The Good The Samsung Chromebox offers an attractive, low-risk entry point to the experimental world of Google's Chrome OS.
The Bad Absent features and occasional software and hardware incompatibilities mar a supposedly simple user experience.
The Bottom Line The attractive, fairly priced Samsung Chromebox desktop turns Google's Web-based Chrome OS into a not entirely unreasonable option for certain low-cost PC shoppers.
Samsung Chromebox Series 3
Editors' note: In January 2013, Samsung updated the Chromebox reviewed here with a new casing. Aside from the cosmetic change, theis identical to the older one reviewed below.
I can think of a few customers who might consider the attractive, Google Chrome OS-powered Samsung Chromebox desktop. Schools, libraries, Internet cafes, even a parent shopping for a child's first computer might reasonably look into this $329 PC and its locked-down, almost entirely Web-dependent operating system.
I would not recommend the Chromebox for general-purpose budget computing due to occasional issues with general hardware and software compatibility. Its minuscule local storage also prevents the Chromebox from working well as a small home theater PC. If you follow either Google or operating system news, you will know that this PC represents Google's first attempt at expanding its Chrome operating system to the desktop. Given that the Chromebox's laptop counterpart, the Chromebook, is such a difficult proposition, I was surprised by how much I actually liked this computer.
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