Acer Joins The Google Chromebox Party
September 1, 2014 by Dave Haynes
Acer has joined Asus and HP in releasing low cost, teeny Chromebox cloud PCs that run Google’s Chrome operating system. They’re boxes the tech giant is touting for any number of uses, including digital signage.
The new Acer Chromebox CXI runs an Intel Haswell processor and is aimed at education, small to medium businesses and budget-minded users who are already using or want to take advantage off all the free or low cost functionality available in the Google Chrome ecosystem.
The CXI, says a news release, “boots up in about 8 seconds and resumes nearly instantly from sleep mode thanks to the 16GB Solid State Drive. Housed in a compact .6 liter (6.51 x 5.12 x 1.3-inches) chassis that stands upright and is VESA mountable, the Acer Chromebox CXI maximizes space, a key consideration for libraries, cube and classroom environments as well as small and medium businesses for task-based user terminals.”
“Two Acer Chromebox models will be available by late this month – the CXI-2GKM with 2GB memory for a manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) of $179.99 U.S./$199 CAD and the CXI-4GKM with 4GB memory for a MSRP of $219.99 U.S./$239 CAD.”
Acer says the highlights include:
- One of the smallest available footprints with a compact chassis that can stand upright or mount on the back of a monitor
- Powerwash option enables all local data to be cleared quickly and easily
- Dual display support via HDMI® and DisplayPort
- Four USB 3.0 ports include two with power-off charging for smartphones and tablets
- Powerful security via built-in Google virus protection and Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2)
I know several companies that are actively testing Chromeboxes as digital signage players, and one – Rise Vision – that already has clients using them in operating deployments. The price point is definitely attractive, but so is the level of functionality. Run these boxes on Google’s admin platform and signage is just an app that launches.
How Google is playing in digital signage is one of the featured sessions in a couple of weeks at DSrupted, the first digital signage conference focused on disruptive technology. Google’s Vidya Nagarajan, Product Manager for Chrome, will be speaking. Some lucky attendees will also be leaving at day’s end with their own Chromeboxes.
To register for DSrupted, go here: dsrupted.eventbrite.ca