Best Chromebox

Internet & Streaming

Despite being launched in 2012, less than a year after the Chromebook’s 2011 release, these units are only now becoming popular for their power and portability.

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Which Chromeboxes are best?

Have you ever wished that you could buy a PC that would fit in your pocket and you could take with you wherever you went? Well, wish no longer! What you’re looking for is the Chromebox, or Mini-PC. This performs like a full desktop without taking up the desk space or power requirement. With a powerful model like the HP Chromebox G3 Chromebox at your disposal, you can compute from locations ranging from your living room, hotel room, conference room and more. 

What to know before you buy a Chromebox

Instant PC

When it comes to the transportation of expensive computer equipment, most desktops, and even ultra-light and thin laptops, require suitable housing while traveling in order to ensure that nothing is damaged in transit. However, a Chromebox provides you with the ability to set up a mobile PC with relatively little equipment that can very easily travel with you as needed.

Chromebook

Better still, a Chromebox doesn’t have some of the Chromebook’s inherent limitations, such as slower processing speeds and CPU throttling due to power management settings and a lack of sufficient ventilation. Since a Chromebox is constantly plugged into a power source and has the physical room to install or upgrade fans and a heatsink, you can effectively create a superpowered Chromebook desktop for a fraction of what a Chromebook would typically cost you. Check out the buying guide on BestReviews.com to learn more about the selection criteria.

Cost

Chromeboxes are ideal for those who prefer a desktop-oriented experience but wish they could enjoy the freedom and portability of a laptop PC. Better still, you can essentially purchase a full working desktop for only a couple hundred dollars. Even if you wind up encountering a fatal error in the future, the replacement will cost far less than an entire desktop or laptop computer. Furthermore, even if you factor in the cost of a pair of decent monitors along with a keyboard and mouse, there’s a good chance that you won’t even pay half the cost of a mid-tier Chromebook.

What to look for in a quality Chromebox

Peripheral equipment

While it is certainly true that the cost of acquiring a keyboard and mouse of sufficient quality shouldn’t be too exorbitant, why bother spending the money if you don’t actually need to? Some models of the Chromebox come with a compatible keyboard and mouse already included, so all you have to do is acquire a monitor or two to get started.

Modern ports

Just like you would expect a new desktop or laptop PC to be able to take advantage of the many amazing features that only peripheral devices can provide, a quality Chromebox will also come equipped with an impressive variety of ports for compatibility. For example, a number of Chromeboxes feature multiple USB-C and USB 3.1 ports as well as DisplayPort connectors and HDMI ports. Anti-theft measures such as physical security lock slots are also included.

Hardware

When it comes to internet access, many of us take having the ability to connect to the internet wired or wirelessly with technologies like 8 Gigabit Ethernet LAN, Bluetooth 4.2LE and 802.11ac Wi-Fi for granted. With Chromeboxes, you won’t have to worry about internet connections. Not only are Chromeboxes just as powerful as actual Chromebooks, they often possess fully functional SSDs ranging from 32GB to 128GB or Solid State Drives backed up by 4GB of RAM DDR4 SDRAM and much more.

How much you can expect to spend on a Chromebox

Depending on your desired features and any included peripheral devices, a quality Chrombox can cost anywhere from $215-$320, with some higher-end models being more expensive.

Best Chromebox FAQ

What’s the difference between a Chromebox and a Chromebook?

A. In essence, a Cromebox is a much smaller version of a Chromebook that offers greater options for customization that are otherwise unavailable to laptops.

Will I need to purchase antivirus software for my Chromebox?

A. Thankfully, your Chromebox enjoys the same security and automatic update features of any Chromebook. No additional purchases are needed.

What’s the best Chromebox to buy?

Top Chromebox

HP Chromebox G3 Chromebox

HP Chromebox G3 Chromebox

What you need to know: This impressive Chromebox offers an incredible computing experience.

What you’ll love: This unit comes with Chrome OS, Intel UHD Graphics card, an Intel Celeron 5205U Dual-core processor along with 4GB DDR4 of RAM and a 32GB Flash Memory hard drive.

What you should consider: Users have noted this model seems to lack drivers for video cameras.

Where to buy: Sold by HP

Top Chromebox for the money

Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 Mini PC

Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 Mini PC

What you need to know: This affordable Chromebox delivers on performance.

What you’ll love: This unit offers 4GB DDR4 2133MHz Memory and an 128GB M.2 SSD as well as USB-C, 3.1 and 2.0 ports, DisplayPort capabilities and an Intel Celeron Dual-Core Processor 3867U with Intel HD Graphics 610. It also comes with a mouse, keyboard and VESA mounting kit.

What you should consider: Users have reported issues with the initial boot-up as well as audio quality.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Acer Chromebox CXI3-4GKM4

Acer Chromebox CXI3-4GKM4

What you need to know: This Chromebox provides an excellent and secure desktop PC.

What you’ll love: This model comes with a keyboard and mouse as well as multiple types of ports for compatibility, an Intel Celeron Dual-Core Processor 3867U, 4GB DDR4 Memory and an 32GB SSD.

What you should consider: Users have reported issues with wireless printers not communicating with the Chrome OS as well as speaker problems.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Daniel Martin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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