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Showing 1-10 of 1,074 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,146 reviews
on June 12, 2014
Our desktop died a few months ago and we were looking for a replacement. Because my wife and I both have tablets and a laptop, we have found that we have not used the desktop as much. As a result, we were wondering whether we should even get a replacement. We decided it would be nice to have but we didn't want to spend $500+ on a new computer. I had heard of the Chromebox previously but didn't pay too much attention to it. I decided it would be worth looking into and after seeing all the good comments, I felt it was worth taking a chance on getting one.

Is it anything spectacular? Yes! Does it do anything more than Chrome on Windows? No. But here is why (when your desktop finally dies/or you are just sick of how slow it is) you should buy a Chromebox:

1) Fast enough to do everything you want to on the internet. If you are like most people, you will realize that 90+% of the time you are on a computer, you are using a web browser. Everything else on your computer therefore is added weight to slow down your internet experience. This may include Virus/Malware Scanning Software, Viruses and Malware, other background processes, etc. ChromeOS takes all this out and gives you the the web browser and a great way of connecting to it. Will it handle the latest high intensity graphics game around? No, it won't come close but if you are looking for something to do that, you probably aren't even looking at Chromeboxes and therefore are not even reading this post.

2) Still can do Microsoft Office Online. This was actually a surprise to me but it actually works fairly well. For those of you who are not familiar with Office Online, it is a web version of Office that doesn't have all the bells and whistles of regular office. If you are like most people, you really don't use the bells and whistles. I do quite a bit of work in Office with my employment (law) and find that everything that I need can be done on Office Online. If you really don't need a lot of features, check of Google Docs, it rocks as well.

3) 100GB of online storage. From your new Chromebox (or Chromebook) go to drive.google.com/redeem and type in some information an viola, 100GB of online storage.

4) It is simple to use. There is no learning curve with the Chromebox. It is the Chrome web browser and if you have used any browser in the last 5 years, you will be up to speed. There are a few features that you don't get on regular Chrome like Bluetooth and WIFI but even make that easy to operate.

5) It uses Google Print. So this could be a frustration for a lot of people. The Chromebox, even though it has USB ports, does not allow you to connect printers because it doesn't install drivers. So what can you do? First, get a printer that is Google Print capable. Okay, I am with you, I really don't need another printer laying around my house. Second, try the xPrint Server from Lantronix. Granted it is a little expensive (~$150.00) which makes one wonder why not just buy a new printer. Third, use an old computer that runs Chrome as a gateway. While not a great choice, it is better than some of the first options. Fourth, get geeky with a Raspberry Pi. For those that are not aware of what a Raspberry Pi is, it is a $35 computer capable of running Linux. Needless to say, Chrome can run on Linux and it can also install printer drivers. Here is a tutorial on turning a Raspberry Pi into your Google Cloud Print servant.

[...]

Again, this is a hurdle for a lot of people but I will say, after you get Google Cloud Print working, it is awesome. No more worrying about what computer your document is on and what computer is connected to which printer. It is simply, clicking this printer and this document.

6) It can be customized. If you find out that Chrome OS is not your thing that is okay. There are plenty of tutorials on how to install Ubuntu on the Chromebox either as a dual-boot or replacement. If you are interested in this, I would recommend getting an extra 2GB stick of ram (Laptop DDR3). It may also be smart to upgrade the size of the SSD as well. If that looks greek to you, then just stick with Chrome OS.

Hopefully you have found my review helpful of the Chromebox. Just to recap, this is a great desktop replacement if all you need is something to surf the internet with and do homework. You will be pleasantly surprised at how fast it loads up and how easy it is to use.
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on April 7, 2014
First off, don't buy this expecting it to replace a Windows or Mac desktop. Do some research on what Chrome OS can and cannot do. This won't be a review of ChromeOS, but the device itself.

About the device:

It's pretty dang small. Probably about the size of an Intel NUC. The form factor is what drove me to purchase this device, as I was looking for something small to use for basic web browsing, Netflix, and occasional light office work (using Office 365 - OneDrive). The device does not feel cheap at all; I was surprised at the overall build quality for something under $200.

