Google’s Chrome OS continues to show up on more and more devices, and while the majority of them are laptops, it looks like desktop users are going to have quite a few options as well. Joining LG’s upcoming Chromebase all-in-one is the Asus Chromebox, a headless mini-PC that goes on sale in March for $179. At 4.88″ by 4.88″ by 1.65″, it’s similar to but slightly larger than Intel’s more versatile NUC desktop in every dimension.
The Asus Chromebox is incredibly small, measuring 4.9×4.9×1.65 inches. The Intel NUC is marginally smaller, but they’re both incredibly small computers. Other than its incredibly low price, the main advantage of the Asus Chromebox is that it’s fanless — so, plug in an external hard drive, or connect it up to your NAS, and you have a fairly plucky home theater PC. It’s also a pretty solid choice if you’re looking for a small, inoffensive piece of technology to get a friend or family member onto the internet. The lack of internal storage is always going to be a bit of an issue with Chromebooks and boxes, but Google’s free-100GB-of-cloud-storage-for-two-years does ameliorate some of the pain.
A benefit that USENET members may enjoys is that the ASUS Chromebox will attach to the back-end of a VESA-based monitor, making it look like the popular all-in-one Windows 8.1 machines at the big box stores. It will also hook up to more than one display, making it a nice tool for plugging into the family TV and a computer at the same time. Watch movies on Google Play Movies or Netflix and then switch over to a computer to access the thousands of newsgroups that ThunderNews offers its members.
The box itself is a little bigger than Intel’s Haswell NUC, but we’re still talking about an extremely small form factor computer. You can expect availability sometime in March. Google will throw in 100GB of space on Google Drive for 2 years to make up for the limited internal storage.