There are not many options for computers running the Chrome OS in desktop form. Acer just released a new one and it’s a monster of sorts. Packed inside the svelte box is a powerful little machine that costs nearly double that of other Chromeboxes but sports computing power unheard of from a Chrome OS device.
Called the CXI Chromebox, Acer tapped the new 4th generation Intel Core i3 4030U dual-core CPU to power the little guy. A 16GB SSD provides local storage, and it’s available with up to 8GB of RAM, which allows support for a 4k monitor.
Prices start at $350 for the 4GB option and climb to $400 for the 8GB model. This Acer costs nearly double the Chromebox offerings from HP and Asus, but packs enough horsepower to justify the higher price.
Google’s Chrome OS is finding friends in different industries. In late 2014, research group IDC pegged laptops running the operating system as the best-selling device across the entire category in 2014. Microsoft has recently made moves to counter Chrome OS’s growth by offering Windows to OEMs at lower prices and firms such as HP have followed suit with lower-cost models. Yet if this Acer model proves anything, it’s that Chromebooks and Chromeboxes are going to keep getting better and Microsoft needs to find the right answer.