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HP Chromebox Arrives in the US Priced at $179

After being revealed in January, the diminutive desktop Chrome PC finally goes on sale

hp chromebox undersideThe HP Chromebox desktop PC has gone on sale in the US with a starting price of $179.

HP’s official online store is accepting orders for three different variants of the mini form factor PC. All are presently only offered in the ‘twinkle black’ colour scheme.

The two entry models feature an Intel Celeron Haswell chip, integrated graphics, and a 16GB SSD. The main difference between them is the amount of RAM included.

  • Intel Celeron 2955U @ 1.4GHz with 2GB RAM — $179
  • Intel Celeron 2955U @ 1.4GHz with 4GB RAM — $199

The third model is pricier and more performant, utilising an Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM and powerful Intel HD Graphics 4400. It keeps the same 16GB SSD as its cheaper siblings but offers two SO-DIMM slots for expanding the memory to a maximum of 8GB.

  • Intel Core i7 4600U @ 2.1GHz with 4GB RAM — $629

All models, regardless of processor or price, feature the same ports and come with built in Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi connectivity.

  • HDMI and DisplayPort out
  • 4 x USB 3.0 (2 front, 2 rear)
  • Microphone/headphone combo jack
  • 3-in-1 card reader
  • Ethernet

Buy the HP Chromebox

hp chromeboxesAt just $179 the entry-level HP Chromebox is pretty much hard to distinguish from the similarly spec’d ASUS Chromebox.

Buyers having to pick between the pair will likely base their decision on which design suits their tastes more. The rounded corners and pastel colour options (missing though they are from this initial launch) does offer a softer, more ‘consumer’ orientated look than the robust, almost utilitarian design used by the ASUS PC.

For more details. Specification sheets and purchase information on the HP Chromebox jump on over the HP website via the link below.

HP (USA) Chromebox Listings

For those who’d rather buy from a more familiar online merchant Amazon.com has a selection of third party sellers offering the 2GB model from $183, though is yet to sell the device directly itself.

  • Smallwheels

    It is good to see that HP realized that their unit couldn’t be priced so much higher than the ASUS Chromebox.

    In 2009 I bought an HP desktop. It had a faulty video card. After more than a week of telephone support getting nowhere they had me ship the unit to them and they replaced it. HP paid for all of the shipping. The whole process took over a month.

    They also shipped a defective printer to me. They didn’t even want it back. They just sent a credit to me and I used it to select another one from their web store. I guess that shows that some of the printers they sell are worth less than the shipping fees.

    For these reasons I could be swayed to choose an HP over the ASUS model. HP has always given good support for their products even thought their telephone support staff are not native English speakers.

    • http://donaldrobertson.name Donald Robertson

      I bought an Asus Chromebox and monitor a few weeks ago. I wanted to mount the box on the back of the monitor but the screws that came with the Asus mounting plate were too short to fix it to the (Asus) monitor. I called their customer support and got sent all round the houses. The outcome was basically: Sorry but we can’t help (= tough luck!).

      • Christopher Knapp

        Two words: Home Depot.

        Jesus H Christ … In this modern age, everyone and their grandmother wants everything to “just work” and work for just about nothing to get it.

      • liberals suck

        You’re too dumb to visit a hardware store?

        • Jesse

          You sound like a nice guy. I like your name, too. Classy.

    • David Gabel

      HP printers are the biggest turds ever made. 9 times out of 10, even HP can’t figure out why one of their printers fails and would rather send you another or have you buy another and throw away the faulty one.

  • jokeyrhyme

    It’ll be interesting to see how enthusiast-friendly the hardware is. I wonder if its possible to blast away ChromeOS and install XBMC on it?

    • mediumsizedrob

      no need to blast it away. On my ASUS box, I can run XBMC or Linux side by side ChromeOS using crouton, I’m sure you can do the same thing here.

      • jokeyrhyme

        Does your ASUS have similar specifications to the HP here? Celeron Haswell?
        Does XBMC play 1080p videos smoothly? What’s your opinion on codec coverage?

      • Jose Vera

        Is it like dual booting Linux and Chrome OS?

  • mediumsizedrob

    I love these Chrome devices, but that core i7 is still too expensive. It’s more expensive than the base Mac Mini. I guess they are going for the “I must have the absolute best available” crowd, even though there’s basically nothing you can do with Chrome OS that would come close to needing that processing power.

