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  • skiboysteve - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Wow that is cheap. Intel lists the price of Intel Celeron 2955U at $107. I'm sure ASUS doesn't have to pay that much but probably close. That doesnt leave much room for the other equipment or profit.

    Impressive
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, February 07, 2014 - link

    It's cheap to sell and once the foot is in the door the price will RISE! Reply
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    if only those things didn't come costing 5 to 10 times more than the list price to countries outside of US/Europe... Reply
  • dishayu - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    I'm not completely sold on Chrome OS but a small form factor PC with 2 gigs of RAM, onboard WiFi and 16GB SSD is fantastic value for money for 179$ ? Nearly unbeatable proposition for an HTPC. 16GB is plenty of space for installing Ubuntu + tons of HTPC related apps. Reply
  • bah12 - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Agreed, any word on how easy it is to hack a Chrome Box and put windows/linux on it? Or does Google have it pretty locked down in the firmware. Reply
  • Qwertilot - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    The chrome books (even Arm based ones) have been mostly quite capable of having Linux installed at least, so you'd expect so. Questions of drivers etc of course.

    Even with ChromeOS on it it looks very suitable for stuff like turning spare monitors into secondary computers, second/third desktops in houses etc etc.
    Reply
  • skido - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    It'd be nice if ASUS makes a barebones version without Chrome OS and that Chome logo. If Linux can be installed using default ISOs then I'll buy this even with the logo. If installing Linux is similar to how it's done on Chromebooks then I'm going to pass on this box. Reply
  • portos - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Ya, I hope this has a regular BIOS/UEFI so you can just directly install any Linux distro you want. Reply
  • Flunk - Thursday, February 06, 2014 - link

    No ChromeOS system has shipped with a standard BIOS implementation yet so I can't see why it would this time. Reply
  • schizoide - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Was just coming here to say that. This is ideal for a HTPC and steam streaming client. They're offering a celeron haswell including storage and RAM for nearly the same price as the barebones bay ridge atom NUC! Reply
  • marro - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    I hope it's straight forward to install Linux on this (ie. 1. create a live USB. 2. install). If I have to go through what you need to do on Chromebooks then I'm just going to go with a NUC. Reply
  • haikuginger - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    "ASUS only plans to offer the Celeron and Core i3 versions in North America."

    Can you clarify? Do you mean that those two options are the only ones ASUS will offer in North America, or do you mean that those options will only be available in North America?
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Let me rephrase - in North America ASUS will only offer the Celeron and i3 versions, presumably you'll be able to get those and the i7 elsewhere. Reply
  • Flunk - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    You guys managed to leave off the $145 Celeron NUC (2x Bay Trail @ 2.4Ghz) but this does look like a preitty good deal. I've been thinking of picking up a NUC or Gigabyte Brix for XBMC and Steam streaming under Ubuntu and this might be a way to shave a couple of bucks off the price.

    ChromeOS is still totally worthless though.
    Reply
  • schizoide - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    This celeron is haswell-based, not bay trail atom, so much more performant. It also comes with storage and RAM. Reply
  • sligett - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    "ChromeOS is still totally worthless though." For you, perhaps. I'll likely buy 50 or 100 of these this year. Reply
  • IBMMuseum - Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - link

    Exactly, it might be a very good "thin client" system for a business (or school) already using Google Drive. Browse the web, access to e-mail (or rather, GMail), and apps that do more than Office in the most expensive bundle. This is THE move away from the desktop. Reply
  • koki - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    I'll buy 20 of these if the default Linux distro ISOs can be used to install Linux without having to dance around. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Kabini might be an almost perfect fit for such devices. And should be far cheaper than an i7. Reply
  • DARBYOTHRULL - Friday, February 07, 2014 - link

    Do they have a 15W TDP part? Reply
  • n0b0dykn0ws - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    If I can get HD audio bitstreaming from the i3 model I would buy three of these in a heartbeat. Reply
  • Demios - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    At $179. I'm tempted to buy one just for streaming Steam OS from my gaming PC out to my living room. Reply
  • Anonymous Blowhard - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Keep the price reasonable on the i3 model, let us install our own OS without a fight, and I'll put one under my TV in a heartbeat for Netflix, light gaming/emulation with the HD4400, and displaying the more intense stuff via Steam In-Home streaming. Reply
  • nafhan - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    This + Steam OS (for streaming), might be pretty nice hooked up to a big screen. It's cheaper than the NUC, and it's a complete system. Reply
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Anand, you had me excited like a kid on Christmas at the thought of a cheap, *fanless* NUC-like device, but the photos paint a different story. The vents on the back in this photo ( http://anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/3375#1 ) look exactly like the vents on Intel's actively-cooled NUC. Is that possibly the i7 model, which isn't fanless, or is it just that they aren't fanless? Also, another reason to doubt the fanless claim is that the chassis does not appear to be designed to be a heatsink like a fanless design would require. In fact, if I had to guess, I would say the chassis is plastic. Here's an example of a fanless design for a NUC: http://www.streacom.com/products/nc1-fanless-chass... . Reply
  • DryAir - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Yeah, on a closer look its hard to believe... Asus also claims the the also recently anounced EB1037 eeebox is fanless too, and thats with a 10W J1900 Celeron + 15W nVidia 820M...

