New Acer Chromebox CXI smallest on market; powered by Intel Core i3 processor

Laptops and desktops powered by Google’s Chrome OS aren’t for everyone, although they are finding a niche as a budget alternative to Windows machines. Acer America is the latest vendor to invest in the Chrome OS with a new entry in its Chromebox lineup.

The Acer Chromebox CXI-i34GKM is designed as a desktop option for users in education and the small and medium-sized business space that don’t need the mobility of a Chromebook. The box itself is a .6 liter (6.51 x 5.12 x 1.3-inches) chassis that is VESA mountable, making it a fit for libraries, office cubicles, classrooms and task-based terminals.

It’s powered by an Intel Core i3 4030U dual-core processor, giving it more multitasking power than some of the other Chromebox and Chromebook models on the market. It features a 16GB SSD which Acer promises will boot up in about eight seconds.

“We’ve extended our Chromebox CXI line with a new model featuring enhanced processing power and memory for users with more demanding computing requirements,” said Kamesh Kumar, Acer America business manager, in a statement. “A win/win for users and IT staff, the Chromebox CXI series is easy to use and deploy, highly secure and saves significant desk space. Featuring multiple accounts and Google Drive access, it’s ideal for any environment where multiple users will be sharing one device, such as in classrooms, libraries, call centers, kiosks, retail stores and reception areas.”

The CXI features 4GB of DDR3 1600Mhz memory and Intel HD graphics, and connectivity options include 802.11a/b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0 and Gigabit Ethernet plus four USB 3.0 ports, as well as HDMI and DisplayPort. It comes bundled with a Google approved USB keyboard and mouse.

Acer Chromebox CXI-i34GKM
Acer Chromebox CXI-i34GKM

While the full array of Windows OS applications is not available to Chromebox users, Chrome’s app store is growing and, if most of the work you do is browser-based anyway, you’re set. The tradeoff for less access to applications is the savings involved in not purchasing a Windows license. Users should carefully consider what they need from their desktop before considering a Chromebox.

The Acer Chromebox CXI-i34GKM will be available this month starting at $399.99

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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