Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs could very well usher in the next monumental evolution of Chrome OS but the current 10th Gen Comet Lake Chrome OS devices are where it’s at and that’s perfectly fine. Until Chrome OS and its companion operating systems, Linux and Android can fully leverage GPU horsepower, the upcoming Xe graphics on Tiger Lake will be severely hobbled and the 11th Gen CPU will be a thoroughbred locked in a stall.
Every major Chrome device maker has launched a Comet Lake Chromebook of some form and the options range from the budget-friendly Core i3 Lenovo Flex 5 to the upcoming HP Elite c1030 with an optional eye-blistering 1000 nit display and a price tag well north of $1,500. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see a variety of Comet Lake devices in various price ranges and form-factors over the next 6-12 months but one thing is certain, more Chromeboxes are on the way and ASUS could be the next one to market.
CTL, Acer, and HP have already debuted their respective Comet Lake mini Chrome PCs but the Chromium developer’s list of device board names has recently added another 10th Gen Chromebox built off of the same Puff baseboard. ASUS’s new Chromebox will go by the codename ‘Duffy’ and we can expect to see a few variations ranging from an entry-level Celeron up to a Core i5 and possibly even a Core i7 if ASUS sticks with its previous SKUs.
ASUS has made no official announcement and I haven’t been able to dig up any listings from the usual sites that are notorious for listing devices early. ASUS has historically announced its Chromeboxes at or around the annual CES trade show in January but the fact that the ASUS Chromebox 4 has popped up on the developer’s list leaves me inclined to think we’ll see it before the end of the year. When this device does arrive, it will take its place next to ASUS’s latest Google Meet hardware that features the ASUS Meet Compute system that is just a reskinned Chromebox 3 with an 8th Gen Intel CPU. We’ll keep an eye out for this upcoming device but you can expect it to fall into a similar price range as its competitors with the Celeron model coming in somewhere around $250-$275. Personally, I hope that ASUS adopts the same design as the Compute system in the image at the top of the page. It’s very modern and Chrome OS deserves a sleek, new chassis.