Not so long ago, the Chromebox form-factor appeared to be disappearing from the Chrome OS landscape. Fast forward two years to today and we have more options than ever. There are even some new players on the Chromebox field looking to take advantage of Chrome OS’s massive share of the EDU sector.
Regardless of your use case, there’s likely a Chromebox to fit your needs. For power users, you can max out a box at 16GB of RAM with a Core i7 processor and even add NVMe storage. (video for that one coming soon)
However, for the average user, the entry-level Celeron processor should suffice to do daily tasks such as online banking, web surfing and media consumption. At release, this latest generation of Chromeboxes was equipped with the two-year-old Celeron 3865U. Now, thanks to a very minor refresh, OEMs are now launching new models powered by the much newer Celeron 3867U processor.
For users, the upgrade doesn’t really mean much except that you’re getting a new CPU. Price points are identical between the two chips so it shouldn’t result in a price increase for the newer boxes. As a matter of fact, Acer and HP have already released their versions and the price tag is exactly the same as the 3865U.
The one notable upgrade to the processor is that the PCIe support is now 3.0 as opposed to PCIe 2.0 on the previous models. We can expect other manufacturers to follow suit with the new chip. I spoke with Erik Stromquist of CTL who informed me that their 3867U model will be out and available in coming weeks, as well.
There may be no discernible differences in the two processors but personally, it’s nice to know that these new models will have CPUs that are two years newer.