As the traditional PC market continues to shrink Google’s Chrome OS platform is attracting more partners and offering more options in various form factors and price ranges. While there are already a few options when it comes to Chromebox units, Acer is now jumping into the ring with its Chromebox CXI series.
Unlike other Chromeboxes, the CXI series is equipped with a TPM 1.2 security chip and is aimed at primarily at the education and business sector, though it will also be available to general consumers. The CXI series is scheduled to arrive in September to the United States and Canada and will be offered in a 2GB ($180 US / $199 CANADA) and 4GB ($220 US / $239 CANADA) configuration. As for the rest of the specs, the CXI is powered by an Intel Celeron 2957U with 16GB storage, 4 USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, an SD card reader, HDMI, and a displayport output.
The pricing for the Acer Chromebox CXI is similar to what we’re seeing from Acer and HP, though the addition of the TPM 1.2 security chip could be enough to sway consumers to pick this one up over the competition. What do you think of Acer’s first Chromebox, like it or not?
SAN JOSE, Calif. (Aug. 21, 2014) – Building on the success of its award-winning and best-selling Acer C7 Series Chromebook, Acer America today announced its new Acer Chromebox CXI line for customers in North America. The CXI series is ideal for education, small to medium businesses and budget-conscious users who don’t require a mobile platform and who are either invested in or want to leverage the affordability and security of the Google Chrome ecosystem.
Like the C7 Chromebook series, the Acer Chromebox CXI is fast. The CXI boots up in about 8 seconds and resumes nearly instantly from sleep mode thanks to the 16GB Solid State Drive.(1) Housed in a compact .6 liter (6.51 x 5.12 x 1.3-inches) chassis that stands upright and is VESA mountable, the Acer Chromebox CXI maximizes space, a key consideration for libraries, cube and classroom environments as well as small and medium businesses for task-based user terminals. Two Acer Chromebox models will be available late next month – the CXI-2GKM with 2GB memory for a manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) of $179.99 U.S./$199 CAD and the CXI-4GKM with 4GB memory for a MSRP of $219.99 U.S./$239 CAD.
“The Acer Chromebook CXI is an excellent fit for schools and any other institution or business where conserving costs and space are high priorities,” said Simon Hwang, president of Acer Stationary Computing and Display Business Group. “Due to the ease of management, the Chromebox can significantly reduce technical support and consequently lower the total cost of ownership.”
Speedy Performance, Ample Connectivity
The new Chromebox CXI is powered by an Intel Celeron 2957U processor based on the Intel Haswell micro-architecture. Customers can power through web pages and documents, and enjoy fluid HD video and applications with the support of up to 4GB of DDR3 1600Mhz memory and Intel HD graphics.
Plus, the Acer Chromebox CXI provides excellent wireless connectivity via 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and Gigabit Ethernet. Four USB 3.0 ports include two with power off charging for smartphones and tablets. Users can also access other media and files through the SD card reader that supports up to a 32GB SD card. The Chromebox CXI pushes video and content to external displays and HDTVs via HDMI and DisplayPort. In addition, a combo audio jack is provided for connecting a microphone and headset, while a LAN port enables a wired network connection. The systems come bundled with a VESA mount kit and a Google approved USB keyboard and mouse. They’re powered by a 65W AC adapter.
Powerwash – Easy Factory Reset
Powerwash enables IT to quickly and easily clear all local user data stored in the Chromebox CXI by resetting it to its original factory state. Using this feature, all data stored on the Chromebox such as downloaded files, photos, owner permissions, and saved networks, will be deleted for all accounts. After clearing this data, the IT professional is guided through the initial setup again. Resetting the device doesn’t affect the accounts themselves, or any data synced to these accounts.
Always Up to Date, Easy to Use
IT professionals will find that it’s simple to control a fleet of Chromeboxes via the web-based Google Management Console, which makes it possible to deploy an app from one to thousands of Chrome-based devices with a single click of a button. The OS and all downloaded applications are automatically updated every six weeks, saving IT staff’s time and assuring users the freshest software and security features. The Chromebox CXI comes with pre-installed web apps and over 30,000 additional apps, themes and extensions on the Chrome Web Store. Since all applications run within the browser, there is little to no computer management required.
The Acer Chromebox CXI series is easy to use. After the user signs into Chrome with a Google account, they’re immediately immersed in the Google ecosystem and signed into Google services. Their bookmarks, history and settings are synced across all of their devices and computers running Chrome. Once logged in, they can surf the Internet with the Chrome browser, read and send emails from Gmail, search the web with Google Search, create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more with Google Drive, as well as watch videos from YouTube, etc.
Layers of Tight Security
Multiple layers of security features including data encryption and verified boot defend the Acer Chromebox CXI against online threats, malware and viruses. Every time the Chrome OS boots, it checks the integrity and validity of system files. If it detects any anomaly or unauthorized change, the system will restore from a prior backup. User and system files are stored on separate partitions that keep data secure and make restoration from a backup simple. Individual user’s data is encrypted automatically and protected by the Chromebox’s TPM 1.2 chip, which generates and stores secure cryptographic keys, enabling IT professionals to read data from a stolen Chromebox. Via individual accounts, the Acer Chromebox CXI keeps data safe when the device is used by multiple users. Storage on Google Drive safeguards files, documents, and photos in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version is always available. IT staff will also appreciate that the Acer CXI has a Kensington lock to secure them to a desk or mobile cart.
The new Acer Chromebox CXI is Citrix certified to deliver virtualized remote desktops and applications through a single platform and can effectively be a thin client.
Pricing, Availability and Warranty
Available late next month at leading retailers and resellers in the United States and Canada, the Acer Chromebox CXI-2GKM with 2GB memory will have a MSRP beginning at $179.99 U.S./$199 CAD and the Acer Chromebox CXI-4GKM with 4GB memory will have a MSRP of $219.99 U.S./$239 CAD.
The Acer Chromebox CXI line is backed by professional, high-quality technical support and a standard one-year parts and labor warranty,(2) which can be extended to three years with the Acer Advantage service. Acer’s online community at community.acer.com provides customers discussion forums, answers to frequently asked questions and the opportunity to share ideas for new and enhanced services and products.