TAIWANESE HARDWARE MAKER Asus has unveiled an inexpensive Chromebox mini-desktop PC powered by an Intel Haswell CPU.
Running the Google desktop Chrome operating system (OS), the fanless Chromebox measures just 4.8x4.8x1.7in and has a dual-core 1.4GHz Intel Celeron 2955U Haswell processor.
As you'd expect from an Intel powered device, it comes with integrated graphics plus 2GB of RAM, 16GB of solid-state disk (SSD) internal storage, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and an SD card reader for expandable storage.
Looking a little similar to Intel's Windows 8 powered NUC, the Chromebox also offers four USB 3.0 ports for faster file transfer.
The device has been launched only in the US thus far, but we speculate that there will be a UK release in the following months. We are awaiting a definite release date from Asus. However, the release shows that hardware firms are willing to develop devices supporting Google's lightweight but rather limited Chrome OS and that there is a demand for Chrome OS desktop PCs in the market.
For those who want a little more power, Asus Chromebox customers will be able to bump up the specifications to a dual-core 1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4010U CPU with 4GB of RAM. The Intel Core i3 powered Chromebox will also be able to drive 4K monitors via Displayport, and both models will support dual HD monitors via HDMI and Displayport.
However, the best news is that the Asus Chromebox mini-desktop PC will retail for a starting price of $179, or about £110, when the base model launches in the US in March. µ