HOT ON THE heels of the Chrome OS laptop Samsung launched overseas, the Korean electronics giant has achieved yet another milestone. This time its focus is firmly on the desktop, with the Chromebox PC, a Mac Mini like device that is powered by Google’s cloud-connected OS.
Available in the US and UK via Amazon and Newegg, the Chromebox retails for a wallet pleasing US$329. For Google fans looking for an affordable computing option, the Chromebox should in theory provide a compact solution that is small enough to be parked under most monitors (or dare I say it, even fastened to the back of a monitor for clutter free computing).
Sporting 6 USB ports, connectivity is unlikely to be an issue, and even better still, the Chromebox also uses DVI for video connectivity which means it can be hooked up to most HD capable big screen TVs for some in-lounge internet and media access.
At the time of writing, US$329 equated to NZ$431.77 which makes the Chromebox a pretty affordable option. That said, additional handling and shipping costs are likely to take this figure over the $500 mark, but this computer is still likely to have automatic appeal for regular users of Google’s online tools (and a chunky data allowance).
About the only real concern I’d have is the similarity of the Chromebox to Apple’s Mac Mini. Given the ongoing legal wrangling between Samsung and Apple, it wouldn’t be beyond the bounds of reason that the Chromebox could end up being dragged into the existing legal biffo.
This would be a real shame as it’s a slick bit of kit that is potentially a great fit with much of the market. With many people already in possession of a spare mouse and keyboard from a previous PC, the Chromebox could be a runaway success with price sensitive kiwi consumers. Watch this space. PAT PILCHER