The ASUS Chromebox 3 is the best Chromebox you can buy. Available in several configurations, from the modestly priced Intel Celeron version to a powerful Intel Core processor, all models feature a true M.2 SATA SSD for years of worry-free storage and upgradability should you need it.
Who should buy this
The Chromebox 3 is ASUS’ newest model, and it’s one of the company’s best ever. If you just want a simple and dependable machine for casual web browsing or online shopping, the base model starts at just $232. If you’re a power user who wants the best hardware available you’re covered as well. All models come with a full set of ports for connection to monitors or televisions — including current-generation USB-C ports — so you can use your favorite mouse and keyboard or an external storage drive filled with movies.
The ASUS Chromebox 3 is a Chromebox for the whole family that’s future proof, secure, and dependable. You can’t go wrong here.
Is it a good time to buy?
Absolutely! Google supports Chromeboxes for a full six years with software and security updates, and the Chromebox 3 uses current generation hardware from Intel that will perform well throughout its lifetime. The Chromebox 3 was also designed with Android and Linux applications in mind, so you’ll find a full set of software available that you can use for anything you’ll need — both the fun things and the work things.
Component costs are constantly rising, and we don’t see that changing any time soon. Buying a model that uses the very latest parts — including user-upgradeable M.2 storage drives — makes sense. An investment today means you’ll enjoy the benefit of a secure workstation or entertainment PC without needing to worry about upgrading any time soon.
Reasons to buy
- Desktop-class Intel Core processors
- High-speed DDR4 RAM
- User-upgradable hard drive
- Legacy HDMI and USB connections
- SD card reader
One Chromebox to rule them all
ASUS has hit it out of the park with the Chromebox 3. For starters, it’s available in four different configurations and even the inexpensive $232 base model will deliver excellent performance for the everyday tasks most of us want to do. And if you really want to go all-in with a powerful small form-factor computer that can run processor intensive applications, the 8th-generation Core i7 model has 8GB of DDR4 memory and will provide extreme performance.
Every model has the same great features, like legacy USB and HDMI ports, Ethernet and 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, user-upgradable storage and memory, and even a Vesa-mounting option to hide the Chromebox behind your television. There really isn’t anything we don’t love about the Chromebox 3.
With a model for everyone and plenty of apps to choose from, the Chromebox 3 is the best for everyone.
You’ll feel the same once you have everything connected and sign in with your Google account. There is never any worry about staying up-to-date and secure with Google’s guarantee of six-years of support, and Chrome offers a simple and familiar user interface that will have you up and running in no time.
All models are capable of 4K output, so your movies and TV shows will look amazing on the big screen in your living room or the monitor on your desk. With full support for Android apps through Google Play and Linux application support, you’re sure to find the games and programs you want and need. When Google first introduced the Chromebox, this is what we were all imagining.
Alternative to the Chromebox 3
If you’re looking for a complete package that includes a keyboard and mouse and to save a few dollars, you have a great option.
Acer’s CX12 Chromebox comes as a complete kit with matching Chrome keyboard and mouse so you won’t have to track down any peripherals. it’s also plenty powerful enough for most users and checks in at just $200, which makes it a great option for a lot of us.
The ASUS Chromebox 3 is what we’ve always wanted to see in a Chromebox. Models and prices for everyone are available, and every configuration has the ports and power you need to have a great experience while staying secure and up to date with Google’s Chrome software. We think it’s the very best Chromebox for everyone.
If you would rather grab one box with everything you need — including a hard-to-find Chrome customized keyboard — then the Acer Chromebox CX12 is a great buy, and because Google supports Chrome products for a full six years nobody thinks it’s crazy to buy last years model to save a few dollars. The ASUS Chromebox 2 is still a great computer.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jerry Hildenbrand is Mobile Nation’s Senior Editor and works from a Chromebook full time. Currently, he is using Google’s Pixelbook but is always looking at new products and may have any Chromebook in his hands at any time. You’ll find him across the Mobile Nations network and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.
Andrew Martonik is the Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central. He has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.
Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he’s writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there’s a correlation.
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