Personal computers are in the process of transforming to fit the lifestyles involved with an increasingly mobile world. Rapidly increasing processing power in mobile phones means that the entire concept of a non-mobile personal computer could become obsolete unless they can find another distinct advantage over mobile computing. Cloud storage means that mobile devices are on the same playing field as personal computers when it comes to data space, so what remains?
The people at ASUS believe that the big advantage personal computers can leverage over mobile solutions is price, and their answer to the situation comes in the form of their recently released ChromeBox Desktop PC. The ChromeBox may be tiny at under five square inches and only 1.65 inches thick, but it still manages to be a heavyweight contender in personal computing by boasting a retail price tag of only $179.
The ChromeBox is incredibly simple, and features a solid-state hard drive with zero moving parts. Like the popular ChromeBook the ChromeBox is limited to only using Google Docs and Google Chrome software, but little else is needed for today's personal computer users.
Differences in operating systems mean little when most of what people use their computers for is the Internet browser, so a desktop that is built to solely feature the browser is the logical next iteration of the concept. According to Google's director of product management Felix Lin, these features make ChromeBox “Perfect for home, the classroom or the office, [the] Chromebox is designed for the way we use computers today.”
The ChromeBox is also perfect for the web-connected home, since it features a mount for easy attachment to the back of an HDTV. This makes it convenient for users to switch a TV directly to their PC, where they can watch YouTube videos, easily access important photos and documents or simply surf the web from the comfort of the living room couch.
This same mount makes it easy to attach the ChromeBox to other devices too. This cements the ChromeBox as a forward-thinking product for the “Internet of Things,” where common devices all have Internet access. All in all, the ChromeBox is an affordable desktop PC solution that will fill a consumer niche for many years to come.
Edited by Ryan Sartor