While many users know about Chromebooks, it seems some are unaware about the existence of Chromebox and Chromebit. To explain briefly, both are hardware machines that run Chrome OS albeit in a much smaller form factor than traditional desktop computers. They are great if you want to carry your desktop in your pocket or bag. In this article, we explain both the products and list out the best Chromeboxes and Chromebits that you can buy right now. On similar lines, we recently wrote about the best Chromebooks to buy in 2020 so check that out too. Now without further delay, let’s go ahead and find the best Chromboxes and Chromebits to buy in 2020.
Best Chromeboxes to Buy in 2020
1. Acer Chromebox (2019)
When it comes to Chromeboxes, Acer has been creating some of the best machines in the past few years. It brings new Chromeboxes with the latest internals and moderate pricing. Last year, Acer released three variants of its newest Chromebox: i3, i5, and i7 models. The best part is that all of the variants are running the 8th-gen Intel Core chips which should translate to better performance and battery efficiency. On the memory front as well, you get 8GB of DDR4 RAM for i3 and i5 variants whereas a humongous 16GB of DDR4 RAM for the i7 variant particularly. That’s one beefy Chromebox and I love it.
Other than that, you have 64GB of SSD storage on all three models and plenty of ports to offer. On all the models, you get 5 Type-A ports, 1 Type C port, 1 HDMI port, 1 microSD card slot and 1 DisplayPort over USB Type C. As for the connectivity, it comes with Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi and Gigabit LAN. Simply put, the new Chrome OS machines by Acer are one of the best Chromeboxes available now and you should not give them a miss.
Buy from Amazon: Starts at $482.07
2. Asus Chromebox 3
Asus is another Chromebox manufacturer who is giving a tough competition to Acer. It’s among the few companies still making some great Chromeboxes. If you are looking for Chromeboxes having powerful specs and I/O ports, you can take a look at the Asus Chromebox 3. The Asus Chromebox 3 comes in four major configs which include 7th-gen Celeron, i3, i5, and i7. All of the variants are packed with 32GB of SSD storage and have support for microSD cards. However, bear in mind, you can’t upgrade the internal storage like Windows PCs.
Talking about memory, the Celeron and i3 models have 4GB of DDR4 RAM whereas i5 and i7 have 8GB of DDR4 RAM. As for ports, you get 5 Type-A and one Type C port and both of them are based on the USB 3.1 standard. Not to mention, you also have HDMI, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 and a Gigabit LAN port. All in all, the Asus Chromebox 3 seems like a well-rounded Chromebox and you should definitely consider this tiny machine.
Buy from Amazon: Starts at $260.38
3. CTL Chromebox
If you are looking for a Chromebox with large SSD storage then I would recommend the Celeron variant of CTL Chromebox. It comes with 128GB of onboard SSD storage and 4GB of RAM. That’s really great, right? However, if you want a powerful Chromebox then you can take a look at its 8th-gen i7 variant. It has 32GB of SSD storage, but you can expand it internally and can also insert a microSD card.
Not to mention, the i7 variant has 8GB of RAM so if you are a power user, that should suffice for running multiple Chrome and Linux apps at once. Apart from that, both the models come with WiFi, Bluetooth, plenty of USB Type-A ports, HDMI and of course, Ethernet port. All in all, I would say the Celeron variant is quite good for the money and you should check that out. However, if you want the i7 variant, the steep price may disappoint you.
4. HP G2
HP offers two Chromeboxes: one with Celeron and another one with the 7th-gen Intel Core i5 processor. Both have 32GB of SSD storage, but the Celeron one comes with 4GB of RAM and the i5 variant is packed with 8GB of RAM. Having said that, I would recommend you to go with either Asus or Acer Chromebox if you want the i5 variant. The i5 model of HP G2 is needlessly expensive and does not seem to bring any additional features to justify its high price. As for I/O ports, you have 4 USB Type-A, a microSD card slot, one HDMI, and an Ethernet port on both the variants. If you are wondering about wireless connectivity then you do have WiFi and Bluetooth on both the models. All in all, the Celeron variant of HP G2 is a decent Chromebox and you should check that out.
5. ASUS Chromebit CS10
If you want a portable stick that can instantly turn a monitor into your personal computer, well you need a Chromebit and preferably the best, Asus Chromebit CS10. Sure, this Asus Chromebit was launched in 2015, but it’s still usable for day to day usage and frankly, can be a viable alternative to portable computers. With this Chromebit, you get an ARM-based RockChip 3288-C processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC storage. Since Chrome OS is pretty lightweight, it can easily run from a stick and save all the files and changes on the Chromebit itself.
Not to mention, you even have WiFi and Bluetooth support on this tiny stick. As for the ports, there is a microSD card slot, one USB Type-A slot, and a mini HDMI port. Simply put, if you want the best Chromebit to run basic tasks then Asus CS10 is your one and only option.
Buy from Amazon: $110
The Best Chromebox and Chromebit Ranked for You
So those are our picks for the best Chromeboxes and Chromebits you can buy in 2020. As it’s evident, except few manufacturers, almost all the OEMs have abandoned Chromeboxes at this point. However, there are still some companies like Acer and Asus who are putting their resources and bringing some great Chromeboxes in the desktop market. And the less said about Chromebits, the better. Anyway, go through the article and choose your favorite Chromebox to build an inexpensive computer. And if you want to build your own machine that can run Chrome OS then follow our Chrome OS installation guide on PC.