Acer is today announcing that their Chromebox CXI lineup is getting even more powerful. As they've previously done with their Chromebooks, they're adding the option to add a Core i3 processor to one of these Chromeboxes, as well as the ability to drive a 4K display. You might be wondering just who in their right mind would want something like this, but there's a big market for affordable, slim computers that browse the web and stream content from the web without a hiccup. Those looking for the best Chrome OS option just got a much better choice from Acer it'd seem.
There are two new options, both of which feature Haswell-based Core i3 processors, the 4030U dual-core for those interested, and either 4GB or 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Both of these models feature four USB 3.0 ports – two on the front, two at the rear – as well an HDMI port and a DisplayPort. What makes these new models interesting is that they will support either displays at 2560 x 1440 resolutions or those at 4K, which is 3840 x 2160. Sadly, these still feature just 16GB of internal storage, but in a box that is VESA-mountable to the rear of a monitor and measures just 6.51 x 5.12 x 1.3-inches we can forgive Acer for this. Both of these new models will start at $349.99 later this year.
This sort of Chromebox is certainly not aimed at your average Chrome OS user, instead it has its use cases best found in business, or as a dedicated conference room machine, something like that. You can attach pretty much any plug-and-play Webcam to one of these for HD video calls while also outputting web pages or slideshows. Personal users that have swapped wholesale to Google Drive and other web services however will benefit from the Core i3 and more pixels always means sharper text. Still, this is not your average Chromebox and Acer's CXI line will struggle to appeal to the average use in the face of much cheaper solutions. Chrome junkies however, will be salivating over the extra power here.