Samsung Chromebox Series 3 (2013)

New year, new look for Samsung Chromebox

With little fanfare, Samsung has revamped the look of its Chromebox budget desktop. Shedding last year's gray-and-black plastic chassis, the 2013 Chromebox now comes in a white, rounded plastic shell.

You won't find any new specs in this new model. The 2013 version has the same 1.9GHz Intel Celeron CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 16GB solid-state hard drive as last year's Chromebox. Its ports remain almost entirely unchanged as well. You still get two DisplayPort outs, a DVI output, and six USB 2.0 ports. The only update is a small door that hides the Chromebox front-side USB and audio ports.

With no new specs, the new Chromebox gets the same assessment as last year. Assuming its U.S. pricing holds steady at $329, this PC and its Web-focused Google Chrome OS could make sense for schools, Net cafes, or other places where you can get away with lightweight, low-maintenance PC functionality. Regular consumers, even those shopping for a budget desktop, will likely get better value from a more traditional Windows box.

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