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CTL’s New CBX1 Chromebox is a Powerhouse at a Great Price

Chromeboxes are really great desktops for users who have moved their workflow into a web browser, especially at lower prices. You don’t need higher specs inside a Chromebox for it to work well, but it can help.

For those who want a supercharged Chromebox on the cheap, Oregon-based CTL has just the thing for you. Its new Chromebox—the CBX1—has all the high-end parts you could want, at a comparatively low price. You get:

  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7-855U processor
  • 8GB of DDR4 RAM
  • 32GB of SSD storage
  • 802.11AC WiFi 2×2
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 2 USB-A 2.0
  • 3 USB-A 3.1 Gen 1
  • 1 USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 with data transfer and video-out
  • 1 HDMI-out
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Kensington Lock
  • VESA mount support

Out of the gate this badboy has 32GB of storage, which should be enough for most Chrome OS uses, but it’s rumored the storage will be upgradable. However, we haven’t found anything that explicitly states that, so I wouldn’t recommend buying this ‘Box with the intent of throwing more storage it. 

As for price, CTL is letting this one go for $599. In this case, six-hundred bucks nets you one beast of a box.

Why would you want this?

Chrome devices are great because they don’t need a lot of power to run well, so why buy one with an i7 processor?

One use case is as a Home Theater PC (HTPC). With support for Android applications, users can have easy access to Netflix, Hulu, Plex, and other services with a desktop that’s smaller, quieter and easier to manage than a comparable Windows system.

Another good scenario is in the workplace. There are more and more companies that use G Suite for productivity each year, including Hangouts for a video conference system. Getting a consistent video stream takes a lot of work, and if you don’t want users to waste time trying to get back into a video meeting, it’s worth spending more money upfront for a more powerful system.

The CBX1 will also let users install Linux apps out of the box. That’s everything from development environments to local productivity tools, to almost anything else you can imagine. Just like powerful programs on Windows and macOS, the faster these programs can work the better. Users can also install any Linux distribution instead of using Chrome OS, and the extra guts will come in handy there.

Or, maybe you’re just someone who likes using Chrome OS as is. You may use a couple Android or Linux apps, but most of what you do is on the web. Even though you don’t need the extra power, it’s nice to have. You can hold onto more tabs, and the device is just smoother to use. And if you do need extra power in the future, you already have it.

If you’re into the idea, you can nab a CBX1 of your own right here.

via Chrome Unboxed

Tom Westrick Tom Westrick
Tom Westrick is a freelance writer for How-To Geek and its sister sites. He has been poking and prodding at electronics since he was a teenager, and he's been writing about technology since 2014. When he's not writing about technology, Tom is a Tier-1 Help Desk Technician, songwriter, and guitar player. Read Full Bio »