Acer chromebox cxi3 review

We review products independentlybut we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. Terms of use. Originally conceived for use in low-power notebooks, Chrome OS has come a long way since it was first introduced back in These days, it's far more than a glorified web browser.

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For one, most late-model Chrome OS-based hardware can now run Android apps out of the box. And it's not all about laptop-shaped Chromebookseither.

It may not look it, but for business and academic environments that involve serious multitasking and already have an installed base of monitors, the Chromebox CXI3 as reviewed here will be one of the fastest ways for students and users to experience Chrome OS. Opting for one the CXI3 configurations with premium parts, however, will put this Chromebox well within the price zone of some fully configured stand-alone Windows based mini PCs. You can certainly buy a Chromebox CXI3 for use at home, converting an HDTV or spare monitor into a Chrome OS-based work or viewing station, but the real core of the market for higher-end Chromeboxes is schools and business.

You can position it standing on edge, or flat; it comes with a vertical stand that adds a few feathers to its weight. Also in the box: an optional VESA kit for mounting the Chromebox onto the back of a monitor, a nifty way to assemble your own makeshift all-in-one computer, or for bulk buyers who own lots of existing displays to integrate Chromebox CXI3 units neatly en massesay, into a computer lab. Squarish in shape with rounded edges, this machine sports a plain black finish with two gray panels surrounding the ports.

In the center of the left side is the Acer logo, with the Google Chrome logo in one corner. On the right side is a long series of air vents for letting out heat. Under that are four rubber pads that let you seat the Chromebox flat on its side. On the base of the machine are two small holes that engage with the vertical stand, if you choose to keep this system standing on edge. The Chromebox CXI3 has a wealth of ports split across the front and rear faces. On the front, below the power button, are two USB 3.

The Chromebox CXI3 also comes with a basic laser mouse and a chiclet keyboard. The keyboard mirrors the keyboards on Chromebooks, which have special browser-centric shortcuts in place of the function-key row. Plugging in your own mouse and keyboard instead will work, too. The mouse has tiny crevices in its left and right sides for your thumb, ring finger, and pinky finger to grip. It's as ordinary as mice come. Apart from the Chrome OS key-layout customizations, the included keyboard is nothing special, either, as it feels just like any other chiclet keyboard—fast enough to type on, but mushy and unsatisfying if you're used to quality keyboards.

That's only partly fair, though; I'm not aware of any premium-design keyboards with Chrome OS customizations. Nevertheless, the handful of dedicated media buttons is handy enough.

These include Back, Forward, and Refresh, in addition to a shortcut to make your current window fullscreen and another to switch windows altogether.If you use one of these regularly for more than just online shopping and checking your email, however, the slow performance can get annoying, and as a home-cinema centre or for games from the Google Play Store, you might need a bit more processing power. A version with the old but still. Internal expansion is obviously non-existent, and there are no ultra-fast external ports, but you do get a total of five USB 3.

The best Chromebox we've seen, but pricey for a non-Windows system with average performance. Chrome OS is still basically a glorified web browser, so to judge how useful a Chromebox would be to you, try spending your whole day in the Chrome browser app on a PC. The CXI3 comes with a mouse and keyboard picturedbut they are rubbish. You could add better ones and any HDMI monitor to complete your system, but Chrome supports multi-touch gestures, so you might want to consider a touchscreen or touchpad.

Tags: Recommended. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Save Saved Removed 0. This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Why you must buy a mini PC. User Rating: Be the first one! Product Features Photos. Product Features. Processor frequency: 1. Operating system installed: Chrome OS. Power supply: 90 W.

Product type: Mini PC. Product colour: Black. Check Lowest Price. Leave your review. Leave a reply Cancel reply.Originally conceived for use in low-power notebooks, Chrome OS has come a long way since it was first introduced back in These days, it's far more than a glorified web browser.

For one, most late-model Chrome OS-based hardware can now run Android apps out of the box. And it's not all about laptop-shaped Chromebookseither. It may not look it, but for business and academic environments that involve serious multitasking and already have an installed base of monitors, the Chromebox CXI3 as reviewed here will be one of the fastest ways for students and users to experience Chrome OS. Opting for one the CXI3 configurations with premium parts, however, will put this Chromebox well within the price zone of some fully configured stand-alone Windows based mini PCs.

You can certainly buy a Chromebox CXI3 for use at home, converting an HDTV or spare monitor into a Chrome OS-based work or viewing station, but the real core of the market for higher-end Chromeboxes is schools and business.

You can position it standing on edge, or flat; it comes with a vertical stand that adds a few feathers to its weight. Also in the box: an optional VESA kit for mounting the Chromebox onto the back of a monitor, a nifty way to assemble your own makeshift all-in-one computer, or for bulk buyers who own lots of existing displays to integrate Chromebox CXI3 units neatly en massesay, into a computer lab.

