This week, ASUS announced a miniature Chromebox desktop PC that could be your next super-portable business machine. The $179 computer runs on Chrome OS and is powered by a zippy Intel Haswell-based Celeron Processor. For a business user with limited desk space and a tendency to move between home and the office, ASUS' Chromebox might make an enticing option when it launches in March.
At just 4.88 inches square and 1.65 inches thick, the ASUS Chromebox is extremely portable. The box features four USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort, HDMI, audio, a media card reader and a Kensington lock port. In addition to a fourth-generation Celeron processor, the box packs 2GB of RAM and an SSD with 16GB of internal storage. And Google is throwing in 100GB of free cloud storage for two years through its Google Drive service. A higher-end model outfitted with an Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM will also be available at launch, though ASUS hasn't yet announced pricing details for that version.
Like Chromebook laptops, the ASUS Chromebox runs on Chrome OS, a browser-based operating system from Google. If you rely on a particular piece of Windows or Mac software, the platform might not suit your needs. But if you need to browse the Web; check and respond to email; or create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations, a Chromebook might be all you need — and at a much lower price point than comparable Windows or Mac machines.