Asus came to CES with many new products, but its latest could be important for companies and many people who need to work from home. The company has introduced a Fanless Chromebox that not only offers a quiet Chrome OS desktop, but is built to survive some of the harshest conditions.
The router-like aluminum chassis lets the Fanless Chromebox run anything from an entry Celeron 5205U processor through to a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 without noise, according to Asus. Higher-end versions can drive up to three 4K monitors. At the same time, the casing is tough enough to last in factories and other “harsh” commercial spaces, including when it’s mounted to a monitor or wall.
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Asus’ Chrome OS computer is also a fairly versatile design. It takes up to 16GB of RAM, and you have your choice of either eMMC storage (up to 64GB) or an SSD (up to 256GB). USB-A and USB-C 3.2 ports give you a choice of peripherals, and you’ll have a full complement of additional ports that include HDMI, Ethernet, a microSD slot and even a legacy RS-232 serial port. This is built as much for companies with ancient equipment as it is employees using their home setups.
The Fanless Chromebox should be available in February starting at a $399 price, Asus said. That’s not a trivial price when you can get more powerful conventional PCs for the money, but the company is clearly betting that the corporate crowd will pay more for the tough design and Chrome OS’ inherent advantages for security and updates.