Asus has announced its new Chromebox 4, a mini PC that runs Chrome OS.
Visually, the Chromebox 4 looks fairly similar to its predecessor (the Chromebox 3). Both are black with the Asus logo in the middle and the Chrome logo in the top left corner. It’s also the same size — 5.85 x 5.85 x 1.58 inches — but Asus has made a big change under the hood. Where the Chromebox 3 was powered by 8th Gen Intel processors, the Chromebox 4 offers 10th Gen Intel processors. Asus says these will deliver “faster, smoother and more energy-efficient performance.”
The new Chromebox can include an Intel Celeron 5205U or one of three Intel Core processors: an i3-10110U, an i5-10210U, or an i7-10510U. (Those are 15W TDP).
For other specs, you can configure the Chromebox 4 with 4GB or 8GB of memory (DDR4-SO-DIMM) and up to 256GB of storage (via an M.2 SATA SSD). There are ports galore — including HDMI 2.0, USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 (supporting power delivery and DisplayPort), and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A — which can support up to three 4K displays at once. The system supports dual-band 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 and includes a fan.
Like other Chrome OS devices, the Chromebox 4 supports Google Play. That means you’ll be able to use Android apps natively on the device. Whether you’ll actually want to do this depends on your workflow — some Android apps run very well on Chrome OS devices, while others are glitchy and useless. Speaking of Chrome OS, you’ll also get automatic software and security updates, so you don’t have to set aside time to download and restart as you would with Windows or Mac machines.
The Chromebox 4 will be available in North America in December starting at $289.