    • dourscot

      It is expensive by Chrome OS standards but very cheap compared to an equivalent PC. Put Windows on an i7 of any kind and you’re talking at least $1,200.

      • Sebastiaan Franken

        Uh, no. ASUS motherboard + i7 4770 + 8GB Ram + 250GB Samsung SSD + Case = $900

    • Boothy

      i7 – Overkill! For ChromeOS anyway, if you’re planning on Crouton and spending most of your time there – maybe.
      I’ve got one of the Sammy Chromeboxes, 1.9ghz 3rd gen celeron, 4GB. It’s flies with Chrome OS – 20 plus windows open, panels and extra tabs, not notices a slowdown.
      I would expect the 4gb model here to have similar performance with the Haswell chip.
      Excellent price IMO.

  • http://carsonevans.ca/ Carson Evans

    Why is there no i3 model?

  • Smallwheels

    How many have heard of the Intel NUC? NUC stands for Next Unit of Computing. Intel is selling boxes this size with CPUs and connectors. They leave it up to the buyer to install whatever RAM they want and whatever storage they want. These come with all sizes of CPUs. These can be built up to cost over $1200 or as little as this HP Chromebox with the Celeron chip. Anybody could make their own NUC with an i7 and more storage than this HP. An i3 with a lot of RAM would be all that would be necessary for the things a Chromebox could do.

    These days assembling desktop computers is easy. The motherboards all have sockets where parts fit together like Lego blocks. Just read the instructions and be sure to order the correct parts. Doing it this way has one big advantage. The parts usually come with three year warranties.

    • dourscot

      NUC has been bedevilled by higher costs and slow delivery. Beyond developers, it’s dying a death. Nobody is buying them.

      If you’re going to spend $500 on a basic computer you’d be better just buying a conventional PC.

      • Smallwheels

        As far as higher costs and waiting for delivery for a NUC, those might not be the biggest barrier for some people. Having a customized machine tailor made even at the low to mid range seems very tempting to me.

        I really hope that it will always be possible for tinkerers to buy components and assemble their own computers. There are new Android computers using ARM processors that are smaller than glasses cases. These are sold in China and some are making their way to the USA. They connect to TVs using small HDMI connectors. Such machines don’t leave much for tinkerers to do. The Raspberry Pi is also a small inexpensive device running Android but they also can be configured to run GNU/Linux.

        Conventional PCs have one year warranties. Components often come with three year warranties. This is why I believe building one’s own computer has a big advantage. Convenience and integration of store bought machines does have benefits too. They are only worth it if the machine one is buying is ideal for ones needs.

        • Sebastiaan Franken

          >> The Raspberry Pi is also a small inexpensive device running Android

          The RasPi comes without any OS at all. The OS’es listed on their site are Debian, Fedora and Arch. Android is a community effort

          >> Conventional PCs have one year warranties.
          That only applies to the U.S. Where I live (Europe) you have a warranty as long as a device/component is deemed ‘viable’ (that’d be 4 – 6 years for a computer).

          • Smallwheels

            I wish the USA were more like Europe in some ways. The governments there seem more proactive in helping citizens than here.

          • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza

            «you have a warranty as long as a device/component is deemed ‘viable’ (that’d be 4 – 6 years for a computer)»

            Not in Italy. The warranty here is 2 years.

          • Sebastiaan Franken

            Actually no, those are EU rules. AFAIK Italy is in the EU

          • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza

            http://gigaom.com/2012/11/13/apple-decides-to-comply-with-italys-free-two-year-warranty-policy/

            Italian warranty is two years (and according to the above post, so should be in the rest of EU). I live in Italy, I think I am aware of my rights. :P

      • Sebastiaan Franken

        In Europe NUC’s are selling like hotcakes. And over here the i5 model (I have) is 300 euro’s, so for ~400 you have a NUC with 8GB ram and a 128GB Intel SSD

    • http://donaldrobertson.name Donald Robertson

      Am I right in thinking we wouldn’t currently be able to install a stable version of the Chrome OS on that, though? I think it’s possible to install Chromium OS but that’s a bit tricky to get working properly, is that right? And wouldn’t it end up costing slightly more than a Chromebox anyway?

