Chromebook laptop computers have been selling well. In fact, Amazon reports that Chromebooks are the most popular computers sold by the retail giant. For details, look at http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Computers-Accessories-Laptop/zgbs/pc/565108, a list of best-selling laptop computers sold by Amazon. The list is updated hourly. You can also read my earlier articles about Chromebooks by starting at https://www.google.com/#q=site:eogn.com+chromebook. I own a Chromebook and use it often.
Based on the success of the Chromebook laptops, Asus has announced a desktop computer that will run the same Chrome operating system. The Chrome operating system includes virus and malware protection built in, automatic software updates, and it boots up in a few seconds. Asus is aiming the Chromebox at providing low-cost, yet powerful, desktop computers for the classroom, home office or living room.
The new Chromebox will be available with a choice of three different processors: a 4th gen Core i7-4600U, Core i3-4010U or Celeron 2955U processor. It will also be available with either 2 or 4 gigabytes of RAM memory, and a 16 gigabyte solid state storage disk drive. (Chromebooks normally require very little disk drive space, unlike Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers.) Best of all, the new Chromebox will include 100 gigabytes of free Google Drive space for a limited time. The Chromebox also includes both a Gigabit LAN and a dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi network capability, along with Bluetooth 4.0 and four USB 3.0 ports (two to the front, and two at the rear).
This thing is tiny at 4.88 x 4.88 x 1.65 inches (12.4 x 12.4 x 4.2 cm). It includes an HDMI interface to connect a television set as well as a DisplayPort for connection to a computer monitor. The computer also has a 2-in-1 media card reader so the user can copy pictures from the memory cards used in most digital cameras.
Like the Chromebook laptops, the Chromebox can run thousands of applications, including word processing, spreadsheets, slideshows (similar to PowerPoint), Pandora and Google Play music players, photo editing programs, Google Hangouts, Gmail, calendar, Google Talk, Netflix, YouTube, millions of web sites and a wide variety of games. Most of these applications are available free of charge although there are a few exceptions. Chrome also accesses most online genealogy web sites, including those where you can enter your own family tree information.
A major advantage of these cloud-based applications is that the information is available from most any computer, including Chromebox, Chromebook, Windows, Macintosh, Linux, iPhone, iPad, and Android computers. Access is controlled by user names and passwords, as always. This online access is a great advantage for anyone or any family using multiple computers.
Like the Chromebook laptops, the new Chromebox should be an excellent computer for any computer novice as well as experienced computer owners looking for a low-cost second system.
The Asus Chromebox will be available in the US next month with prices starting at US$179. Like most other desktop computers, that price does not include the monitor.