Acer introduces Chromebox CXI PC family starting at $179.99

Acer introduces Chromebox CXI PC family starting at $179.99

Summary: The company is the latest to attempt to bring Google's Chrome OS to the desktop.

TOPICS: PCs, Hardware

While Chromebooks have enjoyed substantial success in the mobile market, even spawning Windows competitors, companies have had less luck with Chromeboxes, which bring Google's Chrome OS to the desktop. Like their laptop counterparts, Chromeboxes don't offer much in the way of specs, but don't really require them and, as a result, can be sold for dirt cheap. But whether users don't see the same need for Chrome's simplicity in a traditional PC form factor, or it's the latest sign of desktops' fading popularity, Chromeboxes have been few and far between.

Samsung was out in front of the pack, but more recently, Asus and HP have tried their hands at Chromeboxes (not to mention LG's Chromebase all-in-one Chrome PC). Now one of the leading Chromebook makers, Acer, is trying its hand at a desktop Chrome computer. The company has just launched its Chromebox CXI family composed of a pair of configurations.

Unlike some of the existing Chromeboxes that resemble Apple's Mac Mini, the Chromebox CXI is more vertically oriented, while still remaining compact enough (6.5x5.1x1.3 inches) to be mounted to the back of a monitor if desired. Both CXI models make use of Intel's Celeron 2957U processor and come with a 16GB solid-state drive (with an SD card slot allowing an additional 32GB of removable capacity), but differ when it comes to memory: The CXI-2GK includes 2GB of RAM, while the CXI-4GKM doubles that amount.

While Chromeboxes were initially targeted to consumers, Google has more recently been touting their advantages to the corporate world for tasks like enterprise video conferencing. Not surprisingly, then, the CXI has some business-friendly features. These include what Acer calls "Powerwash," which allows an IT staff to easily wipe a user's local data (which is already stored in the cloud thanks to Chrome) and restore the CXI to its original state. Acer's Chromeboxes also include a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 chip that encrypts data on the system to secure it and ease recovery by IT pros in the case of device theft.

As with other Chromeboxes (and most Chromebooks as well), the price for the CXI is quite affordable. The CXI-2GK will run $179.99, and the CXI-4GKM will be priced at $219.99 when they become available in late September. Will Acer's Chromeboxes fare any better than their predecessors? Are you ready to use a Chrome-based desktop? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback section below.

Topics: PCs, Hardware

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  • A thin client by any other name

    doesn't cost nearly as much.
    • They do, actually

      The price is actually quite fair if you compare it with similar devices, like the ZBox, ECS Liva, Intel NUC, Brix, and whatever else is out thee. However, I'd pay 100$ extra to get an equally fast(or equally slow) lower power processor, 64 GB SSD, and a fanless case.
    • Oh, no you don't

      You can't take your thin client to Starbucks
  • It looks like

    the thin clients we already use... It is just running Chrome instead of embedded Linux...
  • I'm trapped in windows ..

    ... for now.

    Until there's more power software available for Chromebox, I'll still need my desktop. There's still not even a compatible full-featured html editor.

    Mind you, I'm sure it won't be long. I refused Chromebook I because of wifi & software limitations; both were sorted within a year and I never looked at a windows laptop again.

    Give it a couple of years .. mind you, Android desktops might reach usability first.
    • Trapped in Windows?

      "compatible full-featured html editor" ???

      Compatible with what? You're producing html, so it's ASCII by default (unless you're targeting an old IBM 360, I suppose, in which case it would be EBCDIC!). So what do you mean by "full-featured" ? In Windows you need NotePad and the target browser. For HTML5 (which is what you should be using), try SourceLair - it works really well!

  • LG Chromebase replaces PC Easily

    Just got the LG chromebase to replace an older Windows PC. The experience is terrific! Don't know why everyone keeps buying expensive junk. The chromebase just works! No complexity. My 93 year old mother in law even uses it without any confusion. Wake up Corporate America. You have been wasting millions on inferior technology too long.
  • Chromebox

    Really not interested, but it might make a good Linux box.
    • disinterested?

      Try borrowing a friend's and live with it for a week. Or even buy a ChromeBook at try the same experiment. I did last Christmas, on a visit to Germany. Talk about an eyeopener!
      • So

        One person likes a Chromebox...
  • Bhahahaha...another useless box.

    • Troll Alert :(

      You've obviously nothing to say, so please take your full stop and replace it into its proper place in your COBOL program, before you deliver it to production!!
      • Even COBOL is more useful...

        It still handles a large number of accounting transactions...

        Way more useful than the above troll...
        • Yup

          LeMike has shown that it's his way or nothing else.
  • "While Chromebooks have enjoyed substantial success in the mobile market...

    Thanks! I needed a good laugh.
    • Never laugh at the truth ..

      ... it's a symptom of psychosis.
  • Extension cord...?

    Does it come with one of these? My local coffee shop is about 2 blocks away.
  • extension cord?

    No net connection at your house? Or is it that you don't have electricity? Maybe you're just enslaved by coffee...most of us make our own. Best have something to say, alan.
  • Acer introduces Chromebox CXI PC family starting at $179.99

    More wasted efforts on chrome. The worst part is that Acer is already in the hole so they shouldn't be even thinking about building these types of boxes. All chrome hardware sales have been a failure this far and I don't see this chromebox being any different. I'm quick to explain the real truth about chrome when people ask. I tell them how its an over priced web browser and they can't run their Microsoft Windows based applications on it.
    • Meh!

      "Haters gonna hate” -Abe Lincoln