chrome-os/chromebox/ .
ASUS is a worldwide top-three consumer notebook vendor and maker of the world’s best-selling, most award-winning, motherboards. A leading enterprise in the new digital era, ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today’s digital home and office, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, optical drives, displays, desktop and all-in-one PCs, notebooks, netbooks, servers, multimedia devices, wireless solutions, networking devices, tablets and smartphones. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 4,256 awards in 2013 and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with its Eee PC™. ASUS has more than 12,500 employees around the globe with a world-class R&D team of 3,800 engineers. Company revenue for 2012 was approximately US$14 billion.