Tuesday, February 04, 2014

(Chrome)Boxing Day!


I've had my Samsung Chromebox for about a year-and-a-half, and I'm still pleased as punch with it. For those who use a computer primarily as a "web appliance," ChromeOS just can't be beat. But I may replace it later this year -- with another Chromebox.

ASUS announced its Chromebox offering this morning. Available in March, starting at $179.

The specs look fairly similar to my Samsung, except that instead of an Intel Celeron, the ASUS box will use the new Intel "Haswell" CPUs. What that means for performance, I don't know. The raw GHz speed looks lower on the newer chips, but maybe there's some caching stuff or whatever that weighs in in ASUS's favor.

Other differences:

  • My Samsung Chromebox is about 7.5 inches square (OK, rounded corners, but you get the idea). The ASUS model will come in at just under 5 inches square and it will have one of those rigs for mounting it on the back of a monitor if that's your space-saving desire.
  • My box has a DVI port, while the ASUS model sports only HDMI and DisplayPort for monitor output. So I'll have to adapt there.
  • The ASUS box has a built in card reader.
Anyway, it's not a done deal. I may just stick with the Samsung until it keels over and dies (if it does -- I have a Samsung Chromebox, a Samsung Chromebook, a Samsung TV ... and I've never had a piece of Samsung gear die yet).

My main reason for considering the ... "upgrade" ... is my younger son, Liam.

He loves Windows.

He insists that Mac and Linux and ChromeOS suck.

But every time I vacate the chair in front of my Chromebox for more than 30 seconds or so, he's on it. The only justification he can come up with is that he's looking at sites which might have Windows malware on them. You know, sites like Amazon.com and Wikipedia.

So, he secretly loves the Chromebox. If I get a new one, I can retire/wipe the old one and stick it in his room. Then he can indulge his secret love in secret instead of hogging MY machine.

Brief Addendum: In the original post, when I mentioned that the new ASUS Chromebook will roll out at $179, I meant to add something along the lines of "wow ... my Samsung was $329!" I thought the machine was a good deal at almost twice the price; at less than $200, it's just a no-brainer - TLK]

Another Addendum: It's just come to my attention that there's someone out there who really needs a new computer, who certainly deserves a new computer, and whose having of a new computer would measurably benefit the libertarian movement to the extent that it increased his blog output. And a Chromebook sounds like it would fit the bill just about perfectly. If this sounds like something you'd like to help with, here's the link. I'm throwing $5 at it myself, so if it pleases you to think of this as a "match me challenge," please do so.

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