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Compact PC Samsung Chromebox Review

PC market offers the whole range of customer-oriented products depending on the purpose of their utilization. Therefore, it's not a problem to find a high-end multi-functional PC for managing huge graphic applications and games; neither, it's a problem to search out a compact nettop to fulfill home-based tasks. Samsung Chromebox is a combination of compact design and rather progressive functional. However, despite such attractive specifications, the price for this product might satisfy the budget of any customer.

Layout

Nettop Samsung Chromebox is a high-performance hardware platform supplemented by software with the open source code. The product uses Chrome OS based on Linux, and is destined at efficient work with web-applications. The most attractive feature of the Chromebox is its price. The average market cost equals to $329; such cost is able to exceed similar products from other manufacturers and draw the lion's share of potential customer groups.

Chromebox is distinguished by well-considered design and functionality. The model is based on Intel Celeron B840 (Sandy Bridge) processor that features two cores, 2 MB of the integrated L3 cache memory and 1.9 GHz clock frequency. The level of TDP approximates 35W. This nettop accommodates DDR3-1066 memory type, the overall volume capacity of which equals to 4 GB. In addition, Chromebox is equipped with Kensington key lock, integrated Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and gigabit Ethernet.

One of the privileges ascribed to this nettop is the availability of 6 USB 2.0 ports. The two of them are located on the frontal board, the other four — on the rear panel. No other rival product can boast the integration of so many USB ports. The clipboard also features power button and audio output. The rear board is full of various outputs: Single-link DVI (compatible with VGA), power supply input, a couple of DisplayPort ports which are compatible with DVI, VGA and HDMI standards.

There is a possibility for the customer to upgrade the model if necessary. For this the manufacturer equips Chromebox with two mSATA slots, one of which contains SSD drive of 16 GB capacity.

Integrated Chrome OS

First of all, it should be noted that all updates of the platform are realized automatically. The user can be totally sure that the system installs only the newest software and updates. Chrome OS interface resembles that of Chrome browser with Maps, YouTube, Drive icons. The platform supports Adobe Flash that promotes for unimpeded browsing of stream video. The user is able to adjust the following characteristics of the device via this platform: connection, privacy options, browser options, peripheral accessories settings, and language.

File Management

File management process is completed by means of independent from the browser applications. In order to start the work with the file, Chrome OS needs to send them to Google cloud; only after this those files will be accessible for editing. The data is stored on the integrated SSD (16 GB) which is quite enough due to the availability of soft on the web. Multimedia files are stored traditionally: audio files can be listened to with the help of media player, images can be viewed with the help of file browser, and video files can be managed via both tools.

Nevertheless, the user is able to enlarge the nettop facilities thanks to the available expansions. For instance, 'Aviary' free application is called to facilitate photo files management. Moreover, there is a possibility to manage applications without the direct access to the network.

Performance

Samsung delivers two models of Chromebox series. The first model is based on Celeron B840 CPU, while the other model – on more powerful Core i5 2450M. This implies that the more powerful model might win all efficiency and speed tests. Indeed, Core i5 CPU provides for twice faster operational speeds than Celeron does. Still, both models surpass other rivals in these terms, and additionally offer moderate price incentive.
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  • 24 September 2012, 12:10
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