Squarish in shape with rounded edges, this machine sports a plain black finish with two gray panels surrounding the ports. In the center of the left side is the Acer logo, with the Google Chrome logo in one corner. On the right side is a long series of air vents for letting out heat.

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Under that are four rubber pads that let you seat the Chromebox flat on its side. On the base of the machine are two small holes that engage with the vertical stand, if you choose to keep this system standing on edge.

The Chromebox CXI3 has a wealth of ports split across the front and rear faces. On the front, below the power button, are two USB 3.

Acer Chromebox CXI3 Review

The Chromebox CXI3 also comes with a basic laser mouse and a chiclet keyboard. The keyboard mirrors the keyboards on Chromebooks, which have special browser-centric shortcuts in place of the function-key row.

Plugging in your own mouse and keyboard instead will work, too. The mouse has tiny crevices in its left and right sides for your thumb, ring finger, and pinky finger to grip.

acer chromebox cxi3 review

It's as ordinary as mice come. Apart from the Chrome OS key-layout customizations, the included keyboard is nothing special, either, as it feels just like any other chiclet keyboard—fast enough to type on, but mushy and unsatisfying if you're used to quality keyboards.

That's only partly fair, though; I'm not aware of any premium-design keyboards with Chrome OS customizations. Nevertheless, the handful of dedicated media buttons is handy enough.

Acer Chromebox CXI3

These include Back, Forward, and Refresh, in addition to a shortcut to make your current window fullscreen and another to switch windows altogether. To the right of those is a Lock key that logs you out of the system completely, as well as a dedicated key that triggers web search.

Acer backs the system with a one-year limited warranty.

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Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and their less common cousins called Chromebases all-in-one systems based on Chrome OS, such as this model from LG tend to be built around low-power processors and come with only the minimal RAM and storage needed to operate.

As a result, the high-powered Chromebox CXI3 performed favorably in benchmarks versus other Chromebox and Chromebase units we have tested. Acer offers six total versions of the CXI3. Featuring a fifth-generation Intel Core i3 processor, the Tiny still performed only about half as well as this Chromebox CXI3 in our benchmarks.

CrXPRT measures performance in everyday activities such as gaming, watching movies, and editing photos. Because the Acer Chromebox CXI3 houses a comparatively powerful processor typically found in midrange laptops, it makes sense that it dominated here. In our Boot Time Test, I recorded how long it takes to power on to the sign-in screen. Being the relative powerhouse that it is, the Chromebox CXI3 configuration I reviewed is best suited for business multi-taskers or more sophisticated older students bouncing between lots of tabs, either while working or leisurely browsing the web.

When launching new tabs on top of those open 50, the Chromebox CXI3 would hiccup for a second or two at most before returning to its normal smooth use state. On the other hand, lower-end configurations of the Acer Chromebox CXI3, such as the Intel Celeron- and Core i3-equipped models, are better for lower-grade school computer-lab setups where students will be concentrating on just one or two tasks at a time, or for other focused, single-use situations.

Whether you need a Core i5, though, and its attendant cost depends on the factors raised above: multitasking or no?But even with a solid design and great performance, it's a lot to pay for a limited desktop experience.

Acer has been a player in the Chrome OS space since the early days of the Chromebook, routinely making some of the best Chrome laptops around.

Acer Chromebox CXI3 Review: The Best Chrome Desktop Yet

Made for educational and professional use, the little Chromebox is the best mini PC with Chrome-OS available, but that distinction comes with a higher price tag than you might expect for a category originally defined by astoundingly low prices.

You can upgrade the RAM to 16GB after purchase, but I didn't see much in my testing that would necessitate that for the average user. There are three other configurations available, differing by processor, memory and storage. The CXI3 is compact and light, measuring just 5. Unlike the Asus Chromebox and other past Chromeboxes that were boxy little units, the CXI3 has curved sides, giving the chassis an oval shape when viewed from the front.

The chassis is mostly black plastic, with dark-gray faceplates on the front and back. The box can be used on its own, set in a vertical orientation with an included stand, or mounted on the back of a monitor using an included mount. On the front of the small chassis are two USB 3. Compared with most Chrome-based desktops and laptops, these are impressive specs and rather lavish memory allotments, given that Chrome is built to work on low-end hardware with minimal RAM and little need for local storage.

But they result in speedy performance you can feel. In my tests, web browsing was snappy and responsive, and I was able to switch between 20 open browser tabs while streaming 4K video without a hiccup.

Real-world use was similarly smooth. I not only researched and wrote the bulk of this review on the CXI3 but also enjoyed a number of browser-based games — ranging from Doggonauts to Doom online — and streamed live programming from Pluto TV. At no point did my performance slow, nor was there any issue while multitasking across different apps and extensions.

