CTL is taking pre-orders for two models of a Chromebox CBX3. Both models are compact desktop computers with support for WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and multiple I/O ports. And both, of course, are powered by Google ChromeOS software.

But the entry-level CTL Chromebox CBX3 packs a 5-core, 6-thread Intel Celeron 7305 processor based on 12th-gen Intel Alder Lake architecture, while the more powerful Chromebox CBX3-7 is the first ChromeOS device announced to feature a 13th-gen Intel Core i7 processor based on Raptor Lake architecture. It also costs about three times as much as the base model though.

Both computers measure 5.85″ x 5.83″ x 1.62″ and feature a set of ports that includes:

  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x USB Type-C (w/DisplayPort Alt Mode)
  • 4 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 1 x RJ45 Ethernet
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio
  • 1 x microSD card reader

And both should get automatic software updates from Google until at least June, 2030.

But while the entry-level model is up for pre-order for $309, while the Core i7 version is going for $849 during pre-orders. Both of those prices represent discounts off the expected retail price.

Aside from the processor differences, the entry-level model will ship this summer with 4GB of RAM and 256GB of PCIe NVMe storage, while the higher-priced model will come with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage.

CTL tells me that both the Celeron and Core i7 versions of the Chromebox also feature two SODIMM slots, so the DDR4-3200 memory is user upgradeable, as is the NVMe SSD.

via Chrome Unboxed

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  1. Strange wanting to put this kind of muscle into a chrome box. Are there any applications that can use it?

    In fact, GOOGLE being notorious for dropping support is there realli an argument for a chromebox?

    Better off then with a Mac Mini, a mini PC or a second hand PC.

    1. Yes, Steam and Linux.
      ChromeOS isn’t a failed platform like Stadia. From 2019-2021 it was #2 in PC marketshare with a healthy lead over macOS. Even in 2022 in a slump, more Chromebooks sold than Macs did in 2019.
      Better off with a Mac Mini? Not if you want to play Steam games or run Android apps. A Mac Mini will be better at video editing though, but that is a niche use case.

    2. My feelings are the same….. But I do love being able to pick up an EOL Chromebook for ~$40, wipe chrome and put Linux on it. Makes for a very affordable easy to have laptops dedicated to certain functions/projects.

      Beware though, not all Chromebooks can do this and some don’t have full Linux support yet.

      1. Is this really an issue on x86 based systems? With fairly common CPUs like these two systems, I’d expect them to run any generic Linux or even Windows just fine.

  2. Small correction: The Celeron 7305 does not belong to the Alder Lake-N series. Alder Lake-N is the only variant that is not of hybrid design but consists of all small cores. The Celeron 7305 is an Alder Lake-U model.
    Very interesting article anyways!

    1. Whoops. My fingers have grown so accustomed to writing Alder Lake N over the past few months that they added the N when my brain told them to stop after “Alder Lake.”

      Thanks, I’ve updated the article!