The Asus Chromebox by Google is a desktop computer that uses the Google Chrome operating system (or OS). The Asus, developed in early 2014, is one of a number of Chromebox devices.. Earlier, Google had developed Chrome Books which are laptops, but with a twist. Those who paid attention to such things had noticed that the convenience of mobility a lap top offered was offset, to a large degree, by its limited storage. ChromeBooks was an answer to this problem. The new operating system solved the storage problem by sending data to the internet where it could be kept in ‘places’ like the Cloud. Chrome Books, and similar products from other cyber space companies, were such a success that it was probably inevitable that someone would develop an operating system that sent desktop generated data to the internet. The Asus Chromebox M004U is one such product.
The Asus is a mini computer
The Asus Chromebox M004U can be placed in the general category of mini computers. The Asus has also been designated as a small form factor computer. This otherwise trivial information can be helpful if you want to do a search to find and compare products similar to the M004U. Many manufacturers offer mini computers, including Acer, Apple, Dell, E Machines, Gateway and Samsung.
Chromebox is widely used.
The Chromebox operating system is quite popular. Samsung offered the first Chromebox mini computer in 2012. Acer, Dell, Google and Hewlitt Packard all have their own versions
Key features of an Asus Chromebox M004U
One of the first things about this product is its diminutive size. The 1.65 inch tall, 4.88 x 4.88 inch square little box is unlikely to be a space hog in any environment. For some this will just be a curiosity, but for those for whom space is limited it will be a significant convenience. The M004U is run by a Celeron 2955U1.4 gHz processor. It has 2 GB RR3 RAM and a 16GB solid state drive (SSD) in lieu of a traditonal hard drive. Grahics are run by Intel integrated graphics.
Accepts numerous accessories
The compact dimensions of the M004U don’t mean it’s restricted in versatility. This Asus Chromebox can host a wide variety of accessories and functions. It has four USB 3 ports, a dual mode display port, an out port for HDMI, and an RJ45 LAN port for wired internet connections. It also has a 3.5m audio jack and a direct current (DC) port in which to connect a power adapter for the audio jack. The Asus Chromebox M004U can support both WI FI and Bluetooth. Computer World has a useful article detailing and explaining the features of the Asus M004U.
Opinions of others
The 3/12/14 Computer World article mentioned above had good things to say about Asus Chromebox products in general and the M004U in particular. One drawback it did mention was relative sluggishness if a number of processes and devices were running at the same time. However, it also pointed out that the 2GB ram could be upgraded to 4GB by anyone with some fundamental computer repair know how. The CW writer echoed the sentiments of many when praising the comparably low price of this product.
Most purchasers of this Asus Chromebox have found the device well worth its modest price. A significant 74% of the 820 people who wrote a review for Amazon gave the product a 5 star rating. The most telling criticism was something that really should go without saying: the Asus product has limited use and function compared to a full sized desk top.
This simply underlines the principle that, when purchasing computer gear, or any technological product, the watchword should be: know exactly what you want to do with your purchase and know or be able to find out if potential products will meet those requirements.