While Chromebooks are starting to make an impact on the laptop market, Chromeboxes haven't had the same luck cracking the desktop realm. That isn't preventing Asus from announcing its entry, which will join Samsung's version of a mini-PC running Google's Chrome OS. (LG has announced an all-in-one Chromebox desktop as well.)
At this point, Samsung's Chromebox is mostly available in refurbished models, having not been refreshed in some time. In comparison, the new Asus can offer 2014 specs like Intel Haswell processors -- either a Core i3-4010U or a Celeron 2955U (and a Core i7 option will be available outside of the U.S.) -- and support for 4K Ultra High Definition resolution video playback via its HDMI and Display Port outputs.
Despite its tiny dimensions (4.88x4.88x1.65 inches), the Asus Chromebox also squeezes in four USB 3.0 ports and a SD card reader, along with Bluetooth support and built-in 802.11 b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi. As with other Chrome-running devices, it won't come with much onboard storage -- a 16GB SSD -- but you will get 100GB of Google Drive space for free.
And like many other Chrome systems, the price for the Asus Chromebox is also small: It will be available in March with a starting price of $179 (probably for the Celeron model). Will that aggressive pricing make it more successful than the Samsung Chromebox? Let us know in the Talkback section below.