AOPEN Now has Sub-$200 Commercial Grade Chromebox; $350 Chromebase Tablet

Taiwan-based AOPEN started showing off a pair of new commercial-grade Chrome devices yesterday at the NRF show – a smaller, much cheaper solid state Chromebox and a tablet-sized Chromebase.

The latter, the Chromebase Miniis a 10.1 inch all-in-one touchscreen that would compete with commercial-grade tablets and small system on chip displays. You could imagine it being used for shelf-edge digital signs, digital meeting room signs, POS terminals and room controls.

The Chromebox Mini is pretty skewed to digital signage and kiosks, as well as some IoT applications. The attraction of the mini is the price, which at $189 brings it in line with pricing for consumer and educational-grade Chromeboxes. There was a lot of interest in an earlier commercial-grade Chromebox from AOPEN, but when it came out last year the price was $400-plus. A lot of the buzz around Chrome has been around being able to use devices that were less cost than PCs, and this wasn’t.

 

The Chromebase Mini, AOPEN says, is an all-in-one 10.1-inch solution, does not require a kiosk protective case, is water-resistant and tamper-proof, unlike a consumer touch device. I was told it will be $350ish in small quantity cost.

The enterprise-ready all-in-one touch device supports audio-video conference platforms, such as Google Hangouts™. It offers mounting options for A/V or desktop use (including a built-in Vesa Mount stand), high-quality camera and audio, and a dual microphone. The Chromebase Mini is accompanied by optional accessories such as recess wall mounts, POE adapters, and adapters to mount various payment solutions.

By leveraging AOPEN software layer meldCX, the Chromebase Mini is compatible with end-user legacy POS systems – featuring local app instances for offline use and device integration, while maintaining a competitive price point.

“The Chromebase Mini achieves both customer and operational benefits. Its aesthetic and interactive design makes it ideal for high-traffic enterprise environments and provides a compelling way for customers to transact. Retailers or Integrators can also use Chrome Device Management to control and manage their device fleets. It means that content updates and management of the devices can be done remotely via the cloud, and its ease of rollout gives retailers an amazing experience,” says Borg.

Specs:

  • Panel: 10.1″ 1280 x 800 250nits AHVA
  • Touch: 10 point multi-touch; pinch to zoom
  • CPU: Quad-Core Cortex-A17, up to 1.8GHz
  • DRAM: LPDDR3 Dual Channel 4GB
  • Storage: EMMC 5.0 16GB
  • FHD Webcam (2M)
  • Built-in Dual Digital MIC and Stereo Speaker
  • WIFI+ BT4.0: 802.11 b/g/n/ac + BT4.0 x 1

The Chromebox Mini is solid-state and teeny, and looks fairly bulletproof.  It supports Chrome Device Management, is fanless, has Bluetooth, wide-reaching dual-band antenna, and power button extension ports for ease of mounting behind device or having other AV equipment control on/off state.

Specs:

  • Fanless/non venting hole design
  • CPU:Quad-Core Cortex-A17, up to 1.8GHz
  • DRAM: LPDDR3 Dual Channel 4GB
  • Storage: EMMC 5.0 16GB
  • WIFI+ BT4.0: 802.11 b/g/n/ac + BT4.0 x 1

The units were being demo’d at NRF at Google’s busy booth. There are a number of manufacturers making Chrome devices, but to my knowledge AOPEN remains the only one producing devices that are really meant for the demands of 24/7 signage. I think the Chromebase is a big deal, because it can compete quite nicely in a number of markets – notably meeting room signs.

It’s also really interesting that the Chromebase will support native Android apps. Some of the newest Chromebooks coming on the market allow Android apps to fully run, and this is an extension of that. It means a company that has developed for Android for meeting rooms, POS applications, or whatever, can use this device without any new development or any kind of a hack to make it all work.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes

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11+ year-old blog (and now podcast) about digital signage and related tech, written by industry consultant, analyst and bullshit filter Dave Haynes.
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1 Comment

  • We (and our resellers) have been waiting for the new AOPEN Chromebox Mini to hit the market. We have 253 digital signage networks consisting of several thousand total licences across 18 countries using Signagelive with Chrome OS devices.

    The addition of the commercial grade and cost effective Chromebox Mini has been a missing component in driving mass adoption.

    Good work AOPEN!

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