What's Included:
Inside the box is the usually quick start guide, user manual, and warranty info. The chromebox uses the same AC adapter that Asus's laptops use (I think). There is also a nifty VESA mount that you can mount the device to, and then attach it to the back of a monitor. I have not had a chance to try this out yet.

Connectivity/Ports: I like the fact that all of the available USB ports (4 total) are 3.0. I currently only have a Logitech MK320 mouse/keyboard combo connect to one, which works perfectly. I like that an ethernet port was also included, as well as built in wifi. For video, I'm currently using the HDMI port, but the device also has a full-size displayport as well. Among the ports already listed, there is also an SD-card reader, similar to what you can find on laptops.

Loudness: I wanted to point this out, as this thing is VERY quiet. In face my monitor is louder than the chromebox! I haven't really pushed it to it's full potential yet, so I cannot comment on how loud the fan can get. I have not noticed any issues with heat yet.

I feel like that is all I can speak about the device for now, and will update this review should anything change.
This chromebox is perfect for someone looking to have a small, energy-efficient computing experience.
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on November 8, 2015
For this price it is awesome.

This chromebox is fast starting up and everything else it does.
I am using the gigabyte broadband Ethernet connection.

I got it hooked up to a HP 27inch IPS display.
I keep it on 24 hours a day and only turn off the monitor at night. When it's on I use the “keep awake” Chrome extension
So the box won't go into sleep mode .

I stream YouTube videos at 1080p no problem , No lag.
And also my Amazon movies and my Google movies in fullscreen
And Amazon Prime music.

Using amplified speaker system with subwoofer
Hooked up to a MXL AC404 USB Conference Microphone.
Also a wireless Logitech keyboard and mouse.

Using Aquamail For all my email accounts.
Using Chrome extensions , Keep Awake, Magic Actions for YouTube, and Readability.

I bought this mainly for summer time use so i don't have to fire up my big Desktop rigs .
Because this box doesn't put out Any heat or use a lot of electricity.
But, I like it so much that I'm using it everyday is my go-to machine. Worth every penny .
review image review image review image review image review image
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on December 10, 2014
I have been using Linux as my home computing system for about 20 years now and decided to update my system.
I accomplished that by switching to the Chromebox for our access terminal and adding a NAS to the network. (I run a small LAMP on an old laptop).
Back to the Chromebox.
I was looking for a small, low electrical consumption, web platform. This did it. It boots up in seconds and is very quiet. It plays Hulu, Amazon Prime and Youtube, as well as any video file I have on the NAS. (But I have to transfer it to the chromebox first.) Anyone can use it with their Google account, the same that the kids use at school. When travelling I throw the box, power supply, a HDMI cable, and my Logitech K400r keyboard and touchpad into my bag. Smaller than a laptop and I can stream at the hotel.
Pros:
Small
Fast
Quiet
Netflix
clean (no virus)
Most software is free.

Cons:
Not compatible with SOME web sites that do not like chrome.
No native printer support. (You have to set up a google print server, or purchase a printer with support built in.)
No direct method of connecting to a network drive, yet. SMB and NFS are expected "Soon" but not yet in the main release.
No actual native apps like MS Word, Photoshop, etc. This is not a Windows computer, It will not run windows programs. However there is a collection of "Office" apps on it.

If you are looking for a basic computer for 99% of your online life, this will do it. If you need to run custom software, forget it.
A great Kids machine as well, they cannot infect it, or overload it with software.
I plan on getting another one for the media system, streaming to the big screen!
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on September 16, 2015
The best
review image
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on May 6, 2014
This computer replaced my aging computer running Linux Mint. I have had The Asus Chromebox for a week and went to all of my websites, minor issue is a couple websites video start's pixelated for the first 5 to 10 seconds and then everything looks and sounds great, but 95% of the time there is no pixelation issue. Also, I have had this Chromebox connected via HDMI to my 46" Samsung TV and all four sides are cropped off, so you would not see the back button, tab bar, etc. I tried all four of my TV's HDMI ports with the same issue. The workaround is to go into Chome OS setting and manually adjust the image which lowers the resolution or go into the TV settings and change video from 16x9 to "fit screen", I ended adjusting the setting on the TV and now the screen looks good, I wonder if that lowers the resolution? YMMV good for you if you don't have this issue.

