While we know that the 12th-gen Intel Chromebook wave is right at the edge of crashing down on us, we’ve not talked a great deal about Chromeboxes that will come equipped with the same silicon inside. As ChromeOS devices go, Chromeboxes represent the purest form of hardware that you can experience Google’s cloud-based operating system on. With no screen, no keyboard, and no trackpad to worry with, the Chromebox is free from many of the things that make or break the Chromebook experience.
Even better, when you have a monitor and your favorite keyboard and mouse, you can just plug those peripherals in, boot up the Chromebox, log in and get to work right away with no real surprises. For some of you, that probably sounds fantastic. For others – like myself – it can sound a bit boring, too. I love working from a Chromebox, but there’s simply not much to explore. If the internals are good and the port selection is what I require, things just work.
Don’t forget about the Chromebox
Because of that, it can be easy to forget about the humble Chromebox. And that would be a mistake. These simple little boxes are wildly capable and because they don’t bother with all the extras like screens, keyboards and convertible chassis, they don’t incur those costs, either. As boring as they might be, I’d definitely be working from a Chromebox at my desk every day if I weren’t constantly reviewing Chromebook hardware. I love the cleanliness of the setup and the simplicity of use offered by them.
With Chromeboxes, it’s always been about performance and upgradability, and we see no reason why those things won’t be on the table with the next generation of 12th-gen Alder Lake Chromeboxes on the way. Up to this point, we’ve only had eyes on one device – ‘Brask’ – but we’re now seeing two other boxes joining the mix.
Say hello to ‘Moli’ and ‘Kinox’, two more 12th-gen Chromeboxes on the way likely at some point in 2022. Recalling what we’ve already discussed here in this post, Chromeboxes don’t take a ton of development time due to the fact that they are simply a baseboard in a box. With 3 devices now in the works, I’d assume we’ll see at least one or two of them hit stores by Q2 or Q3. Because they will be housing the 12th-gen SoCs from Intel, we’ll expect very fast speeds, solid connections, and advanced features like access to Google’s upcoming Steam games for ChromeOS. If you are looking for performance for a bit less money, a Chromebox is the way to go, and these 12th-gen devices should be the best we’ve seen.