Best Chromeboxes for June 2021: ASUS, Acer, HP and more

Best Chromeboxes for June 2021: ASUS, Acer, HP and more

Chromebooks are incredibly popular these days. From education to enterprise, Google has a hit on its hands with Chrome OS. There are already a number of premium Chromebooks out there, but what if you want to run Chrome OS in a desktop environment? There are a number of excellent Chromeboxes out there to accomplish this very task. While they don’t get as much hype or fanfare as their mobile counterparts, Chromeboxes are reliable for work and school applications. In addition, if you like working on a bigger screen, a Chromebox is the ideal device for you. In this guide we’ll take a look at the best Chromeboxes from Acer, ASUS, and HP. Hopefully you’ll find something on our list that meets your needs.

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Best overall: ASUS Chromebox 4

ASUS Chromebox 4 on teal background

The ASUS Chromebox 4 features a 10th Generation Intel Core or Celeron processor and DDR4-2666 memory for faster, smoother and more energy-efficient performance. These specs are configurable up to a Core i7 and 16GB of RAM. It also supports up to three 4K displays and comes equipped with versatile USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports for fast data transfers, and USB-C also supports power delivery and DisplayPort connections.

Offering easy access to Android apps via Google Play, the device lets you enjoy your favorite apps. For the added benefit of Chrome Enterprise, the ASUS Chromebox Enterprise 4 option empowers businesses, IT administrators and remote employees with the tools they need for enhanced productivity and efficiency. You can also configure this Chromebox with up to 256GB of SSD storage, an impressive amount for a Chrome OS device.

Overall, this is the Chromebox for you if you need a top of the line machine with a range of choices when it comes to internal specs. The ability to connect three displays makes this a workhorse at the office and should be at the top of the list for business users.

    ASUS Chromebox 4
    ASUS leads the Chromebox pack with this excellent all-around device. With customizable configurations, there are Chromebox 4 models to fit any workflow or education application.

Best for less: HP Chromebox G3

Hp Chromebox G3 on pink background

If you need performance without a high price, the HP Chromebox G3 is a solid option. Intel’s 10th generation processors power HP’s Chromebox G3 and Chromebox Enterprise G3, and there is a Celeron option for the budget-minded. HP also includes up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 128GB of storage. Unfortunately, for the 32-64GB models, you get slower eMMC storage as opposed to the 128GB M.2 SSD. Like most Chromebooks, the HP Chromebox G3 has a microSD slot for beefing up your storage if needed.

HP has four USB-A ports on this Chromebox, but it’s a shame there’s only one USB-C port available. You do get two HDMI ports, useful for connecting up to two 4K displays. With most modern accessories moving to USB-C, those looking to use multiple peripheral devices with this Chromebox may need to resort to the dongle life. It’s worth noting that older models of the G3 line exists (G2 models mainly on Amazon), but these devices are really not worth their price and should be avoided.

    HP Chromebox G3
    Those looking for a Chromebox with top specs without a high price will love the Chromebox G3 from HP. This machine packs in 10th generation Intel chips and all the ports you need for a first-class desktop experience.

Best fanless: ASUS Fanless Chromebox

ASUS fanless Chromebox on light blue background

The ASUS Fanless Chromebox features a 10th Generation Intel  Core or Celeron processor for faster, smoother and more energy-efficient performance. The fanless aluminum chassis has multiple metal fins to efficiently dissipate heat while operating quietly and to reduce maintenance needs in commercial environments. The ASUS Fanless Chromebox also supports up to three 4K displays and comes equipped with versatile USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports for fast data transfers, and USB-C also supports power delivery and DisplayPort connections. Offering easy access to a rich selection of Android apps available on Google Play, the device enables use of productivity-boosting apps.

In addition, the ASUS Fanless Chromebox features a compact, space-saving design with chassis dimensions of 207 x 148 x 32 mm. Each device also features a newly designed lockable VESA mount that securely attaches to a wide range of surfaces. The VESA mount includes a screw-in rubber barrier that protects the surface of ASUS Fanless Chromebox from everyday bumps and knocks. The VESA mount also allows you to attach the device to your display and turn it into your own customized all-in-one PC for a tidy, clutter-free workspace. If you want a compact and quiet Chromebox, look no further.

    ASUS Fanless Chromebox
    Want a quieter desktop experience? ASUS has you covered with this fanless Chromebox. A range of configurable specs make this device appealing to a variety of users.