Because Chromeboxes run on Google's Chrome OS, we can't run most of our test software on them, thus limiting the performance tests we can use. This is more than twice the score of the Asus Chromebox When rendering 1, fish at a time, the CXI3 maintained a strong 60 frames per second.

When we dialed it up to 5, fish, the frame rate dropped to 49 fps, and for 10, fish, it went down to 28 fps. This is fairly impressive graphics performance that rivals that of traditional Windows PCs. The Lenovo ThinkCentre Mq Tiny, for example, managed only 48 fps for 1, fish and 21 fps for 10, fish.

The Asus Chromebox did even worse, with 30 fps for 1, fish and 19 fps for 10, fish. Portable stick PCs have the lowest graphics performance, as seen with the Ockel Sirius B Black Cherry, which stuttered at 1, fish 15 fps and ground to a halt at 10, 3 fps.Buy the Acer Chromebox now. When the first Chromeboxes launched inthey were meant to do to desktops what Chromebooks did for laptops.

The idea was to replace the typical Windows-based desktop with a small form factor device packing a lightweight operating system and a powerful processor, without the built-in screen, keyboard, and touchpad of the Chromebook.

It measures 5. It also ships with a VESA kit for mounting on a wall, under a desk, or on the back of a monitor. Wireless connectivity consists of Bluetooth 4.

This unit uses a watt power supply. The mouse is a black two-button optical wired USB device, with a clickable mouse wheel and perforated sides for a decent grip. The keyboard is just as basic. It has mechanical switches or backlit keys for cavedwellers. This is a great selling point for customers with large Android app libraries, but support is a work in progress. Not all apps will work correctly on all Chrome OS devices.

Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 Mini PC Review

Many apps you own simply are not compatible or even show up on the store. Chrome OS is best used for web apps and browsing, though the addition of limited Android app support can come in handy. Unoptimized code written for an entirely different non-Intel processor architecture, operating system, and screen size can affect things dramatically.

It was part of the first eighth-generation wave targeting ultra-thin notebooks. The four cores run at a base speed of 1. This miniature Chromebox does not include a stand-alone graphics chip.

That said, we ran it through Geekbenchwhere it scored a 4, in the single-core test — better than the Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Pro 6 when configured with the same processor. We also ran benchmarks suggested by Acer, which provided us with expected performance ranges for each test.

Here are our results:. The Chrome browser launches near instantaneously, with page loading speed basically limited by your wireless connection. The Google Games app opened in four seconds. The web-based Google Drive opened in just over two seconds.

Backing up the processor, lightweight operating system, and fast load times is speedy SSD-based storage. Using PCMark, we tested the internal drive and saw an extremely high sequential read speed, surpassing what the Lenovo Chromebook C The sequential write speed was higher too at MB per second.

Everything about this device is quick, from streaming video to loading documents to scrolling through the settings tucked away behind the system clock.

Honestly, getting the Core i7 model with 16GB of memory may be overkill. AnTuTu locked up the Chromebox mid-way through testing. Some Android-based benchmarks still worked though. The Chromebox saw a 45fps average in the Manhattan 3. The T-Rex off-screen rendering test produced a fps average at p. For the price, you sacrificing a built-in screen and easy on-the-go portability for an extremely powerful processor in a small form factor desktop.

Again, your best bet for now is to play Chrome web apps, like the Legends series from Spacetime Studios or something similar. Additionally, control compatibility varied from game to game. Titan Quest played beautifully in its default windowed mode, with smooth framerates.It has an average rating of 4.

Quarter 2 of release modern Intel Celeron U is a dual core processor at 1. The built-in graphics card is the Intel HD with an entry level performance that will suffice for your daily multimedia needs.

The quarter 2 of release Intel iU is a dual core processor that runs at 2. It has a Passmark benchmark score of which is plenty for a Chrome system and the TDP is again 15 watts. Graphics card is the Intel UHD for your daily graphics needs. Quarter 2 of release quad-core Intel iU processor 4 cores, 8 threads runs at the speeds between 1.

Asus Chromebox - M004U - CN60 - UPDATE

They are also offered with a Connectivity options include the It is offered with a standard limited warranty of one year for parts and labor. And you will have access to a toll free technical support.

It is designed for casual users that will rely more on Cloud storage. It would work for customers that prefer a compact and portable machine and want a bit of freedom and flexibility. You can just hook it up to any external monitor or TV. Acer Chromebox is intuitive, fast and safe to use with the enhanced security.

It will not occupy much space on your desk and you can connect it to your display by using the VESA mounting kit that is included in the package.

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You can run Zoom on it in your conferences for your presentations. Chrome operating system comes with the regular automatic updates that run in the background without you needing to do anything. And it is much less prone to the harmful virus attacks. Overall it is a great mini Chromebox that offers reliable connection, great performance and speed and at the right prices. Click here for a closer look at Amazon.

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acer chromebox cxi3 review

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