ACER IS BRINGING Google's Chrome operating system (OS) to desktop systems via a box that attaches to the back of a monitor, turning it into a desktop PC.
Named the Acer Chromebox CXI, the device is all about maximising space while saving money by housing the Chrome OS in a 0.6 litre frame measuring 6.5x5.1x1.3in that can stand upright on its own or hang conveniently on the back of a display.
On the inside, the Acer Chromebox CXI boasts 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0 and Gigabit Ethernet, powered by a dual-core 1.4GHz Intel Celeron 2957U processor with up to 4GB of RAM. It has a 16GB solid-state disk (SSD) drive and thus promises a boot-up time of just eight seconds. There are also be four USB 3.0 ports, including two with power-off charging for smartphones and tablets, Acer said.
The Taiwanese firm claims that the Chromebox CXI's ability to maximize space makes it ideal for public places such as libraries and classroom environments as well as small and medium businesses for task-based user terminals.
"The Acer Chromebox CXI is an excellent fit for schools or businesses where conserving costs and space are high priorities," Acer president of stationary computing and display business group Simon Hwang said in a statement.
"Due to the ease of management, the Chromebox can significantly reduce the technical support and consequently lower the total cost of ownership."
Other features of the Chromebox CXI include an SDcard reader supporting up to 32GB cards, an HDMI port for connecting external displays, a combo audio jack for microphones and headsets, and a Gigabit Ethernet LAN port for wired network connections.
So far, Acer has announced availability and pricing for the CXI only in the US. The firm has yet to confirm whether the device will see a UK release, but it will be available late next month in the US and Canada with prices beginning at $179.99 (around £110) for the version with 2GB of RAM and $219.99 (£130) for the 4GB model.As part of its Chromebox announcement, Acer also unveiled another Chromebook 11, claiming faster wireless connectivity and long-lasting battery life to "extend productivity from day to night on a single charge".
There are two models with Acer's Chromebook release, the CB3-111 consumer model in an white color, and the grey coloured C730 which is focused towards the commercial and education sectors.
"The Acer Chromebook 11 meets the needs of students, families, anyone on a budget, as an affordable secondary device, and for the growing number of customers who enjoy the Google ecosystem for school, work and entertainment," Acer said.
Acer is yet to announce UK prices or release dates for its fresh Chromebook. µ