The Chromebook laptops have been pretty successful, but until lately, no desktop versions existed. Then, ASUS and HP released Chromebox desktop boxes that looked like a cross between a Mac-mini and an Apple TV. More recently, LG followed up with their Chromebase all-in-one computer. Now, Acer joins in the fun with the Acer Chromebox CXI desktop.
The decidedly PC-looking device will be released in two versions: the CXI-2GKM with 2GB of RAM and the CXI-4GKM with 4GB or RAM. Both versions will come with dual-display support for both HDMI and DisplayPort, four USB 3.0 ports, two of which will be powered to allow for phone and tablet charging. Powering the Acer Chromebox CXI is the Celeron 2957U CPU, running at 1.4 GHz. Both will include 16GB SSD, a Gigabit Ethernet adapter and support for Bluetooth 4.0.
The biggest initial difference in the Acer Chromebox verses the ASUS and HP is that the Acer has a vertical footprint compared to the other’s horizontal footprint. Standing at 6.5 inches x 5.1 inches x 1.3 inches, it is also VESA mountable right to the back of compatible monitors.
Acer is targeting the Chromebox CXI at schools and business customers who are looking for a low-cost, space-saving device. Lately, more and more businesses are turning to Chromeboxes due to the lower IT support costs, compared to Windows devices. The availability of Microsoft Office Online is also very appealing to schools.
A new feature, Powerwash, will enable IT to quickly and safely erase any sensitive user data on the device and revert it back to its factory state. While this does not affect any data stored on cloud accounts like Google Drive, it will remove any information from the computer itself.