The new Chromebox is Google’s first ever kinda-sorta desktop PC.Google today released a vastly revised version of its Chrome operating system with two new devices built by Samsung. One is a new laptop, the Chromebook. But the second one is far more interesting.
The Chromebox is what’s known as a “thin client” device, meaning you plug in your own monitor and keyboard and use it to access applications stored elsewhere. In this case, Chromebox gives you a browser so you can access apps hosted on the Internet, such as Google Apps.
Although you could unplug it and take it to a new location, it’s not a mobile device—it’s a desktop. You wouldn’t use it on, say, an aeroplane.
A lot of tech sites seem to think that this device is for home theatres, as an alternative to a Roku box or Apple TV. They’re missing the point.
This device will compete with Macs and Windows PCs in the enterprise. An entry-level Chromebox starts at $329.
For business customers, Google is offering a new support plan. This is a sign of Google’s true intentions for the product. For the retail price plus $150, they will get administration tools, hardware warranty, and lifetime support including 24-hour phone support, reports CNet.
That’s $479 (plus monitor and keyboard) for an enterprise PC set up for Google Apps.
We don’t believe this device will kill Windows. But it’s a step in that direction. It could be worth bringing a few of these puppies in-house for testing.
Oh, and make sure they’re positioned so your Microsoft sales rep sees them when it’s time to negotiate your Windows and Office licenses.
Here’s are detailed specs for the Chromebox.