By Alexandra Burlacu email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 20, 2013 09:40 PM EST
Acer is reportedly working on a Chromebox desktop of its own to compete with Samsung's Chromebox, but Acer's offering will sport a $99 price tag.
Google-based systems are always a hot topic in the computing world, and Acer has now made headlines with its purported desktop version of its popular Chromebook. Acer is expected to unleash a new Chromebox to build on the success of its low-cost C7 Chromebook. In other words, Acer is working on putting Google's Chrome OS in a compact and inexpensive desktop form-factor.
According to developer Francois Beaufort, the cloud-centric system packs Intel's 2.7GHz Pentium G630 processor, 2GB of memory, and a 500GB hard drive. Acer and the Google Chrome OS team apparently developed the Chromebox under the "Kiev" codename.
Neither Acer nor Google have released any official images yet, nor any pictures have leaked. Consequently, it remains unclear just what specs the Chromebox will flaunt, but it is expected to be similar to Acer's C7 Chromebook. The C7 sports VGA, HDMI, and built-in Wi-Fi, but Acer may add Ethernet to the Chromebox.
Meanwhile, Samsung has also refreshed its Chromebox recently, throwing in an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM under the hood. Samsung's Chromebox has only 16GB of local storage, but uses flash memory.
Since nothing is official yet, pricing and availability for the Acer Chromebox remain unknown at this juncture, but the industry never lacks speculation. Acer and Google are expected to go for a highly-competitive price point, launching the system for as little as $99. The idea doesn't seem too farfetched as the C7 Chromebook sports a $199 price tag and Acer is believed to have used relatively inexpensive parts for the desktop.
Chromebooks became popular due to their portability and low cost, but industry leaders still voiced some concerns. One question that lingered was how willing customers would be to purchase a system that relied so heavily on the cloud and constant Internet access.
Chromeboxes, on the other hand, are desktop systems meant for a stationary environment. This means Acer's new Chromebox can remove such concerns while keeping and attractive price point, if the rumors prove to be true.