A Chromebox is simply a Desktop version of a Chromebook. I suppose it could be considered as a “Chrome Desktop” or even a “Chromebook Desktop”. So apart from not having a keyboard and display, pretty much everything else in this site referring to a Chromebook, its Operating System, Apps etc applies equally well to a Chromebox.
At the time of updating this page in March 2013 there have been 3 Chromebox models (all made by Samsung):-
- Original Samsung Chromebox in black/grey finish fitted with Intel Celeron Processor.
- Original Samsung Chromebox in black/grey finish fitted with Intel i5 Processor.
- New Samsung Chromebox in an all-white finish fitted with Intel Celeron Processor.
The original black/grey models were introduced in 2012 and the new all-white model in early 2013. The original models had more than a passing resemblance to a Mac Mini in form factor whereas the new model has more of a softer rounded corner all-white case. Check out the images that follow below:-
2012 Original Samsung Chrombox images:-
2013 Samsung all-white Chrombox images:-
The newer all-white model has the same Intel Celeron processor as the original black/grey model and all the other specs are exactly the same. The only slight difference with the new case (apart from the design) is that the newer model has a small flap that can be used to hide the front USB and audio ports.
The black/grey Intel i5 model was (as far as I know) not officially released for general sale but some may still be available from Amazon or eBay through third-party sellers. If this model is of interest, try doing a search using the in-built search boxes in the right-hand sidebar of this site.
The Samsung Chromebox is a particularly neat little machine and measures only 7½ inches square and just under 1½ inches high.
As you might be able to see from the images above, there are a total of 6 USB ports (2 front/4 rear) and a total of 3 display ports (1 DVI and 2 DisplayPorts). There’s an internal power supply so there’s no external power brick to find a space for and Wi-Fi is built in. There’s an ethernet port too for connecting by cable to a router if preferred.
The official specs as listed by Google and Samsung are listed below but please check for up to date models/details by referring to the table in the “Chromebook Models” menu item.
- Intel® Celeron Core™ processor
- 4 GB RAM
- Built-in dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
- Gigabit ethernet
- 6 USB 2.0 ports
- 2x DisplayPort++ Output (compatible with HDMI, DVI, VGA)
- DVI-I single link output (compatible with HDMI, DVI, VGA)
- Bluetooth 3.0™ compatible
- Kensington™ key lock compatible
As standard, I believe the Samsung Chromebox does not come with a keyboard and mouse but these can be ordered as an option. Any USB keyboard and mouse should work just fine but it might be nice to have the actual Chrome Keyboard with the same dedicated Chrome keys as found on a Chromebook.
I don’t think the Chromebox keyboard is very easy to find at the moment but I located a link to Amazon.com that includes a customer video that you might find interesting:-
I don’t think this keyboard is available in the UK at present as it only seems to appear in Amazon.com and not Amazon.co.uk. But again, it might be worth doing a search using the Amazon and eBay search boxes in the right-hand sidebar. These search boxes should work okay no matter if you are searching from the US or UK as they are Geo-Targeted.
I visited the PC World store at Braehead in Glasgow yesterday recently and had a quick chat with a very helpful young man at the Chromebook Store Section. He showed me the full range and it was interesting to note that the Chromebox there was set up with a generic PC type wireless keyboard and mouse. Not the one shown above, as despite the photo, I believe the Samsung Chromebox keyboard is wired. Maybe Samsung will introduce a wireless Chrome keyboard in future though.
This gave me an idea. What if there was a wireless keyboard with a built-in trackpad so that a Chromebox could be used say in a Living Room hooked up to a TV! Better than a separate keyboard balanced on your knee and having to run a mouse up and down your leg don’t you think?
So I’m off to research this to see if there is such a keyboard that definitely works with a Chromebox. If I find something I’ll post it in the “Chromebook Accessories” Category in the left-hand sidebar.
Found a wireless keyboard with touchpad for a Chromebox and the shortcut to this post is here:-
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