Acer may be getting ready to expand its Chromebox family with a new model sporting an Intel Broadwell processor.
Right now the company sells a few models with Intel Celeron and Core i3 Haswell processors. They’re priced between $180 and $400. But at an event in new York last week Acer handed out a spec sheet for new and upcoming products including the Acer Chromebox for meetings CXV2.
It’s a small desktop computer with Chrome OS software, an Intel Core i3-5005U Broadwell processor, 4GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. It’ll likely be sold as a premium device for audio and video conferencing, like other products sold through Google’s Chromebox for Meetings initiative.
The Acer CXV2 features Intel HD 550 graphics, four USB 3.0 ports, one DisplayPort and one HDMI port, dual-band WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, and support for an external HD camera.
The compute measures about 6.5″ x 5.1″ x 1.3″ and weighs about 1.2 pounds.
Acer hasn’t revealed the price or launch date yet, but the company says it’s possible this model could be available in the US this summer.
There’s no official word on whether the company has plans to offer lower-cost models that might be more appropriate for consumers… but I wouldn’t be surprised if last year’s cheaper models get a Broadwell or Braswell update in the not-too-distance future.
I don’t understand Google’s attempt to push Chromeboxes to businesses, for use as video conferencing machines. I don’t see many companies buying such a useless device, and committing themselves to the thought “yeh, we will probably never need to do anything other than video conferencing in this room anyways”. I can’t think of a reason I would want my conference room to have the functionality of video-conferencing, but not the functionality of Powerpoint, or any other software my company might use.
IT mentality: You want to do Hangouts video chat? Use the fucking Dell Optiplex machines we bought you.
Aside from usefulness, no IT team is going to buy 100 Dell Optiplex thin-clients for staff, and 1 Chromebox for the conference room. They will buy 101 Dell Optiplex thin-clients.
IT mentality: If I have to walk to the conference room just once, because I can’t use remote desktop to fix this PC, I’m going to BBQ this Chromebox.
Most office networks are run by Windows Server, and managed with Active Directory. This environment allows them to ensure anyone who hops on a PC in the office and is on the internet, could only have done so using their own network login. The Chromebox is a major security hole. Someone can walk up to it, and log into it with their own Google account.
I work in the IT Team for a company that has 19 offices worldwide, each office with 8+ meeting rooms. All our TV meeting rooms run Chromebox for Meetings. Since we use Google, the Calendar Resources are linked with the Chromeboxes and it makes booking rooms a breeze. Not once do we have to support these rooms – they update themselves, they never crash or freeze. Sharing content is easy too – just walk in with your laptop and go to “g.co/present” to wirelessly share information up on the TV for others in the same room and others connected to the Hangout, admittedly it won’t stream 1080p hence why we have a backup HDMI link – but thats for 5% of the time. They are by default tied to the Calendar Resource in Single App Kiosk Mode, the only way to log into them as something else is to Ctrl+Alt+S boot them into ChromeOS, and even then you need a domain login (we are quite a tech savvy company and our users don’t do this)
I certainly agree that Hangouts is great for meetings and video conferencing. But I didn’t realize there was a way to make Chrome OS require a domain login. I’ve played around with Chrome OS a bit, but never found a way to do that. I always assumed you could never remove the ability for a user to hop on with their own Google account, grab an IP and be online.
Is there any concerns about using Google accounts for business use? I know that most IT teams would sneer at the idea of allowing/encouring users to use an account that they can’t manage or enforce password policies, etc. Especially with the potential of them using Google Drive to store work related files.
Do you have a way of setting up the Google accounts for them, and managing the accounts somehow, and enforcing password policies? I know google has some services that cater to companies, but I’ve never looked into how much control you have over them.
I imagine the biggest objection most companies would have is the risk of an employee storing company files on Google Drive, and being at the mercy of that user’s password. On top of that, the risk of them losing their Android phone, and that account being associated with their phone.
We’ll probably see a raft of these things at the low end now. Pressure from both Google and Microsoft has led to the suppression of desktop Android in favor of ChromeOS. People are looking at replacing aging WinCE-based thin clients, and these ChromeBox devices are becoming the only game in town while also opening up the use of Chome-Apps to offload some work off the legacy Citrix servers onto the desktop hardware.
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