Chromebox Reviews Roundup – Who Should Buy It?

So Samsung Chromebox is released and hot-selling (being the best selling desktop computer in Amazon).  Do you like it?  Considering buying one?  Before you hit the buy button, let’s have a look at what people say about this little Chrome device:

Samsung Chromebox

Size and Look

  • 7.6 x 7.6 x 1.3 inches big, it can fit into any drawer unnoticed
  • Outer appearance and feel is not bad, but it’s not great. It has an “overly plasticly appearance” – GearWERKZ.net

 

Performance

  • Boots in 5 to 7 seconds, ready to surf the internet in about 10 seconds.  Probably only tablets could be faster.
  • “It’s very fast and very stable, and I never encountered a crash or slowdown…” – TheVerge.com
  • “The Chromebox handles 1080p video playback without hiccups or drama — watching YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu or Netflix is no longer a gamble… with 4GB of RAM it’s now possible to open a few dozen tabs before noticing any performance hit.” – Engadget.com

 

Software

  • Setting it up is easy, just connect to network via Wi-Fi or ethernet, use (or create) your Google account, and you are good to go
  • Multi-tasking is improved in this version of Chrome OS, putting windows side-by-side is great
  • Everything stored online, auto-update and virus-protection, this PC is virtually maintenance-free
  • Limited to using the apps in Chrome Web Store
  • It’s great for simple casual use.   “If you want to spend hours on productivity programs, video or picture editing for instance or constructing complicated office documents, then the Chromebox is probably not for you.” – TechRadar.com

 

Input/Output/Accessories

  • Using your own keyboard is OK, because you can map most keys of the keyboard to the Chrome OS specific keys, EXCEPT Caps Lock (according to theverge.com)
  • There are plenty of ports (6 USB ports!!!)
  • However, there is no VGA or HDMI port, so you need a separate DVI-to-HDMI cable to connect to your HDTV
  • It supports dual-display output, but right now it only mirrors the desktop to two displays
  • There is only 16GB flash storage on board, so if you want to use it as a media center, you may need an external harddisk
  • It recognizes many common webcams, however, USB-based microphones are currently not supported – CNET.com

 

Price

  • At $329.99, it’s more like a net-top, good for low-end use
  • Much cheaper than Apple’s Mac Mini (but of course, Mac Mini is more powerful)

 

So what’s the verdict?  Most reviewers thought that Chromebox is good for some simple and lightweight use.  Given it’s limited local storage and fair CPU speed, one should not expect to use it for heavy tasks.  It has the potential to be a home theater PC, but the lack of HDMI port and web-only user interface make it not the perfect choice (think Apple TV if you only want streaming media, and it’s much cheaper).  If you are looking for a device for light-weight web surfing in the living room, occasional document editing and watching online video in YouTube, Chromebox is something you may consider.
Samsung Series 3 Chromebox

Chromebox is the Best Selling Desktop Computer, Followed by Mac Mini

Samsung has just released Chromebox, a mini desktop computer running Google’s Chrome OS.  How does the market think about this new device?  I found an answer in Amazon:

Chromebox - Best Selling Computer in Amazon

 

As of today, 31 May 2012, two days after the launch of this product, Chromebox becomes the best selling desktop computer in Amazon.  Is this may be a new product phenomenon?  On one hand, I believe this product is something the market has been waiting for – a set top box for internet browsing and casual computing use connected to a TV, very suitable for couch surfing and daily simple use.  On the other hand, its $329.99 price tag may be a little steep, considering it mainly a browser instead of a full computer.

Another interesting thing observed is what comes second.  It’s Apple’s Mac Mini!  Another small desktop computer in the size of a set-top box.  Is it a coincidence?  Or customers are really hunger for this a computer of this size?  While we know that many people use Mac Mini as home theater PC (HTPC), it is not surprising at all to see the popularity of Chromebox.

We shall see if Chromebox could maintain its status as the best selling computer for the weeks and months to come.  I do believe that, given the much lower price of Chromebox, it could certainly attract some potential Mac Mini buyers who simply want a living room computer for casual use.

Do you think Chromebox could challenge Mac Mini’s position?  Do you like Chromebox?  Share your views here!

New Samsung Chromebook and Chromebox Hit the Market!

Today (30 May 2012), Google formally announced the new Samsung Chromebook and Chromebox.  Customers from US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, South Korea and Spain can find links to online purchase from Google’s official page.  US customers can directly buy Chromebook and Chromebox from Amazon and Newegg.

Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook (3G)

Samsung Series 3 Chromebox

The price of Chromebook is $549.99 for 3G version and $449.99 for WiFi only version.  The price of Chromebox is $329.99, as listed on Amazon.  The 1st generation Samsung Chromebook is still available for purchase in Amazon with a price tag of $349.99 (3G).

It was once expected that these new Chrome devices would be released during the Google I/O 2012, but it looks like Google and Samsung wish to see them in the market not later than June.  What do you think about the price?  Do you think they are expensive?  Share your view here!

Samsung Chromebox and Chromebook

Chromebook and Chrome OS Introductory Video

Chromebook may not be the most-expected computer of the year, but it certainly draws some attention, many non-tech people are also aware of this little efficient and powerful laptop.  If in the unlikely case you know of somebody who have never heard of Chromebook and wondered what magic it could play, this new video by Google could help you to explain (and persuade him to buy one):

And since Chrome OS is a revolutionary system, not everyone could understand what it is and how is it different from Chrome browser.  So here is a new video by Gogle introducing the Chrome OS:

Enjoy!

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