ASUS Unveils $179 Chromebox, Bundles 100 GB of Google Drive Space
February 4, 2014 3:48 PM
comment(s) - last by
No need for a $99 USD Windows license, this baby is open source and a bargain at that
ASUTek Computer Inc. (
promised us computers in 2014 running Google
red-hot Chrome operating system
(Chrome OS) and it's already delivered in impressive fashion.
The just announced ASUSTek Chromebox fits in the palm of your hand and costs only $179 USD. Google archrival Microsoft Corp. (
fond of saying what Chromebooks "can't do"
, but in reality unless you're an enthusiast, graphic designer, or code developer, you won't be missing much.
the tepid public response to Windows 8/8.1 in full swing
, Google is presenting its Chrome OS as a compelling alternative to
marching back to Windows 7
While it won't play Crysis, it can fulfill all of your fundamental computing needs ranging from document processing (via the cloud-connected, offline capable Google Docs suite), gaming (via a growing legion of Chrome browser apps), image editing/creation, media (video, audio) playback, and internet browsing.
The tiny computer is complemented by a
100 GB cloud stroage allotment
for Google Drive, which is good for two years. After that, you can shuffle your data off the cloud and onto external storage, or pay $59.88 USD/year
at current rates
for the same allotment. Of course, cloud storage costs are dropping fast, so you can expect that cost to be $30 USD/year perhaps, or less, by the time your subscription expires.
The base spec of the device includes:
4.88" x 4.88" x 1.65"
Fourth Generation Core i-Series
system-on-a-chip (SoC) from Intel Corp. (
Second-gen. 22 nm transistors
2 core / 2 threads
Celeron HD (shaders: 200 MHz / DDR transfer: 1000 MHz)
U.S., Int'l editions
2 core / 4 threads
HD 4400 (shaders: 200 MHz / DDR transfer: 1000 MHz, 4K ready)
U.S., Int'l editions
2 core / 4 threads
2.1 GHz (stock) --> 3.3 GHz (turbo)
HD 4400 (shaders: 200 MHz / DDR transfer: 1100 MHz, 4K ready)
Int'l edition only
2 GB or 4 GB options
16 GB SSD (M.2)
100 GB Google Drive cloud storage
dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n
I/O + Readers
SD card reader
4 x USB 3.0
1 x HDMI
1 x DisplayPort
1 x Audio Jack (mic-in/speaker out)
Max (supply): 65 W
Avg. Draw: ~15 W
Okay, so there are some minor disappointments, including the lack of 802.11ac and the fact that the Core-i7 model is only shipping in Asia and other foreign regions (expect some supply to trickle into the States, though, via resale channels).
In a press release, Google product management director Felix Lin says of the partner device:
The Asus Chromebox offers the simplicity, security, and speed of Chrome OS in the most compact and powerful Chrome device to date. Perfect for home, the classroom or the office, Chromebox is designed for the way we use computers today.
It's true some apps may be absent, but according to chromeosapps.org, there are currently 33,000 apps. With Chromeboxes (desktops) and Chromebooks (laptops) growing faster in sales than any other personal computer platform, many developers are dropping Windows exclusivity.
packs over 30,000 apps, many of which run well both connected to the cloud and offline. [Image Source: Google]
We've seen similar Windows 8 mini-PCs, which are inspired by Intel's "NUC"
reference design. But a key problem is price. For example, Gigabyte Technology Comp., Ltd.'s (
) similar Celeron 1037U 1.8GHz equipped "Brix" model is only
. Likewise, Intel's own first-party NUC product (with a Intel Core i3 3217U
. But with the
"Windows tax" added on, you reach $270-290 USD, roughly $100 more than the ASUS-Google box.
With a Windows license, Gigabyte's Iris Pro model will set you back $600 USD.
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]
A small number may find the
Iris Pro-equipped Brix
that Gigabyte offers
for $499 USD
more compelling (the loud fan is a bit of a turnoff), but you're talking about a $600 USD system, with the cost of your Windows license -- roughly three times the cost of the ASUS Celeron-sporting Chromebox.
Microsoft is reportedly kicking around the idea of
making Windows RT free
, which could open up new low-price options. But until that happens, Google has Microsoft beat on pirce -- the deciding factor for many consumers.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
2/4/2014 4:16:36 PM
Provided it's quiet and you can change the OS to Openelec or similar (to run XBMC), this would make a pretty good HTPC at a great price.
I don't know if these processors have corrected the GPU issues that drove many to utilize AMD for HTPC's however.
2/4/2014 9:53:14 PM
Wonder if it can pass HDCP.
2/5/2014 8:21:23 AM
I don't know about being a full blown HTPC with DVR functions and what not, but it should be a competent media streamer. My only question is DLNA. I actually haven't spent much time with Chromium OS to know.
2/5/2014 1:00:08 PM
yup, if it can do xbmc or plex without being a "lite" version (like roku has, for example), this would be closer for me to a win instead of having to build a full blown x86 mini-pc.
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
HP is Giving Customers What They Want: Windows 7
January 20, 2014, 9:19 AM
Report: Windows 9 Set for April 2015 Release, Microsoft Likens Windows 8 to Vista
January 14, 2014, 10:33 AM
Chromebooks Capture 21 Percent of 2013 U.S. Notebook Sales
December 26, 2013, 4:40 PM
Report: Windows Phone, Windows RT May be Offered Free to OEMs
December 12, 2013, 2:31 PM
Fed Up With Cheating OEMs, Microsoft Trolls Chromebooks in New Ad
November 27, 2013, 4:09 PM
Quick Note: Apple Watch to Get Brick and Mortar Boost From Best Buy
July 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
Can HTC Save Its "RE Grip" Smartband After Its Inexplicable Failure Launch?
July 17, 2015, 2:29 PM
Facebook's "Moneypenny" is Cross Platform Siri on Steroids
July 15, 2015, 3:59 PM
Apple Watch Sales Have Plummeted
July 8, 2015, 5:01 PM
Consumer Reports: Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 Can't Keep Up w/ Galaxy S5
July 6, 2015, 4:57 PM
Apple iOS 8.4 Rolls Out w/ Fix to Crash-Causing Unicode Text
June 30, 2015, 3:24 PM
Most Popular Articles
As iPad Sales Wane and Watch Flops, iPhone Saves Apple's Profit With Its Heroics
July 22, 2015, 6:13 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Microsoft July 29 Windows 10 Launch: Freebies, Rollout, and What's Next
July 21, 2015, 2:40 PM
Mozilla and Facebook to Adobe: It's Time to Kill Flash
July 20, 2015, 6:30 PM
Google Scores Bizarre Court Win as Disgruntled Android Users' Lawyers Ruin Case
July 16, 2015, 5:58 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information