ASUS Chromebox Google Chrome OS SFF PC Review

Introduction and Specifications

Google's Chrome OS is an open source operating system that is designed to offer fast, simple, and secure computing for connected devices.  That's not to say the Chrome operating system can't function offline, but connected to the cloud is where users can harness the full power of Google's cloud services and storage infrastructure.  To date, we've shown you a few versions of chromebooks, like the Acer C720 Chromebook and Google's own Chromebook Pixel.  Today, however, we have a look at the very first "official" Chromebox to hit the market and it comes to us by way of ASUS.

The ASUS Chromebox is a tiny palm-sized machine similar in form and footprint to Intel's line of NUC (Next Unit of Computing) mini PCs or the tiny Zotac ZBox Nano. It just so happens that all of these machines are also powered by integrated Intel processors, and the ASUS Chromebox is no different, though it employs Intel's 4th generation Haswell Core series architecture with Integrated HD 4400 graphics.

Sure, there's a fair bit of horsepower on board with Intel's latest low power dual-core CPU chewing through workloads, but the real differentiator here is what you can do with Google's Chrome OS driving a device like this.  We aim to show you just that in the pages ahead but first, let's take a closer look at the new ASUS Chromebox in our hands-on demo...

ASUS Chromebox M025U
Specifications & Features
Operating System

Chrome OS


Intel® Core™ i3-4010U Processor @ 1.7GHz


4GB x 1, DDR3-1600MHz; 2 x SO-DIMM


Integrated - Intel® HD Graphics 4400


16GB M.2 (NGFF) SSD, 100GB Google Drive Storage For 2 Years


10/100/1000 Mbps


Dual Band 802.11 a/b/g/n; Bluetooth V4.0


1 x 2-in-1 Card Reader

4 x USB3.0

1 x HDMI*

1 x DisplayPort ++*

1 x LAN (RJ45) Port

1 x Audio Jack (Mic-in/Speaker-out)

1 x Kensington Lock

1 x DC-in

Power Supply

65W Power



4.9" x 4.9" x 1.67”

$369 - includes wireless keyboard and mouse

As you can see, the ASUS Chromebox model M025U that we tested is a tiny little 5-inch brick packed with copious amounts of connectivity such as USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports, HDMI and DisplayPort output, a microSD Flash card slot, 802.11n dual-band WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0.  It also sports a 1.7GHz dual-core Core i3-4010U processor with Intel Hyper-Threading for four logical processing threads and 4GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory, along with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 graphics core. Finally, the onboard 16GB SSD storage might be appear a bit meager, but it's backed up by 100GB of Google Drive cloud storage for 2 years.

In the M025U kit you also get a custom wireless ASUS Chrome keyboard and mouse that are collectively valued at $49.  The total package, with the Chromebox, it's AC adapter, and the keyboard/mouse combo will retail for an MSRP of $369, though there are lower cost SKUs as well. Let's take a closer look at what you get...

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