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Cracking Open the Samsung Chromebox Series 3The Samsung Chromebox may look like a Mac Mini. But as Bill Detwiler shows you, this Chrome OS Machine is anything but a regular desktop computer.
The Chrome box may look like a Mac mini but it's anything but a standard desktop. I'm going to take you inside the case and show you why. I -- that -- and this is cracking open. The Samsung built series three Chrome box. Is Google's first attempt at bringing its Chrome OS to the desktop. And given the operating system's web centric nature where all the heavy lifting is done in the cloud the machine doesn't need a lot of high end hardware and luckily. Getting to its hardware is a -- just pop off the bottom cover. Once you're inside you can remove individual components either by hand or with a small Phillips screwdriver. The power supplies located along the side of the case and below it is a small circuit board with -- developer mode switch more about that later. There's a single cooling fan and small Ohio board with two USB ports and the recovery button and of course the motherboard. -- -- individual components the Chrome box has a one point nine gigahertz Intel Celeron processor. Integrated Intel HD graphics 1000. Four gigs of DDR three -- ram a sixteen gig SSD. And both ethernet and Wi-Fi support. Given the machines 329. Dollar price tag the Chrome boxes processor and ram are on par with other budget PCs. The sixteen gigs of storage is another matter. And it's the first way in which the Chrome box isn't your average desktop. And be fair Google doesn't expect users to store much data on the -- box. Thus the small SSP and if you're wondering if you can swap out the factory SSD for a larger one the answer is maybe got rid of people trying. But with different levels of success depending on the make and model of the replacement drive. Whether they replace the ram or not and if they were trying to run Chrome on the new drop or replace it with Linux. Speaking of ram that's the second way to machine is different from your average PC the chips -- are removable. And you could conceivably replace them with larger eight gig ones but I haven't tried it. And I've read conflicting reports of Chrome OS actually being able to support that much memory. Another interesting feature on the motherboard is the empty mini PC IE slot next to the -- -- slot used by the SSD. I've read of people trying without much success to put a second SSD drive in this slot. Thus the theory it's a mini PC IE slot and not a second in -- -- one. It's possible that this -- was intended for use with a cellular modem card but that's just wild speculation. The last interest in hardware characteristic is the developer mode switch flipping yet allows you to modify the existing Chrome -- last. Or even replace it with a different one. And if you make a mistake during all your tinkering. You can use the recovery mode button and that recovery USB drive to return the machine to -- factory fresh state. Now this point the Chrome OS and Chrome box are really just still experiments and that -- comes through when you look inside the machine. For more information on the series three -- box including real world use and performance tests check out rich Brown's full CNET review. And see more tear down photos and read my full hardware analysis and go to tech republic dot com forward slash cracking open mind though that -- and thanks for watch. An independent and -- independent and content and it.