Back in June when Samsung Series 3 Chromebox was just released, we mentioned the limitations of Chromebox including limited local storage (read this: Chromebox review). Two months later, geeks from Geek.com finally cracked open the Chromebox case and demonstrated how to upgrade your Chromebox with ease.
Samsung Chromebox Cracked Open
According to Geek.com, breaking into Chromebox is extremely easy. The cover could be easily removed without any tools, it’s not even held in with clips. The “motherboard” is mounted by screws, those common ones that could be unscrewed using your eyeglass repair toolkit. Almost everything on board could be removed and replaced, including the WiFi card and USB port (of course, you need to find ways to load new driver into the system if you want to replace these hardware).
As said, the limited local storage of Chromebox makes it less attractive because you probably need to store most of your files online and download only when needed. The good news is since Chromebox is easily hackable, you can simply replace the built-in SSD with a larger one! Geek.com tried to install a Kingston SSDNow mS100 64GB SSD and it only took minutes to complete.
The same applies for memory. The RAM on board could be replaced easily too, guys at Geek.com replaced the pair of 2GB RAM with two 8GB sticks of DDR3-1333 SODIMM RAM without problem.
In fact, there is an empty mSATA port on board so theoretically adding a new piece of hardware should be OK if there is software to support it. For geeks and hackers, the “open design” of Chromebox is a good news, so as for system administrators and home users. It makes system upgrade and checking much simpler. With the chance to increase storage and memory, Chromebox becomes a very attractive set-top box as well as a media center in the living room. Imagine loading 60GB of music into the Chromebox and connect it to the TV, you have a music box with a web interface. The only thing of concern is perhaps how to make use of the redundant memory and SSD… their capacity is just too small to be installed in other computers!