Best for business: Acer CXI3 Chromebox

Acer Chromebox CXI3 on green background

Acer touts this machine as the best for small and medium businesses alike. However, this Chromebox is also a solid option for personal use on your desktop at home. For under $270, you get quite a bit of power. The Chromebox runs the Intel Celeron 3867U processor with 4GB of standard memory. You also a 128 GB SSD for storage, very spacious by Chrome OS standards. To add value, Acer also includes a USB mouse and keyboard for easily setting up in a business environment.

With dimensions of 5.9 in x 5.8 in x1.6 in, this compact Chromebox can fit into any environment. It’s ideal for stowing away on the back of a monitor, and an optional VESA kit allows for easy mounting. You can connect this Chromebox to two displays to extend your desktop and increase productivity. It’s also worth picking up a docking station to extend port selection. If you need a Chromebox, this is one to put on your shortlist.

    Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91
    Those that need a Chrome OS experience on the desktop will love Acer's Chromebox CXI3-UA91. With 128 GB of SSD storage, this is a great option for small businesses. This Chromebox can fit just about anywhere, even mounted to the back of a monitor.

Best combo deal: ASUS Chromebox 3 Bundle

ASUS Chromebox 3 and mouse and keyboard

The ASUS Chromebox 3 features 8th Generation Intel Core processors and DDR4-2400 memory configurable up to 8GB for faster, smoother and more energy-efficient performance. With full support for Android apps from Google Play, ASUS Chromebox 3 gives you the ability to run your favorite mobile apps with the power of a mini PC. It also comes equipped with a versatile USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port for data transfer, power delivery and DisplayPort functionality, and supports dual 4K/UHD displays for gorgeously sharp visuals and powerful productivity.

This device supports dual displays via HDMI and USB Type-C without the need for an additional graphics card, making multitasking a whole lot easier. Spread out your documents, mirror content or extend a single browser across multiple displays. When it’s time to kick back and relax, ASUS Chromebox 3 lets you browse the web, view photos from your SD card on Google Photos or watch videos in 4K/UHD. ASUS Chromebox 3 even features touchscreen support for more intuitive control and engaging gameplay.

This bundle also features a Chrome OS compatible mouse and keyboard, as well as a 24″ external monitor with HD resolution. All of these items in a single package let you plug and play your new Chromebox right out of the box. If you need to get up and running quickly with a Chromebox on your desk, this is the way to go.

    ASUS Chromebox 3 Bundle
    To use a Chromebox effectively you're going to need an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Why not buy all of these things in a single bundle? ASUS makes getting started with your Chromebox simple by giving you everything you need.

Best next-gen: Acer Chromebox CXI4

Acer CXI4 on purple background

The Acer CXI4 is the successor to the aforementioned CXI3. Acer announced this device in Q3 of 2020, but it’s still not widely available for purchase. Loaded with Google Chrome OS, the Acer Chromebox CXI4 is easy to set up, provides integrated malware protection, and offers a variety of premium features from Google right out of the box.

With an up to 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, this mini PC offers solid performance to deal with everyday tasks. With advanced Intel Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), you can now enjoy a smoother wireless experience with up to three times faster speeds than standard Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) while also coming equipped with the latest Bluetooth 5.1 technology.

Easily customize this device for a variety of scenarios including educational, digital signage, or kiosks thanks to the versatility of Chrome OS. With a variety of storage options and price points for any user, this is an excellent Chromebox to keep an eye on. It’s quite a shame that Acer hasn’t yet made this model available on a larger scale.

    Acer Chromebox CXI4
    If you want to be the first to get a next-gen Chromebox, this is one of the best mid-tier options. Acer previewed this device in late 2020, with positive reviews from most outlets. This Chromebox should be available to preorder from Acer soon.

If you’re shopping for a new Chromebox, these six devices should be on your shortlist. Most of the Chromeboxes mentioned here have configurable specs, so you can find something that fits your budget. Perhaps the most important factor when choosing a Chromebox is your intended use-case and the number of ports. For top of the line performance, choose either the ASUS Chromebox 4 or HP Chromebox G3. For more budget-conscious shoppers, consider checking out the upcoming Acer CXI4.

Now that you’ve seen our picks, tell us about your favorite Chromebox in the comments below.

About author

Jeff Springer
Jeff Springer

Applied mathematician with a love for Android. I am interested in inverse problems for imaging and integration with camera software for mobile phones.