Feeds
45%
Samsung Chromebox Series 3 XE300M22 Chrome OS cloud computer

Review: Samsung Chromebox

Terminal decisions

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Moan, moan, moan: that’s how I suspected this review would come across as I pondered on my initial impressions of Samsung’s Chromebox – its Mac Mini-styled desktop computer that runs Google’s Chrome OS. You know, the online operating system that turns your computer into paperweight when there’s no internet connection. And then I paused for a moment – this is a Samsung product, but my heavy sighs and mutterings have little to do with the hardware.

Samsung Chromebox Series 3 XE300M22 Chrome OS cloud computer

Samsung's Chromebox Series 3 XE300M22 Chrome OS cloud computer

So is this review going to be another kicking of Google’s Chrome OS? As if you hadn’t read enough of those grumbles or even seen it coming. Few products are perfect, and some are unique. And there are numerous variations in between but to stick with conventional personal computing models for the moment, the Samsung Chromebox is just like any other PC – sort of.

After all, the hardware that Samsung offers isn’t exactly game changing. There are six USB 2.0 ports, a couple of full-size DisplayPort connectors and a DVI output. Alas, no HDMI, but you get Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 plus a mic/headphone combo socket at the front.

Samsung Chromebox Series 3 XE300M22 Chrome OS cloud computer

Full size DisplayPort connections and DVI, but no HDMI

Inside is a 1.9GHz Intel Celeron B840 CPU, which, while not likely to win any prizes at sports days, is a step up from previous versions of this chip family and performs more akin to an old Core 2 Duo. You get 4GB of DDR 3 Ram clocked at 1333MHz, but a mere 16GB SSD. Unsurprisingly, the Samsung Chromebox utilises Intel’s integrated HD Graphics core. The unit itself, featuring a plastic top and bottom with metal sides, is a fairly lightweight 800g. Like the Mac Mini, it has vents in the base and gets warm rather than hot.

Currently PC World is selling the Samsung Chromebox for £280, so given those internals and the fact that there’s no optical drive, screen or any other peripherals and this particular reseller will flog you a 2.4GHz Celeron-powered Asus for the same price, might give one pause for thought.

And there you have it, Samsung’s Chromebox is just a typical desktop PC – sort of.

Samsung Chromebox Series 3 XE300M22 Chrome OS cloud computer

Underside vents look not too unlike the Mac mini

I say typical, because what is PC hardware other than a showcase for a software platform? Buy a Mac and you need to learn its quirks and dabble with the iLife media applications along with iCloud services, if you’re that way inclined. Likewise, a Windows PC will endeavour to tempt you to experiment with OEM bundled basics. A simple sign-up will get you Microsoft’s SkyDrive suite of apps and storage – the silver lining to its cloud services. However, these operating systems have been around a while and are very familiar on many levels.

New hybrid storage solutions

Next page: Make a grab for it

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Slap my Imp up: Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper
Monsters need to earn a living too
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?
Plus: 'NostrilTime' wristjob vid action
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.