The restrictions of a Google Chrome OS that works exclusively with web applications have been the main suspects behind the not so grand success of the first Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, but the mediocre hardware has definitely not helped either.
You couldn’t count on the dual-core 1.9 GHz Intel Celeron B840 inside the original Samsung Series 3 Chromebox to keep up with more than basic computing tasks, so to see an “upgraded” device with the same CPU and only a slight design tweak was a major disappointment.
However, it seems Google and Samsung threw us a curve ball with the rehashed Series 3 Chromebox unveiled a couple of weeks ago. The new Chrome-based PC will in fact replace the old one, as expected, but it’s not going to be the sole representative of the Chromebox line in 2013.
A higher-end model has been spotted at several online stores, where it’s actually in stock and shipping as we speak. We have no idea why Google and Samsung mentioned nothing about this Chromebox XE300M22-A02US, but we have to say we very much prefer it over both other Chrome-powered PCs around.
Sporting the same industrial, rectangular-shaped design and businessy black and gray color combo as the first Chromebox, this little guy also has most of the same hardware as its predecessor, with one major change – a second-generation Intel Core i5 CPU replacing the old Celeron.
As you might suspect, the power boost comes at a price, but it’s not so bad – CompSource currently charges $405 for the new Chromebox, while Amazon has it available at $422.99. Meanwhile, the original Series 3 is still listed at $329 (though nobody seems to have it in stock anymore).
Anyone planning to get the Core i5 Chromebox? Is $405 a fair price to ask for it?