Acer continues to expand the number of Chrome OS devices it offers, adding its first desktop model on Thursday. The Acer Chromebox CXI will become available in late September with a starting price of $179.99. Like its many Chromebook models, the new Acer Chromebox runs Google’s Chrome OS software, a browser-based operating system tied heavily into Google’s cloud services and apps.
The Chromebox CXI boots in less than eight seconds and wakes instantly, says Acer, just like the company’s Chromebook laptops. It runs on an Intel Celeron 2957U chip, based on the company’s Haswell architecture, and includes 16 GB of solid-state flash memory for storage and 2 GB of memory. A $219.99 model bumps the RAM up to 4 GB. The small desktop is VESA-mountable and comes with a Google Chrome OS keyboard and mouse.
Essentially, you need to add a monitor and web connection to get working with this Chromebox. It has all of the normal ports and interfaces you’d expect from a Chromebook: an SD card slot, four USB 3.0 ports, and dual HDMI / DisplayPort output jack. Like competing Chromeboxes from HP and Asus, the Acer model also has a Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) for security.
Until now, HP and Asus were the main vendor choices for a Chromebox, although LG does have its unique Chromebase: a Chrome OS computer built into a 21-inch 1080p monitor. I’m surprised Acer waited this long to enter the market, because it has quickly become one of Google’s most successful Chromebook partners. By offering various models and configurations — different memory choices, optional touchscreens and other upgrades — Acer has become a top seller of Chrome OS devices, selling more than any other Google partner in the second quarter of this year according to data from TrendForce.
This post was updated at 7:19am to correct information about the TPM.