Asus started selling its first Chrome OS desktop computers in March with the launch of the $179 Asus Chromebox M005U. The tiny desktop is small enough to hold in one hand, packs an Intel Celeron 2955U Haswell processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and Google’s Chrome operating system.

It also runs Ubuntu or other Linux-based operating systems reasonably well, and it’s easy to upgrade the RAM or storage yourself.

But if you want a system with a more powerful CPU, now you can get one. The Asus Chromebox-M075U is now available for about $399, and it features an Intel Core i3-4010U processor.

Asus Chromebox

The best prices I’ve seen for the new model are from Amazon, ExcaliberPC and Provantage, which are selling the Asus Chromebox-M075U for about $399.

Note that some retailers says the system has 4GB of RAM and others say 2GB. I’m checking with Asus to see if I can find out how much memory the system really has — although the chipset should support up to 16GB of RAM if you want to upgrade the memory yourself.

Other specs include a 16GB solid state drive, Intel HD 4400 graphics, dual-band 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and DisplayPort with support for 4K video output, and an SD card slot.

Unlike the cheaper model, the Asus Chromebox-M075U should ship with a wireless keyboard and mouse, so you won’t have to supply your own.

The new system has a higher clock speed, more cache, support for hyperthreading, and should generally run circles around the original Asus Chromebox in CPU benchmarks. Seeing as the cheaper model is already fast enough to handle most web browsing, web app, and online video tasks, the extra power you get from the Core i3 CPU may be overkill for some users… but it’d probably come in handy if you want to convert your Chromebox into a Linux box.

Want a cheaper system with an Intel Celeron chip and 4GB of RAM instead of the usual 2GB? Mobile Computing Solutions is offering an $220 Asus Chromebox-M004U Deluxe through Amazon.

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13 replies on “Asus Chromebox with Core i3 Haswell now available”

  1. I can confirm that the Celeron edition of this machine does in fact support 16GB of RAM. I just completed my upgrade with 2x8GB DDR3L-1600 SODIMMs from Crucial (see photos for model number), and Chrome OS reads it without any problems.

  2. too expensive at $399. Can buy a full laptop at Fry’s for less running Windows 8.1.

  3. Having an i3 option for the chromebox probably did not cost very much to design (it probably uses the same chipset that the celeron version uses). I would expect the sales volume of the i3 version to be 1/10 the celeron version. Didn’t the chromebook pixel only sell 10 units or something like that (all to Google employees).

  4. So what is the point of having an i3 for a Chromebox let alone an i5 in the pixel?

    1. The Pixel was primarily intended as a developers platform… It’s the old which came first, the chicken or the egg, proverb analogy… Basically, the idea was to see what developers could do if the system wasn’t limited by its resources… sort of paving the way for future applications as regular systems would eventually reach that level of performance…

      Otherwise, it’s feared the platform may never get used much beyond what is essentially a gloried web browser… because, most developers work on the premise of the lowest common denominator for both users and the system hardware their apps are expected to run on…

      Now, keep in mind that Google does allow people to put Chrome devices into developer mode and either dual boot another Linux Distro or run something like Crouton that enables the full GNU/Linux environment that you can then switch to and run GNU/Linux apps instead of just Chrome Apps…

      So, users can potentially take full advantage of the hardware performance…

  5. So with Microsoft giving away their Windows OS for certain devices, I am hoping we will see a slew of these mini pcs, with RAM and a 64gb SSD included, for around the $220 price point.

    1. Doubt it. Microsoft is only doing that to get their fit in the door to the tablet market. They don’t have anything to worry about in the desktop market

      1. There is a 9″ or smaller requirement for the free copy of W8, but MS is also lowering their prices to OEMs in general… While some of the moves they’re (Intel) making for mobile should bleed over to the rest of the market… at least for Bay Trail based systems…

        Like they’re finally reducing board size significantly, and making it a lot easier for the system makers to source parts that should help reduce BOM for more than just mobile devices…

        SSD capacities are also increasing, which means they can include more without increasing the price so much… So it should be at least a little bit better going forward…

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