    Perhaps they have developed a new amazing passive cooling for SFF tech!
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    I confirmed with ASUS last night that the Celeron and i3 were fanless, and just confirmed with them again, so unless I've been lied to twice - they are fanless :-P

    No word on the i7 yet.
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    That is certainly good news! Aftermarket fanless cases for the Haswell NUCs are still somewhat hard to come by, and if you can find one, they're ridiculously expensive. It would cost me $200 to import one from the UK from Tranquil PC! Anyway, so I mentioned that the photos (I assume ASUS provided them) are of the i7 model, which you surmised might not be fanless. Reply
  • azazel1024 - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    XBMC box? Reply
  • DryAir - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Wow, the basic model seems to be a much better value than the Celeron N2820 NUC: better CPU, one more USB port (and all of them 3.0), SD card reader, DisplayPort, 16gb SSD and 2gb ram for $40 more. Google subsidies those things? Only downside is no 2.5" HDD support. Reply
  • DryAir - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Oh, and fanless! Reply
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    "Given how well Chrome OS can run on a pair of ARM Cortex A15 cores, I fully expect a 15W Haswell based system to be a great performer."

    Given that Chrome OS can pretty much only run a browser, it's almost irrelevant what specs such a device has, assuming you don't install a different OS.
    Reply
  • 8steve8 - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    idunno, my 2013 macbook pro 13" with 28w haswell, 256GB PCIe SSD, w/ 16GB RAM often gets slow with my web-browser-only workload.

    Many tabs with lots of javascript intensive stuff.. streaming video... very rich web-apps...

    i mean if you are only using a single tab to look up stock quotes then I get it... but in my experience ULV haswells are still too slow at times to keep up with a heavy web-browsing workload.

    I've used the A15 chrome-os laptops and have found they quickly get unusably slow, unless you actively limit the number of tabs, sometimes down to 1... so I welcome a product like this... and even a higher wattage CPU chrome os computer.

    Sill, if you aren't a heavy web-user, then this 15W haswell will be more than fast enough.
    Reply
  • jcknows0 - Saturday, February 08, 2014 - link

    Something is going wrong if that's true. Have you looked at Activity Monitor? I found my Finder was going crazy on my Haswell iMac and tried to apply a finder fix but ended up reinstalling Mavericks from scratch. Haven't had any such problem on my 13 13" rMBP though. Reply
  • jay401 - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    So if I store media files on a NAS and want to display them on a dumb TV, I could stick one of these boxes behind the TV with the HDMI output connected to the TV and (using a wireless kb&m to control the box) select and play media wirelessly from the NAS? This might be just what I've been looking for, since I didn't want the expense or effort of putting together an HTPC. Reply
  • BobSwi - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Or a $35 Chromecast? Now that the SDK is open I'm sure there'll be an app to do that for you. Reply
  • jay401 - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Hopefully. Right now the answer is no:
    Q: "Can I stream photos and videos stored on my computer to my TV?"
    A: "You can stream content that is shown within Chrome for Mac and Chrome for Windows."
    I don't watch media in Chrome, I watch it in Media Player Classic HD on my PC.

    What I need is a device capable of navigating directory structures on a shared drive (NAS for example) and able to play any media file found therein.

