Not to be outdone in the Chromebox game where Acer has had quite a bit of success, it looks like the prolific Chromebook maker may be aping another company in making a Chromebox with the added – and useful – benefit of wireless charging baked into the lid portion.
Though Chromeboxes tend to be the least innovative sector of ChromeOS hardware, ASUS used some of that boring, dead space up top on their latest Chromebox to actually do something quite interesting. With a 15W Qi wireless charger on the top, ASUS’ latest Chromebox makes great use of the area on the top and makes you want to keep it on the desk versus mounting it behind your display.
At the end of the day, there simply isn’t much room for new features on devices like Chromeboxes that are, by their very nature, the definition of simplicity. Without a screen, keyboard, trackpad or real form factor to tinker with, manufacturers don’t have much in the way of a path to differentiation in these devices. But adding a small feature like a wireless charger up top at least gives customers – both consumer and enterprise – a reason to consider ASUS’ latest versus the competition.
Acer is prepping a Chromebox with Qi wireless charging
According to a new set of commits in the Chromium Repositories, a new Chromebox is being developed with the code name ‘Constitution’. Based on the ‘Brask’ reference board, we can at least know that this will be either a 12th or 13th-gen Intel powered device, and with the author of this change being David Wu, we can feel pretty confident that Acer is involved, here.
While all the ‘Brask’-related Chromeboxes thus far have been of the 12th-gen Intel variety, 13th-gen Raptor Lake Intel CPUs can be swapped quite simply with the same basic motherboard that manufacturers use for 12th-gen hardware. Not until we get into the 14th-gen Meteor Lake devices will we see a big departure in the internal setup for ChromeOS devices.
And as for the inclusion of the Qi wireless charger, you can take a look at that second file screenshot above and see the clear reference to the hardware being added. It only makes sense, after all, and I’d be shocked not to see every single hardware manufacturer follow suit after ASUS’ unique inclusion of it this year.
While ‘Constitution’ has been in the works for a couple of months, as always, things can change before launch. While the Chromebox we saw from Acer at CES 2023 was interesting, I still think they need to launch a current version that is more consumer-focused like their previous models. We’ve always loved Acer’s takes on Chromeboxes in the past, and one that comes with wireless charging would be a great addition to the family.