Samsung Chromebox Series 3 2012

No one would accuse Samsung or other Chrome OS supporters of hardware overkill: the Chromebox Series 3 and other Google-based PCs often carry just enough processing grunt to browse the web properly. Imagine the resulting surprise when a Liliputing reader discovers an unannounced Core i5-equipped model listed as in stock at multiple retailers. The XE300M22-A01US carries a 2.5GHz, Sandy Bridge-era dual-core chip on top of the usual 4GB of memory and 16GB solid-state drive. That's far from cutting edge, but more powerful than the creaky Celeron reserved for those who didn't receive a Google I/O edition. Samsung hasn't confirmed the existence of the quicker Chromebox, and there's some question as to whether the system incorporates the sleeker 2013 redesign or sticks to the tried-and-true 2012 layout; we've reached out to both Google and Samsung and will let you know if there's more concrete information. Quoted prices suggest there's a premium over the original at $405 or more, as of this writing. It's a lot to pay for a PC without native apps, although those who want only the unfettered web might have something close to their dream desktop.