Most computers that run Google’s browser-based ChromeOS software are Chromebooks. But company have also been making small Chromebox desktop computers for almost as long as ChromeOS has been a thing.
The new Lenovo Chromebox Micro, though, is smaller than most. At 163 x 79 x 20mm (6.4″ x 3.1″ x 0.8″) it’s about the size of of two smartphones stacked on top of one another. The Lenovo Chromebox Micro is set to launch in the first quarter of 2024 for $219 and up.
Lenovo unveiled the little computer during the Digital Signage Experience show this week, so it’s no surprise that the company is positioning the Chromebox Micro as an “ultra-thin and affordable media player.” But it could also be used for a wide variety of applications.
It’s powered by an Intel Celeron N4500 processor, which is a 6-watt, 2-core, 2-thread processor based on Intel Jasper Lake Architecture, and supports 8GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage.
The Lenovo Chromebox Micro features a fanless metal chassis and support for silent 24/7 operation, and a set of ports that includes:
- 2 x USB Type-C
- 2 x USB Type-A
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x Ethernet
- 1 x 3.5mm audio
It weighs 450 grams, or about one pound, and can be mounted to the back of a display. Lenovo is also partnering with to offer 15.6″ and 21.5″ displays designed specifically for use with a Chromebox Micro, thanks to appropriately-sized cut-outs in the back.
Theoretically it’s like buying an all-in-one desktop, except that the brains of the system are a removable computer that could theoretically be replaced by a next-gen model (if one is released in the future).
While the new Lenovo Chromebox Micro is the first device in this form factor, Google says it’s “partnering with additional device manufacturers to bring affordable, compact, enterprise-grade Chromeboxes to your business soon,” suggesting we could see similarly-sized products from other companies in the future.
That said, the Chromebox Micro isn’t the smallest ChromeOS computer we’ve ever seen. That award still belongs to the Asus Chromebit, which launched in 2015 as a $100 Chromebox-on-a-stick designed to plug directly into the HDMI port of a display.