HP's new desktop computer is a powerful business PC that's small enough to fit in your palm. At about 5 inches (13 centimeters) wide and less than 2 inches (5 cm) thick, the HP Chromebox is portable enough to tote on your daily commute. And when desk space is at a premium, it mounts easily onto the back of a monitor.
Like Chromebook laptops, the HP 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 just need to browse the Web; check and respond to emails; or create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations, a Chromebook might be all you need — and it's a lot cheaper than comparable Windows or Mac machines.
Pricing and release details are not yet confirmed, but you can sign up for availability notifications here. Read on for three features that could make the HP Chromebox good for business.
Chromebox for Meetings
HP's device will support the new Chromebox for Meetings videoconferencing platform, which Google is touting as an easier way to join a business meeting remotely. The platform runs through Google Hangouts, Google's Skype-like video-chat service. The meeting host can load a video feed of all remote participants on any display the Chromebox is connected to, and participants can easily share their laptop screen wirelessly, with no adaptors necessary. Thanks to integration with Google Docs, you can even collaborate on documents, spreadsheets or presentations remotely during a meeting.
More powerful hardware
The HP Chromebox offers beefed-up hardware compared with that on ASUS' new Chromebox. It packs a speedy Intel Core i7 processor for faster performance and smoother videoconferencing. The device also includes four USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort and HDMI in and out ports.
Security features could distinguish the HP Chromebox from other business-ready PCs. It includes encryption tools and multilayered virus protection, and Google's Web-based device management and configuration tools can help business owners ensure deployed units remain secure.