The last of the Haswell-based Chrome OS machines announced by Google last September has now been revealed. Where Acer, HP and Toshiba all opted to release notebooks built around Intel's 4th generation microarchitecture, Asus has its sights on the classroom, home office or living room with the launch of its compact-yet-powerful Chromebox desktop computer.
Asus says that its little black box benefits from an OS with virus and malware protection built in, that it should always include the latest features and enhancements thanks to automatic updates, and promises start from cold times of just a few seconds.
The company is offering 4th gen Core i7-4600U, Core i3-4010U or Celeron 2955U processor options (with integrated graphics up to Intel HD440), up to 4 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM, and 16 GB of built-in solid state storage, with 100 GB of free Google Drive space for a limited time. Users can get connected via Gigabit LAN or dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 and four USB 3.0 ports (two to the front, and two at the rear) offer wired or wireless peripheral connectivity options.
The 4.88 x 4.88 x 1.65 in (12.4 x 12.4 x 4.2 cm) Chromebox packs full-sized HDMI and DisplayPort outputs for connection to a big screen TV or monitor, and Asus says that the device is capable of supporting 4K playback (although not with the model sporting the Celeron processor). The computer also has a 2-in-1 media card reader for painless offline access to digital media files.
The Asus Chromebox will be available in the US from March, prices start from US$179.