conclusion:We like it

77 April 3rd 2014 3:27 pm

It may not offer the flexibility of a traditional desktop, but the ASUS Chromebox offers a refined version of Chrome OS suitable for households in need of a secondary desktop with little overhead. Size is a big draw for the Chromebox, with Liliputing noting that its small size "takes up less space than a CD case," granting more flexibility in where you put it. With three different CPU configurations available, the bare minimum you can get is a Celeron processor, which Ars Technica points out saying is "more than good enough for what Chrome OS is intended for: light browsing." PC Mag is happy with the system's performance, and finds that "viewing streaming 1080p videos online was mostly a smooth experience." ChromeOS won't offer the same flexibility as Windows or OS X, but if you just need a cheap device to get on the web, the ASUS Chromebox provides a more than adequate solution.

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Critic reviews

7 reviews
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User reviews

1 review
PC Mag Mar 12, 2014

The Asus Chromebox M004U is a great alternative to buying yet another cheap Windows desktop and it's a steal for the price.

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AnandTech Mar 12, 2014

What Chrome OS makes you sacrifice in flexibility, you gain in security. The relative immunity to viruses and malware makes the Chromebox an easy platform to recommend to novice users that are up for a somewhat unique learning curve.

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PC World Mar 12, 2014

Although its lack of portability is a bit antiquated, the M004U's performance is perfectly adequate to the task at hand: surfing the Web for less.

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Ars Technica Mar 27, 2014

Its small size, array of ports, and the relative ease with which upgrades can be performed will also make it appealing for tinkerers who want to try out Chrome OS or try installing alternative operating systems. However, you'll still be severely limited by the current BIOS limitations.

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Liliputing Mar 12, 2014

I’m not sure I’d replace a Mac or Windows PC with a Chromebox as my only desktop. But a Chromebox could make a good second or third PC.

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Computer Shopper Mar 12, 2014

The Chromebox shows that less can be more. It is a small and inexpensive general-purpose desktop computer that can inconspicuously fulfill many roles around the house and at work. Just make sure you have a reliable Web connection.

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HotHardware Mar 12, 2014

With the Chromebox M025U, ASUS delivers a straightforward solution in a tiny, low-power footprint that gets the job done well.

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