Last month ASUS announced its NUC-sized Chromebox, a small form factor affordable desktop running Google's Chrome OS. The Chromebox will be available with three different CPU options, all based on Intel's Haswell architecture (dual-core Celeron 2955U, Core i3-4010U or Core i7-4600U). Contrary to what ASUS told us last month, none of these units are fanless. 

The ASUS Chromebox will start at $179 for the dual-core 1.4GHz Celeron 2955U model. The very low price point includes 2GB of memory, a 16GB M.2 SSD, 100GB of Google Drive space, and dual-band 802.11n WiFi.

ASUS Chromebox
  ASUS Chromebox Intel Haswell NUC
OS Preloaded Google Chrome OS None
CPU Intel Celeron 2955U (2C/2T 1.4GHz 2MB L3)
Intel Core i3-4010U (2C/4T 1.7GHz 3MB L3)
Intel Core i7-4600U (2C/4T 2.1/3.3GHz 4MB L3)
Intel Core i3-4010U (2C/4T 1.7GHz 3MB L3)
Intel Core i5-4250U (2C/4T 1.3/2.6GHz 3MB L3)
GPU Celeron: Intel HD (200/1000MHz)
Core i3: Intel HD 4400 (200/1000MHz)
Core i7: Intel HD 4400 (200/1100MHz)
Core i3: Intel HD 4400 (200/1000MHz)
Core i5: Intel HD 5000 (200/1000MHz)
Memory 2GB/4GB configs, 2 x DDR3 SO-DIMM Slots 2 x DDR3 SO-DIMM Slots
Storage 16GB M.2 SSD + 100GB Google Drive for 2 years 1 x mini PCIe (full length)
LAN 10/100/1000 Ethernet 10/100/1000 Ethernet
Wireless dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n, BT 4.0 1 x mini PCIe (half length)
External I/O SD card reader
4 x USB 3.0
1 x HDMI
1 x DisplayPort
1 x Audio Jack (mic-in/speaker out)
4 x USB 3.0
1 x mini HDMI
1 x mini DisplayPort
1 x Audio Jack (mic-in/speaker out)
Power Supply 65W 65W
Dimensions 4.88" x 4.88" x 1.65" 4.59" x 4.41" x 1.36"
Starting Price $179 $285

The Chromebox is available for preorder now at Amazon, Newegg and Tiger Direct with systems shipping on March 14th. ASUS doesn't plan to do a preorder for the Core i3 version (also available on the 14th), and the Core i7 version won't be available in North America. 

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  • schizoide - Friday, March 7, 2014 - link

    Unless you're compiling code or rendering video or whatever, the same purpose as having a core i7 CPU on your normal computer. It makes it go faster (but not so you'd really notice.)

    Most peoples' use cases would be perfectly suited with a celeron or maybe i3. Atoms are still a smidgen slow for day to day use, but the new Bay Trail atoms are pretty close. You only need faster CPUs if you're a content creator. Even video games don't need more than a low-end i3; vast majority of games are GPU constrained, not CPU.
  • Coup27 - Friday, March 7, 2014 - link

    I fully understand the difference between CPU's on Windows or OSX, but the whole point is ChromeOS is you have Chrome, and that's it. You are limited to what you can do inside a web browser. If all you are doing is using a browser, there's no difference between a Pentium or an i7.

    Nobody using ChromeOS will be doing rendering video, compiling code, using AutoCAD yada yada so still don't get the benefit at all.
  • lmcd - Friday, March 7, 2014 - link

    There is PNaCl for native code and there is WebGL and asm.js for other heavy, fast content. While the use cases aren't there now, they very well could appear.
  • vanotter - Saturday, March 8, 2014 - link

    There are certainly use cases today that require horsepower. I can use 100% of my desktop i7 in a single tab in Chrome. It all depends on what you do.
  • 8steve8 - Friday, March 7, 2014 - link

    I wish my 28w has well macbook pro was faster... Even when running exclusively a web client. Web browsing and web apps can be heavy... Especially with lots of tabs.
  • Krysto - Friday, March 7, 2014 - link

    That's what you get for going with a crappy Celeron instead of ARM.
  • schizoide - Friday, March 7, 2014 - link

    This is a haswell celeron. It is much faster than any ARM SoC available today.
  • Dentons - Friday, March 7, 2014 - link

    Yes, the Haswell Celerons are impressive bits of silicon, especially the quad-core BayTrails. Though these boxes all have dual core variants.

    It's surprising that Intel's marketing group allowed so useful a chip to be sold for so little. It suggests ARM really has Intel worried.
  • SusanJLopez - Friday, March 7, 2014 - link

    Last month Asus told us these systems would be fanless, but the company made a last-minute change and included a fan due to lack of ambient temperature control. I’m told the fan won’t need to operate very often, and it will reportedly run quietly and shut off quickly when it does power up. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to test that out for myself soon.
  • Jeffspears - Friday, March 7, 2014 - link

    Does it support HDMI-CEC?? I am guessing not since its Intel graphics

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