Three months ago, we were desperate for a new Chromebox. Now, we’re having trouble keeping track of them all.
Good problem to have for us here at Chrome Unboxed.
Today’s new device comes from a company who is completely new to the world of Chrome OS but their current product lineup fits perfectly with the growing demand for kiosk and digital signage solutions that Chromeboxes are perfect to supply.
For many of you, the name ViewSonic will ring a bell as one of the most widely distributed monitor manufacturers in the world. From Walmart to Amazon, Best Buy and everywhere in between, ViewSonic offers a range of displays from the most budget-conscious to grossly extravagant. If you need a monitor, they’ve probably got what you’re looking for.
What you may not know is that ViewSonic is also a major producer of digital signage solutions that offer a wide range of applications from POS to kiosk to the retail and education industries. This week. ViewSonic has unveiled their first Chrome OS device to be used in conjunction with the many display products they already offer.
Say hello to the ViewSonic NMP660 Chromebox.
Pretty sharp looking device. Much like the recent Box from CLT and others, it is small and unassuming as a device of this nature should be.
Also like the latest Chromeboxes released by the likes of HP, ASUS and Acer, the new ViewSonic is powered by the Intel Kaby Lake processor. This one particularly has the Celeron 3865U doing the work under the hood.
Check out the full rundown of what the NMP660 has to offer.
- Chrome OS
- Intel 7th Gen Kaby Lake Celeron 3865U w/Intel 610 Graphics
- 4GB DDR4 RAM
- 32GB SSD
- Full-size HDMI port
- 1 x USB-C
- 3 x USB 2.0/2 x USB 3.0
- Ethernet port
- 3.5mm Audio out
Basically, we’re looking at the exact same specs as the other Celeron boxes that will soon hit the market. The big deciding factor on which to buy will be the price.
HP, ASUS and Acer have yet to announce the price on their Chromebox lineup but my guess would be that the Celeron models will fall somewhere between $250-$300, if they’re smart. CTL has kind of broken the mold with their new Chromebox as they are retailing it for $199 or bundled with a display for $349.
That’s a huge deal. You can, essentially, get an all-in-one computing solutions for under $400 and I’d bet the Celeron processor is no slouch. Heck, you can upgrade the CTL to a touch display and still be at $399. I’m looking at my daughter’s classroom and thinking, “they’re going to need to get some of these.”
ViewSonic seems to have gone to the other extreme on price with their first attempt at Chrome OS.
$349.99 is the retail price on the NMP660 Chromebox and that gets you the Box and the power cord. That’s it.
I reached out to ViewSonic to confirm that this price wasn’t part of a bundle or something of that nature and it isn’t. It is the price for just the Chromebox. They did inform me that this is simply the MSRP and that the NMP660 will likely be less via resellers.
Now, I don’t know what their market strategy is here but I get the feeling this will be a hard sell for the company unless they are offering some form of discount or benefit for enterprises and schools who also purchase display devices from ViewSonic.
According to the Product Marketing Manager;
Utilizing an interactive large format display or monitor alongside a ViewSonic Chromebox delivers a compact yet powerful solution with the speed, simplicity and security of Chrome OS. Because Chrome OS is becoming more of an industry standard with enterprise and education peripherals, the ViewSonic NMP 660 Chromebox is an affordable device to manage the platform. We see a limitless amount of solutions for the ViewSonic NMP660 Chromebox, from using it in the classroom and boardroom to leveraging it as a tool for digital signage installations.
Andy Chien, PMM ViewSonic
The ViewSonic NMP660 Chromebox is slated for release in April and is currently listed on their site as “coming soon.” Regardless of the price, it is awesome to see new OEMs coming to the Chrome OS space. The world of Chromebooks and Chrome devices is growing exponentially and we are excited to share the latest with all of you.
Stay tuned for more.
In my haste, I neglected to mention Play Store support. In case anyone missed it, Google has mandated that all new Chrome devices have Play Store support out of the box. The only exception is in the case that the device is enrolled or “managed” in which case the Admin must enable the Play Store and push selected apps to the device.
Source: Business Wire, ViewSonic