Lenovo unveils ultra-compact Chromebox media player
Lenovo has announced its first Chromebox to boast a micro form factor. Coming in at about the same size as two stacked iPhone 15 Pro Max handsets, it's has been designed for 24/7 operation in digital signage and kiosk displays.
Google introduced hardware running its Chrome OS platform back in 2011, with the launch of low-spec mini laptops designed for folks who worked and played mostly online. These Chromebooks were followed a year later by a small desktop computing box with similar cloud-based vibes.
In the years since, Chromebooks have taken center stage with cash-strapped consumers looking to tap into portable computing while the Chromebox has rolled out to multi-workstation businesses, been mounted to the back of a display for digital signage and for videoconferencing, or used as a media player.
Lenovo's latest Chromebox is also destined for enterprise use – though also has use potential for the home office or student digs – and is particularly notable due to its smartphone-like dimensions of 163 x 79 mm (6.4 x 3,1 in), but does come in a bit chunkier at 19.7 mm. As such, Lenovo is calling it the Micro.
The fanless mini computer features Jasper Lake dual-core processing brains in the shape of an Intel Celeron N4500 system-on-chip with UHD graphics cooked in. Support shapes up as 8 GB of RAM and 32 GB of eMMC storage.
The edges sport two USB-C and two Type-A USB ports, one HDMI, Ethernet LAN and an audio jack. It can support dual 4K displays, and Lenovo is cementing its kiosk/signage applications by partnering with Instorescreen for 15.6-inch and 21.5-inch inFlex displays designed specially for the Chromebox Micro.
"The Lenovo Chromebox Micro is the most compact, affordable Chromebox yet, purpose-built from the inside out for kiosk, digital signage, and shared workstations," said Google's Bryan Lee. "It was designed at the core to be a pocket-sized, plug-and-play solution that is not only quick to deploy and easy to manage, but also flexible enough to power incredible experiences across a broad range of use cases."
Pricing for the Micro will start from US$219 when it's released to select global markets from 2024.