Asus Chromebox does not have a setting to adjust the screen saver, well because it does not have one :) And you cannot adjust when the monitor turns off. But I found a easy work around, install Webview Screensaver and SimpleExtManager at the Chrome Store. Go into SimpleExtManager and make a group with just the Webview Screensaver that way you can easily toggle the screensaver on and off.

The Asus Chromebox is cheap, has low end hardware, and this linux distro is a work in progress as Google is adding new features to Chrome OS all the time :) Overall I'm very happy with my purchase, just remember you get what you pay for.

Sooooo, which one to buy? You got this one, the Asus Chromebox with the i3 variant, or you could roll you own with a NUC with the same i3 and add Linux Mint or Ubuntu. If you don't know what a Ubuntu is then forget the NUC and if you don't have a 4K compatible TV/monitor and receiver, then forget the Asus i3 variant.

NOTE: I did not drink too much Google Kool-aid or Haterade when writing this review, just the facts ma'am.
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on March 26, 2014
This is my 3rd Chrome OS device (Samsung Chromebook, Acer Chromebook) and was purchased to replace a not-very-old Windows desktop that my kids used for school assignments, web browsing and video streaming. The old desktop had a Celeron processor, but couldn't do full-screen video without a lot of stuttering and had a loud fan that screamed through even a low-def YouTube video. This thing feels like a HUGE step up at a fraction of the price. My 11 year old daughter asked if she could set this up and within 2 minutes from opening the box, she was playing a Flash-based game on the Internet. That is precisely what I love so much about my Chrome devices. My kids just get it...right out of the box and my tech-support/virus cleanup/windows patching time has dropped to nil! I love that my kid's homework and docs are all in the cloud and they can no longer lose them due to hard drive crashes or forgetting where they saved them on the box. They use GDocs exclusively and since their schools are now using Chromebooks also, its seamless for them. I'm a web developer and I guess what I'd call a "power user" and even I find that I get downstairs to fire up my super desktop very rarely these days. The Chrome devices just fit the need.

This sleek little black box is perfect on my kitchen counter, where the kids use it on a 24 inch Samsung monitor. It worked well with a cheap Bluetooth keyboard I had and a wired, USB mouse. I think I'll actually use the mounting bracket that came with it to mount this thing on the wall behind the monitor, just to clear even more counter space. As expected, boot time was just a few seconds and there's just something comforting about signing in for the first time and instantly having all of my bookmarks and settings from my other Chromebook.

If you're even considering this, you seriously need to ask yourself what you do that requires a full-blown, bloated OS like Windows or MacOS. If the answer is iTunes, I pity you (I was there once) and recommend looking into new mobile devices also.
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on August 27, 2014
Replaced my XP machine ..... holy crap what a difference. Boot time is almost instant. Web surfing is very snappy as are apps. I did do one upgrade - I purchased a 4gb ram (204 pin PC3 12800 1.35volt cl11 if you are shopping.... be sure to get those exact specs).

Pros:
Price, no more anti-virus, speed, apps and extensions - lots. It's your pc google chrome web browser, so the learning curve moving from a pc is near zero

Cons:
some basic platforms not supported - I can't remember if it was JAVA or Flash.... my wife tried to print some coupons and we couldn't.
HDMI pretty much required - I bought a new monitor
Cloud printing, easy enough to set up, but you need a compatible printer.

