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

Review: Samsung Chromebox

Terminal decisions

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Clouded vision

So is the Samsung Chromebox really like any other PC? Well, it can be if you fancy running Linux on it. Ubuntu will instal if you set up the Chromebox in developer mode by flicking the switch buried inside the Kensington lock hole. Incidentally, it's marked as the "Newton" switch on the motherboard.

Samsung Chromebox Series 3 XE300M22 Chrome OS cloud computer

Chrome OS desktop: everything happens within the browser
Click for a larger image

However, this approach isn’t really what the Chromebox is about, although given its six USB ports, you could easily assume it is designed to work with everyday devices. An optical drive – yes, but for home grown data retrieval only. I even plumbed in a LaCie USB floppy drive and that worked – although the same problem of data being moved, rather than copied, occurred here too. Moreover, Samsung’s original Galaxy Tab only showed the internal USB storage, but the 8GB micro SD card – that shows up on a Mac or PC – was ignored.

Samsung Chromebox Series 3 XE300M22 Chrome OS cloud computer

Chrome OS apps: includes options to pin to the launcher
Click for a larger image

The list goes on, but can you really blame Samsung for the shortcomings of the Chromebox? Sure it’s a different way of computing, and having a virus-free up-to-date OS has its appeal, but it’s also a rather flaky OS and that’s not really Samsung’s fault at all. If anything, it suggests that offering a terminal-style computer brings with it the temptation to deliver an unfinished product. And rather than this being an app or two that users could decline to instal, it’s the whole kit and caboodle.

Samsung Chromebox Series 3 XE300M22 Chrome OS cloud computer

Attractive hardware but Chrome OS is a mindset that won't appeal to everyone

Verdict

So, moan, moan, moan? Well, I guess so but that’s resistance for you. Google Chrome OS takes you out of your comfort zone and the grumbling starts because you have to learn to do things differently. Beyond Google’s own compulsive yearnings to fondle every modicum of data you produce, Chrome OS has integration with other devices for data sharing at its heart, but alas, not by simply plugging them in.

The trouble is, it doesn’t integrate with user expectations particularly well, no matter how many USB ports Samsung can add to its Chromebox. As far as the hardware goes, it works, but to really drive users to consider Chrome OS as an alternative, we need to see some really attractive pricing. After all, regardless of what Google’s OS may offer users, it also demands that they make sacrifices and, given the established alternatives at similar prices, who on earth feels the need to do that? ®

High performance access to file storage

45%
Samsung Chromebox Series 3 XE300M22 Chrome OS cloud computer

Review: Samsung Chromebox

Desktop incarnation of Google's terminal PC project.
Price: £329 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.