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Just as inexpensive laptops running Google’s Chrome OS are looking to eat away at traditional PCs’ market share, there’s a new spate “chromeboxes” that are designed to do the same on the desktop side. ASUS’ $179 Chromebox model is now available for preorder at Amazon, Newegg, and Tiger Direct, with more coming.

The ASUS Chromebox-M004U features an Intel Celeron 2955U processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics, 2GB of DDR3-1600MHz RAM, and 16GB of SSD storage. There’s a 10/100/1000 LAN port, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0 for communication. Ports include a 2-in-1 card reader, four USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, a Kensington Lock, and a mic/speaker out audio jack.

ASUS Chromebox

There’s a $369 version coming that sports an Intel Core i3 chip, double the RAM, and Intel HD Graphics 4400, as well as the Chromebox for Meetings that rocks an Intel Core i7 processor and comes with accessories including a remote control, external speaker, HD camera, and more.

You can also opt for a wireless keyboard and mouse for an additional $49.99.

ASUS Chromebox

For businesses, chromeboxes are designed to be ideal for employee or customer kiosks, desktop virtualization, and easy management, and there’s a case to be made for inexpensive chromeboxes in the classroom, too.

For average end users, chromeboxes present an inexpensive tool for productivity--this one has Quickoffice built in as well as Google Docs, for example--that comes loaded with Google’s apps and perks such as 15GB of free Google+ Photos storage and 100GB of Google Drive storage for two years.

I'm curious whether the device can enforce. I am thinking of getting one of these. In fact, if practical for buisness trips.


Really? What is the point? Its a WEB BROWSER for gods sake. Utterly useless device for utterly idiotic people.

Stefan, how is it practical for business trips? You have to plug it in, provide it with a net connection, mouse, keyboard etc etc. A google nexus (and BT keyboard if you HAVE to have it) are more than a match functionally and for convenience's sake, or a Surface if you actually want to get real work done.

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> whether the device can enforce.

Chrome devices run a special BIOS that does signing checks and can go out to the internet and re-install the entire harddrive image when anything's tampered with the OS. It's part of their anti-viral features.  The OS steers you to save everything in the cloud or on a removable SD card, so you lose nothing if it re-images itself.

You probably can find another BIOS for the same motherboard and reflash the device to use that, but you might have to physically take it apart and break a jumper for the flashing to be allowed (at least that's what I had to do on my CR-48).  This is a pain, but it guarantees that the BIOS can't be reflashed by a malicious app and the box will *always* be virus-free after a reboot.

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> Really? What is the point? Its a WEB BROWSER for gods sake. Utterly useless device for utterly idiotic people.

So, ever grandparent who just wants to surf the web and post to their relatives Facebook is an idiot? It's a $179, virus-proof, self-updating, web-surfing, Google Docs friendly NetFlix playing, media center box that can be attached to a TV for people that otherwise don't want/need a computer.


I think these boxes are a great idea for the ppl you say 3vi1 im going to get one for my partner abroad for skyping etc might need the HD graphic version for it though but its soo dinky



Yes it IS stupid. A cheapo 'real' notebook you can use without it being connected to the net to do anything is pretty much the same price, plus your old befuddled grandparents could still watch DVDs and use its webcam to skype their idiot son's children.

There is NO compelling use scenario for this box over a cheap notebook (you know, those things that COME with a screen, keyboard, mouse, DVD drive, more than 8gb storage etc etc etc).  And I'm pretty sure all notebooks can easily be hooked to a TV, though you don't need to.

Add the cost of the extras NEEDED to use these boxes and then ask yourself if its value for money or just a scam to separate stupid morons from their cash.

Hell, why use the awful google docs when you can get a REAL office suite for basically nothing and be able to use it when you're not connected to the net.

These things are a con. A linux OS adulterated by google for the sole purpose of collecting as much info about their slaves, I mean users, as possible.  Google are NOTHING but an advertising agency. Everything they do is in order to identify YOU and YOUR habits so they can more effectively market stuff you don't need or want directly to you. Yeah, I'd trust them.


Soooo some of your points are valid and some not so much.Im not necessarily debating you but some of your over zealous points are wrong. I have problems with your first paragraph and part of your second. 1. you cannot, i repeat, you cannot watch dvd's on a notebook. you would have to buy an external dvd drive for that and netflix is a much better option than fooling around with dvds for most people. so thats the first issue. 2. Note books dont come with a mouse either. you have to buy that separately. 3. As far as money goes a 128gb sd card is way cheaper than a 128 SSD while granted a SSD is reliable my point is that if you were to try to upgrade to a higher storage capacity it would be more costly and this form of storage is interchangeable at least. My previous points make your 3 paragraph moot since there are a similar amount of extras that you would have to buy for a notebook. Most of the time you have to buy so called REAL office suite. so again more extras. Google docs is free. Finally your last paragraph is where you really lose me because it shows that you seem to be a zealous anti google individual for no real good reason. Also if you think google is the only doing this and every other company is innocent and sweet and not using your data then you are just plain ignorant.


This seems to me to be Asus' entry into the "grandmother-friendly" pc market; not something I would expect a company that has specialized in high-quality equipment to do..


Chromeboxes specifically, and Chrome OS in general, aren't for the tech-ignorant, you guys. It's a lightweight platform that offers 95% of whatever average users normally need from a typical PC. They're incredibly inexpensive machines, which means you can afford to put multiples in your home.

Hence the "kiosk" idea. You can grab, let's say, three of these chromeboxes for a total of $537. Set one up for Internet and streaming in the kitchen; give the kids one to use in the playroom; have another set up in the garage; etc.


I'm certainly anti-google, and for good reason. They ARE nothing but a company that produces things that people use ONLY to drive more revenue for their advertising business, which face it, is the ONLY thing they make money on.

They ARE an advertising agency. YOU are their product. You and your personal information which they are only too willing to sell to the highest bidder.

If you're happy with being sold out that fine, but most people when asked still think that google is a 'search' company. They hide their advertising deceit behind the public's good will from back when all they were was a search company. Times have moved on and they ARE NOT your friend anymore. They use the info that their other services collect as a way to leverage their advertising business.

They have sold us all out but barely anyone sees, or wants to see, this fact.

So go on, live in your pink fluffy cloud, with your google overlords collecting and collating EVERYTHING you do online so they can target their ad juggernaut at you more efficiently.

If ANY other company behaved as google does you' be baying for their blood. But because its google its seemingly okay.


95%? Try 5%.

Remove internet connectivity and that percentage drops to 0%.


You're simply wrong. You clearly haven't spent any time with Chome OS, nor have you apparently read anything about it. 

It's fine if you hate Google and hate Chome OS devices, but if you're spewing venom you need to have *some* idea of what you're talking about. Eg, you don't like that Google (and pretty every other Internet company) makes its money by trading on your personal data. That's a totally legitimate gripe.

But you obviously don't know anything about the topic at hand, which is Chrome OS devices. I for one like to hear differing points of view, but you have to have something to say besides "I hate this" or "This sucks".


Just came across this post not bad on the price