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Asus' $179 Celeron-based Chromebox Shipping March 14

Early last month, hot on the heels of the Consumer Electronics Show, Asus announced a mini PC it called the Chromebox. As the name suggests, this device runs on Google’s web-based Chrome OS. At the time, Asus said it planned to launch this mini computer in March. Now we have a release date for the little guy.

Online retailers now have the computer up for pre-order with a release date of March 14, which is next Friday. No word on whether the Chromebox will also be available in retail stores, though Engadget reports that Newegg, TigerDirect, and Amazon are all selling the device, so you’re spoiled for choice on the web at least.

This model packs the Celeron 2955U and Intel HD graphics with 2GB DDR3 RAM and 16 GB of SSD storage. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any listings available for the higher powered Core i3 or Core i7 models, though you can expect the price to jump alongside the bump in processor. Customers can also choose to double the RAM to 4 GB, but no word on the cost for that, either.

Chromebox will also sport dual-band Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI output port, one DisplayPort jack, one audio output jack, a Kensington lock and a 65 watt power supply. The Core i3 and Core i7 models will come with support for 4K/UHD 4K resolution displays, too.

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  • XGrabMyY
    We NEED to know if this will have a locked bootloader and if it will have a BIOS with legacy options. I want one of these to install Linux over.
    Reply
  • XGrabMyY
    We NEED to know if this will have a locked bootloader and if it will have a BIOS with legacy options. I want one of these to install Linux over.
    Reply
  • JD88
    All Chrome devices so far have been completely unlocked. I've been able to run Linux on every one I've tried.
    Reply
  • rad666
    This would make a nice cheap, little Steam box for in home streaming.
    Reply
  • ferooxidan
    rad666, nice idea! I could install Steam OS and then login to Dota2 just to stream online tournament on my bigger screen HDTV.
    Reply
  • malman
    I would be really tempted depending on the price of a 4GB i3 variant. The base model is still quite appealing, but if it was an affordable upgrade, I'd probably consider it.
    Reply
  • salgado18
    The base model seems good for streaming, Netflix, and very light gaming (old consoles emulation, maybe). I like it.
    Reply
  • MrBo
    Doesn't look like there's space for expanding with a GFX card. Isn't this box sort of the worst kind of steambox? No serious GPU is terrible for everything gaming related, and SteamOS/Steam is based around gaming. It's like they took the longest step away from the intent of Steam machines possible and made a product.
    Reply
  • novaguy
    Doesn't look like there's space for expanding with a GFX card. Isn't this box sort of the worst kind of steambox? No serious GPU is terrible for everything gaming related, and SteamOS/Steam is based around gaming. It's like they took the longest step away from the intent of Steam machines possible and made a product.
    No, but it might work as a receiver from steam (beta) streaming device to an hdtv. All you need is a good connection and the video decode should work.
    Reply
  • JD88
    12840376 said:
    Doesn't look like there's space for expanding with a GFX card. Isn't this box sort of the worst kind of steambox? No serious GPU is terrible for everything gaming related, and SteamOS/Steam is based around gaming. It's like they took the longest step away from the intent of Steam machines possible and made a product.

    No it's not gaming oriented, but nor was it intended to be. This is a Chromebox, not a Steambox. Very different things. The Chromebox is designed to run Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system based on the Chrome web browser running mostly web based applications that require very little processing or graphical power. Those suggesting using it as a Steam Machine are planning on replacing Chrome OS with Steam OS or some other Linux distribution.
    Reply