    So most likely an HTPC, but without the whole HTPC cost/size/etc. So maybe the Chromebox?
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    PLEX can do transcoding on-the-fly using ffmpeg, and they've got a beta of their Chromecast client available to PLEX Pass subscribers. Reply
  • jay401 - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Interesting, I might check that out except the idea of having to subscribe is appalling. Also, I tried the Plex app on iOS a couple years ago and it wasn't anywhere near as good as AirVideo. Sadly, it doesn't look like AirVideo will come to Android. Reply
  • 32str8 - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Plex pass is well worth the lifetime fee. Streams flawlessly to all my devices including my android tablet/phone and my chromebox and chromebook. Ability to pin video to mobile devices save a lot of transfer time with cables or memory cards/sticks. Reply
  • SeanFL - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Excited to get a few of these. I use a Chromebox (samsung from 2013) as a second desktop in my office...it drives a high res 2560 x 1440 monitor. It works great for most office tasks and is less maintenance than the Windows boxes. Fewer worries of malware and browser hijacks make it even better. Reply
  • aaronk - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    If I can install Linux using the default distro ISOs and everything works well then I'll buy one of these. Not a fan of Chrome OS. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    pretty much sums it up. If I can put linux or windows on it, I have some uses for it. Reply
  • Krysto - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    1.3 Ghz "Haswell". Outch. Might as well put Tegra K1 in there. It will probably perform just as well, and sell for cheaper. I wonder how long until Intel starts selling "Haswell" 200 Mhz CPUs. Reply
  • cardfire - Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - link

    Um, my 2013 MBA has a 1.3GHz baseline Haswell and it can play most Source games above 60FPS at mid settings. I regularly use it to play 1080p games at 30fps, on the HD5000. But it does a fantastic job of stepping down to power-sipping and can get literally over 13 hours on a single charge when just browsing the web. Don't knock Haswell just yet. Reply
  • Novacius - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Will you review the new Acer C720 Chromebook? A review has been announced last year but I can't find anything yet. :) Reply
  • 32str8 - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    I use the 4 gig version as my go to laptop. Don't recommend the 2 gig version as it starts to lag with about 5-8 tabs open depending on video demands. Reply
  • just2btecky - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Fanless of course! Mobile phones form factors have never had fans in them. So why should Chromebox have a fan? Reply
  • MrX8503 - Saturday, February 08, 2014 - link

    Because haswell CPUs DESTROY mobile SOCs in performance. Reply
  • moejurray - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Wonder how it would work connected to the TV as the media hub? Reply
  • skido - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    I hope I can install any Linux distro using their default ISOs. Reply
  • Tristor - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    I've been considering the NUC for something to augment my HTPC with tighter integration, or even to replace it so I can convert the more powerful system into a SteamOS box. This might fit the bill even better since I use a lot of Google services. I haven't played much with ChromeOS, although I'd be interested to know what the set-top integration is like. Can this be controlled via a remote? It has Bluetooth, which is a plus, so I can use a simple media keyboard/touchpad combo with it. Reply
  • ie5x - Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - link

    Where's my IR port and remote? Reply
  • eyestrain - Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - link

    Maybe the same case is used for all three versions, with fan only for the i7.

    The case does look plastic, but some plastics conduct heat fairly well.
    Reply
  • Jeffspears - Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - link

    This would be a great HTPC box at that price, Does anyone know if it supports HDMI-CEC? Reply
  • cjs150 - Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - link

    16GB storage is way to small for me. I wonder if you get replace with much higher capacity. Very tempting to load with Linux server and use as my home network server Reply
  • raja_jagadeesan - Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - link

    If the final SteamOS (DebianWheezy based it seems) could be put on this, what a great cheap streaming SteamBox. Hoping that ASUS just goes ahead and makes a cheap streaming-only SteamBox, but have a bad feeling that it'll be up the end-user to put a Linux flavor or SteamOS on this thing. What a great price-performance, though. A SteamBox like this starting at $179 could be a game-changer. Reply
  • Carlita - Thursday, February 06, 2014 - link

    Seems that Asus France told this french blogger that the box finally isn't fanless, weird ... http://www.minimachines.net/actu/la-asus-chromebox... Reply
  • semo - Friday, February 07, 2014 - link

    I wonder how well this will function as a multichannel car DVR. It is much cheaper than the vastly inferior dedicated devices (although this does lack a GPS receiver). Reply
  • jrs77 - Friday, February 07, 2014 - link

    You forgot to list the SATA-port on the intel NUC. That's very important, as you can use a 2.5" HDD/SSD for storage and makes it way more flexible than the ASUS Chromebox.

    Also, there's tons of fanless enclosures for the intel NUC aswell.
    Reply
  • Samus - Friday, February 07, 2014 - link

    Am I missing something or is there actually a need for an i7 Chromebox? Reply
  • jason.mcallister - Sunday, February 09, 2014 - link

    MSI Wind Nettop PC100 for sale, lol. This thing looks pretty cool for it's intended purpose. Doubly so if your vested into the Google eco system. Reply
  • Scionero - Saturday, February 15, 2014 - link

    I can't wait for one of these with dual Intel NICs. It would make the perfect PFSense or Untangle box. Reply
  • steelodon - Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - link

    I cannot wait for this!! Reply

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