      • Smallwheels

        To put the regular Chrome OS on it you would need to get a copy with all of the specialized Google things like DRM for Netflix. The Chrome OS for developers would be perfect for it but that would take some fiddling and it wouldn’t get the updates from Google automatically. It is just the foundation for the one put on commercial Chrome devices. I don’t do coding. What I know came from reading the Google Chrome Forum. The version you can download and try on your computer is different from the one that comes from manufacturers.

      • Sebastiaan Franken

        ChromeOS is only built by Google for select devices. If you want to install it on something else you’d have to go for Chromium OS, which is exactly the same thing minus Google branding and DRM and netflix. All of these parts can be installed later though, though not “officially”

        • http://donaldrobertson.name Donald Robertson

          Just curious… How difficult would it be for a novice to install the current version of Chromium OS on the Intel NUC, and get the other parts working? Wouldn’t it be easier just to install Ubuntu or something and use the Chrome browser and app launcher on that? In other words, is it worth the hassle to install and maintain Chromium OS on it?

          • Sebastiaan Franken

            Installing Chromium OS is no harder than DD’ing the image to a USB, rebooting with said USB in the NUC and following the installer (/usr/sbin/chromeos-install).

            Getting “the other parts” to work depends on what those are.

          • David Gabel

            Hexxeh has Chromium OS builds, but I’ve not seen any activity there in a very very long time. I’d say Use At Your Own Risk since I think he’s lost interest or doesn’t have time to keep working on it.

          • Sebastiaan Franken

            Where did I say I was talking about Hexxeh? Google has it’s own chrome os download servers, http://build.chromium.org/p/chromiumos/waterfall

          • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza

            Thank you for the link, I was looking for something like this. :)

          • David Gabel

            For a while, Hexxeh was the only one offering builds, atleast to my knowledge.

  • Boothy

    Anyone know if it uses mSATA for the SSD?

    • MonaMoni

      in the HP web site it said it use M2.SSD
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.2

    • Christopher Knapp

      If only that were true! Yes, it is an M2, unfortunately. So far, there are a few companies that make decent chips for Chromebooks. I have used one of the MyDigitalSSD version in my Acer 720 and it flies!

      I had the 128GB variant.

  • Ken-Ree Choong

    Why would you need an i7 for Chrome OS?

    • http://www.jopv.net/ Jop

      There are no applications making use of it YET. It’s a future-oriented purchase.

  • Matthew Wu

    Anyone know if this HP’s RAM are up-gradable like the ASUS one? If so, is the limit are 16GB too like the ASUS?

    I am considering either one of them…seriously, I wonder what’s the difference between HP’s and ASUS or I am just choosing the brand and custome services itself between these two

    • http://twitter.com/d0od Joey-Elijah Sneddon

      AIUI, the Celeron HP boxes have 1 so-dimm slot. The i7 has 2. The specification sheets for the models only reference a maximum of 8GB, thought this may be a soft limit/guide than a hard one.

      • Matthew Wu

        Only one slot?! not to disrespect, but do you have any sources to confirm that?

        I did found it odd that the HP Celeron 4GB indeed comes with 1x4gb, which most OEM normally would do 2x2gb.

        And if this really the case, no doubt I am going for the ASUS. and Thanks for your answer anyway

        • MonaMoni

          If you go to HP web site, you can see the downloadable spec sheet in PDF stating what Joey-Elijay said

      • Christopher Knapp

        Precisely. It’s very likely that in the i7 model you can use 16GB of RAM, provided you are using 1.35v modules. Once I receive mine I will let you know.

  • MonaMoni

    Hi,

    I wonder if anyone here has buy this chromebook. I know from the spec sheet it said that max 8GB, 2 slot on i7 and 1 slot on celeron, but it doesn’t said is it 8GB = 2x4GB on i7, or it could be 8GB on celeron.
    …. What I like to know if the Celeron box can be upgrade to 8GB of RAM (or more).

    Thanks.

    • view2share

      I have the Toshiba Chromebook with 2GB — never seem to max it out. Not going to be doing heavy lifting with a Chrome OS. Cloud based stuff — no heavy RAM required.

  • eb

    The Hp Chromebox that is $629 is just overkill.

  • LeadTheLeader

    629? X_X
    Led Lampen

  • Jose Vera

    Can you replace the OS? I was thinking about a Linux distro, not Windows obviously.

  • http://vicente-de-pierola.tumblr.com/ Vicente de Piérola

    Why the heck would anyone want a Core i7 processor for a Chrome OS machine?!