Computers

Asus targets business users with tough and capable Chromebox Fanless

Asus targets business users wi...
The Chromebox Fanless should provide quiet cloud computing, with Asus saying that it's tough enough to operate in harsh environments
The Chromebox Fanless should provide quiet cloud computing, with Asus saying that it's tough enough to operate in harsh environments
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The Chromebox Fanless should provide quiet cloud computing, with Asus saying that it's tough enough to operate in harsh environments
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The Chromebox Fanless should provide quiet cloud computing, with Asus saying that it's tough enough to operate in harsh environments
The unit can sit on a desk to make ports easier to access, or mounted to the back of a monitor for a tidier Chrome OS experience
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The unit can sit on a desk to make ports easier to access, or mounted to the back of a monitor for a tidier Chrome OS experience

Though notebook-like devices tend to get most of the attention in the Chrome OS space, mini computers are also available for those who prefer desktop machines that don't take up too much space. The latest Chromebox from Asus should also be a quiet runner thanks to its fanless design.

Chromebooks and Chromeboxes alike are designed for those who mostly work and play online, and as such might be somewhat lacking in onboard storage, system memory and so on. But that's certainly not true of the latest offering from Asus.

Looking a bit like a modern router, the Chromebox Fanless can be plonked on a desk like other mini computers, but can also be mounted to the back of a monitor to keep it out of the way. The former allows for easier access to the physical connectivity options, while the latter is better suited to such things as digital signage, point-of-sale kiosks or warehouse workstations.

Though primarily aimed at industrial or commercial applications, the unit could also serve as a desktop replacement for office workers spending much of their time online or folks working from home. Either way, Asus says that the fanless computer should be more than a match for use in harsh operating environments.

The unit can sit on a desk to make ports easier to access, or mounted to the back of a monitor for a tidier Chrome OS experience
The unit can sit on a desk to make ports easier to access, or mounted to the back of a monitor for a tidier Chrome OS experience

The 207 x 148 x 32-mm (8.1 x 5.8 x 1.2-in), 1.2 kg (2.6-lb) unit can be had with 10th Generation Intel Core i3/i7 or Celeron processor options with integrated Intel HD graphics, up to 16 GB of DDR4-2666 RAM and up to 256 GB of M.2 solid-state storage. And those antennas to the rear will help users make wireless connections, with Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6 cooked in.

There are USB ports to the front and back, though the number and type depend on which processor option is selected. All configurations feature two HDMI 2.0 ports and one USB-C for the potential to run up to three 4K displays simultaneously, as well as Gigabit Ethernet and RS232 serial connections.

The Asus Fanless Chromebox goes on sale in North America next month for US$399.

Product page: Chromebox Fanless

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