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Can the RAM be upgraded by the end user? Mar 9, 2014
I upgraded to 8GB of memory (2x4G, DDR3 SO-DIMM) like this one http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-PC3-12800-204-Pin-Notebook-CT2KIT51264BF160B/dp/B005LDLVAO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1397079242&sr=8-2&keywords=SO-DIMM+ddr3. The system feels much snapper when many pages are open at the same time. It is easy to upgrade RAM, just remove the four rubber feet and the screws underneath them. Theoretically, the CPU supports 16GB, not sure if the mother board supports that much of memory. If someone has 16GB of memory at hand, please try and report back. The recognized memory size can be found in chrome://system (type it in the url bar).
will it be ok to run the device 24 hrs a day 7 days a week, just like a desktop pc? will it be overheated? Mar 13, 2014
I don't see any reason why not, so long as the box has decent ventilation. It's a fairly low-wattage CPU, so the amount of heat it puts out won't be much.
DDR3 (PC3-12800) laptop memory
i3 sku is said to be available for sale in April.
Can this run windows Jul 28, 2014
Not out of the box. You have to load a BIOS that has everything Windows needs (see http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/03/review-asus-brings-chrome-os-to-mini-pcs-in-a-low-power-inexpensive-package/) It's none trivial and not entirely stable. And given the specifications, this is a woefully underpowered machine to run Windows. Linux stripped down or Chrome OS? It flies (Mine has 6GB of RAM everything else is stock and I'm a power user. No lag, great performance. I use it as my primary system every day now).
Yes, you can access files on an external hard drive or USB flash drive via the file manager. It also supports an SD card.
You can use Crouton to run Linux side by side: https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton