If you’re looking for a high-powered Chromebox, there are a surprising number of options available these days. Personally, I have been working from a Core i5 Acer CXI3 for the past few months and honestly, it hardly breaks a sweat at anything I throw at it in my daily routine.
That being said, I am aware that many users need more power or simply want to have the best of the best sitting on their desk. To you I say, do your thing. Just yesterday, I swapped out my Core i5 for the ASUS Core i7 Chromebox. While I haven’t noticed any real increase in performance, there was something quite satisfying when I ran an Octane benchmark and it posted a whopping 45,000+.
Anyway, if you’ve been considering a Core i7 Kaby Lake Chromebox, I’m here to tell you that CTL’s CBX1 is hands-down the way to go and here’s why.
First, let’s take a look at what’s inside. The CBX1 from CTL comes with the same 8th gen Kaby Lake 8550U that is found in the boxes from ASUS and Acer. I know, HP has a Chromebox as well but we’ll get to that in a minute.
CTL offers two configurations of the Core i7. The first comes equipped with 8GB RAM and 64GB of storage. Both of which are easily expanded if you want to do a little tinkering. The second model doubles the RAM to 16GB and the storage to an impressive 128GB.
The comparable models from ASUS and Acer come with 8/16GB of RAM but you’ll only get the option of 32GB or 64GB of storage meaning you’ll have to upgrade yourself if you want more.
Around the outside, all of these devices offer similar port setups and none of them really stand out in any way. One USB-C with dual monitor support, 2 x USB 2.0, 3 x USB 3.0, an HDMI and E
All of the current generation Chromeboxes are built on the same ‘Fizz’ baseboard so there aren’t any performance gains by choosing one over the other with the marginal exception of the HP. (Remember? I said I’d come back to this one.)
HP opted to go with the Intel 8650U Kaby Lake processor. Apart from a slightly higher clock rate (1.9GHz vs. 1.8GHz) these chips are identical and depending on which benchmark test you choose, the gains are a mere 4-5%. If the cost were the same, I’d have no problem saying pick the HP but that exact thing leads us to the point of my ramblings.
CTL has priced their Core i7 CBX1 Chromebox at the ridiculously low price of $599. If you want to upgrade to 16GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, you need only tack on $179. So, for $778 you can get the most powerful Chromebox on the market with more storage than the other OEMs even offer.
For comparison, the ASUS Core i7 with 8GB RAM and 32GB of storage is selling for $719 on Amazon and the HP goes for a staggering $839. Granted, you get the 16GB of RAM but only 64GB of storage.
Another notch in CTL’s belt is their optional 3-year parts and labor warranty that will only set you back $19.00. I mean seriously, an extra two years of warranty for less than many of us spend on coffee in a week. (Well, me at least) That’s insane!
We’ll be headed to Las Vegas Sunday for CES 2019 and CTL will be right there in the mix. We’re hoping to catch up with CEO Erik Stromquist and see what else CTL might be bringing our way in 2019.
Find out more about the CTL Chromebox CBX1 at the link below.CTL Chromebox CBX1
Update: The Core i7 CBX1 is also available in select European markets via CTL Spain.
More details here.