Google has tried to convince potential buyers for laptops and desktops running its Chrome OS that they need a powerful processor for its web-centric approach to computing. Nonetheless, after being saddled with weak specs, Chrome devices are starting to pump up the hardware a bit.
For instance, Acer recently bumped up the RAM and hard drive size of its C7 Chromebook laptop, and now it appears that Samsung is boosting the specs of its Chromebox desktop. A couple of online retail listings have emerged that show a Chromebox XE300M22-A02US configuration that jumps up to an Intel Core i5 processor instead of the Celeron chip the Series 3 version had been using.
Alas, the Core i5-2450M is a second-generation Core processor (a.k.a. Sandy Bridge) and not a third-generation model (a.k.a. Ivy Bridge), which means you are stuck with HD 3000 integrated graphics instead of Ivy Bridge's more-robust HD 4000 graphics. Nonentheless, a Core i5 is a far more powerful CPU than the Celeron B840.
The new Chromebox is otherwise the same spec-wise as its predecessor: 4GB of RAM and 16GB of solid state storage. It's also about $80 more expensive than what the previous Series 3 Chromebox had been selling for, though it seems to be currently out of stock from retailers like Amazon and Newegg. That makes it still about $200 less than the cheapest Apple Mac Mini, though that nettop comes with an Ivy Bridge processor and 500GB hard drive.