Last month ASUS announced its NUC-sized Chromebox, a small form factor affordable desktop running Google's Chrome OS. The Chromebox will be available with three different CPU options, all based on Intel's Haswell architecture (dual-core Celeron 2955U, Core i3-4010U or Core i7-4600U). Contrary to what ASUS told us last month, none of these units are fanless. 

The ASUS Chromebox will start at $179 for the dual-core 1.4GHz Celeron 2955U model. The very low price point includes 2GB of memory, a 16GB M.2 SSD, 100GB of Google Drive space, and dual-band 802.11n WiFi.

ASUS Chromebox
  ASUS Chromebox Intel Haswell NUC
OS Preloaded Google Chrome OS None
CPU Intel Celeron 2955U (2C/2T 1.4GHz 2MB L3)
Intel Core i3-4010U (2C/4T 1.7GHz 3MB L3)
Intel Core i7-4600U (2C/4T 2.1/3.3GHz 4MB L3)
Intel Core i3-4010U (2C/4T 1.7GHz 3MB L3)
Intel Core i5-4250U (2C/4T 1.3/2.6GHz 3MB L3)
GPU Celeron: Intel HD (200/1000MHz)
Core i3: Intel HD 4400 (200/1000MHz)
Core i7: Intel HD 4400 (200/1100MHz)
Core i3: Intel HD 4400 (200/1000MHz)
Core i5: Intel HD 5000 (200/1000MHz)
Memory 2GB/4GB configs, 2 x DDR3 SO-DIMM Slots 2 x DDR3 SO-DIMM Slots
Storage 16GB M.2 SSD + 100GB Google Drive for 2 years 1 x mini PCIe (full length)
LAN 10/100/1000 Ethernet 10/100/1000 Ethernet
Wireless dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n, BT 4.0 1 x mini PCIe (half length)
External I/O SD card reader
4 x USB 3.0
1 x HDMI
1 x DisplayPort
1 x Audio Jack (mic-in/speaker out)
4 x USB 3.0
1 x mini HDMI
1 x mini DisplayPort
1 x Audio Jack (mic-in/speaker out)
Power Supply 65W 65W
Dimensions 4.88" x 4.88" x 1.65" 4.59" x 4.41" x 1.36"
Starting Price $179 $285

The Chromebox is available for preorder now at Amazon, Newegg and Tiger Direct with systems shipping on March 14th. ASUS doesn't plan to do a preorder for the Core i3 version (also available on the 14th), and the Core i7 version won't be available in North America. 

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  • DARBYOTHRULL - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    I wonder how easy it is to jailbreak. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    4W is tablet territory (that is the power consumption of the SoC alone, not counting other systems) with peaks to 8W according to anandtech "The ARM vs x86 Wars Have Begun" article, so that's definitely passive. Seeing how much more space and volume you have here, 15W sounds very doable to me. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    Damn, meant to reply to 8steve8. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    Intel lists all 3 CPUs offered as 15W models. You could passively cool them; but would need a larger enclosure because of the size of the heat sink (IIRC I've seen passively cooled Via mITX boards at this power level in the past). Otherwise, you'd need to drop down from a Haswell based CPU to Baytrail.

    http://ark.intel.com/products/75608/
    http://ark.intel.com/products/75107/
    http://ark.intel.com/products/76616/
    Reply
  • extide - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    All you have to do is enable developer mode, which doesn't require any "hacking". Reply
  • 8steve8 - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    zero surprise it's not fanless... was actually surprised Anand reported it was.. even when Asus confirmed... after all, if Asus could make a fanless box with a haswell 15W cpu, in a tiny formfactor... then there would be tons of fanless ultrabooks and a fanless macbook air.

    AFAIK to be fanless with a heasink / airflow solution that's basically an ultrabook platform, the TDP needs to be down near 5W, is that right?
    Reply
  • smartypnt4 - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    Eh, not quite that low in a box like this where you could potentially put a tall-ish heatsink. I'd say around 10W would be possible here with passive cooling, maybe as much as 15W. Reply
  • FanlessTech - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    Check out the coolers from the 10W Bay Trail motherboards. None of them could fit inside this thing.

    A cooler inside would also need air vents everywhere, like the upcoming fanless Zotac Nano:

    http://img.clubic.com/07061866-photo-zotac-c-serie...

    Very disappointed by Asus PR.
    Reply
  • thewhat - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    The Akasa Newton fanless NUC case does pretty well without being bigger than the standard NUC.
    (Obviously with bigger heatsinks you can cool even significantly hotter components fanlessly.)
    But it does get hot to the touch and this is even more relevant for laptops. Then there's also some extra weight and cost...
    Reply
  • FanlessTech - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    The Akasa Newton is significantly bigger than the original NUC ;)

    http://oi60.tinypic.com/24nr41e.jpg

    And it's still not big enough in my books.
    Reply

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