Last thoughts
I went with a 4gb ram update, my system says I'm using 3.1 gb of 6gb so 4 might have been overkill, but I would at least spend the $20 for a 2gb ram upgrade.
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on September 12, 2017
I've purchased approximately 30 of these units for work. We're running a data collection erp system that requires a web interface for our operators to job on and off of production and record downtime. We have a super dirty and extremely hot environment as well. So I'm not using them as a typical user would, but these units are awesome. I found a kiosk app that starts up when the unit is booted and brings up our web interface. They have held up in some harsh environments very well. We're running 24" screens with wired mouse, keyboard and a data logic scanner. The units have performed wonderfully. They boot quickly and just run all day every day. Our plant manager loved them so much, he's running one at home for his personal pc now, using a bluetooth mouse and keyboard as his primary pc. It's not windows and doesn't have storage like a typical pc would, but it's made to be a cloud device. There's an SD slot for added storage and you can run it wired or wireless. We run all but one wireless and have one wired because of lack of wifi signal in only one area. Great little device.
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on May 14, 2014
Just fired up my brand new ChromeBox

It's incredible how zippy it is. Started up in a fraction of a second. Once I logged, in everything was already here waiting for me (as expected).

I received 100GB of free Google Drive storage for two years (more than enough space).

The operating system has a very in-depth tour which you can launch at any time during use to familiarize yourself with different features and applications.

For Apple users:
It explains how to sync your iTunes library to Google Play Music for free. Also explains how to use iWork on the ChromeOS for viewing Keynote presentations and using other iWork software in the cloud.

For Windows users:
It explains the full, free replacements to Microsoft Office and links to the free applications (many of which come pre-installed such as Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides, Gmail, and Drive) - although if you truly can't live without MS Office, Microsoft has released their apps for Chrome.

For Creative Professionals:
It explains that Adobe has not supported Chrome yet; however, there is a feature rich photo editor as part of the operating system, and there are several advanced photo editing tools available for free in the Chrome store that will more than meet the needs of a casual Photoshop user.

For Music Enthusiasts:
I'm a die-hard fan of Google Play Music All Access, but if you prefer, Chrome also has an app for Spotify and Pandora.

For Conference and Video Calls:
While Skype is not yet supported on Chrome, Hangouts is a lower-resource, higher-quality experience which also allows for large groups to be video-conferenced in (including telephone numbers, not just other Google users), and features collaborative tools for group projects for work and/or school. Additional features include the ability to record the conference for later use, post-production, or sharing on YouTube or other video-sharing sites.

Video/TV/Movie Enthusiasts:
VLC is an application that is available for almost every operating system out there, and it's an excellent tool for watching video. Unfortunately, it's not currently available for Chrome - but Chrome does feature its own media player that supports many of the most common video and audio formats. I was also very pleased to report that Amazon Instant Video works flawlessly on ChromeOS - something that is not quite the case when attempting to watch Amazon videos on Ubuntu.

Folks that need specific software:
There will always be the folks with very specific needs when it comes to software - something that is custom built for a specific job and only runs on Windows or OS/X. Have no fear - you can still access those applications in ChromeOS. Chrome features Google's very own Remote Desktop tool (which works incredibly well - better than my experiences with Microsoft's remote desktop tool) that allows you to access another computer (as long as the Google Chrome browser is installed on the destination computer with your account saved and the Chrome Remote Desktop app installed on the destination computer). This allows you to remote in to the other computer and use the full range of software. If you can't install Chrome browser on the destination computer, but you or your organization have a Citrix server, you can also use Citrix to remote into the remote computer or a VirtualDesktop to use full OS/X, Windows, or other software you may need to do your job, all on the light-weight, inexpensive ChromeBox - this is ideal for large organizations and schools, which can purchase many ChromeBox devices for low cost and just scale up their server infrastructure and run virtual machines - consolidating IT and security primarily to the server and requiring lower maintenance of the client computers due to ChromeOS being far more secure and up-to-date than the leading competitor operating systems. There's also a tutorial on how to stay safe and keep your data secure.

It's all VERY user friendly, and I have to say it really "just works"
For the average person, a ChromeOS computer is an incredible buy - and for only $179, this just can't be beat at the moment. Lightyears ahead of my Windows 7 machine just because it's so much more efficient and lightweight. I wish I could convince my work to replace our expensive out-dated computers with these inexpensive up-to-date computers and just provide us with a VirtualDesktop through Citrix for the legacy applications we're phasing out as we move to a cloud-based system.
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