I bought my first Chromebook when they were released in 2011. At the time there were no Chromebox computers available. I’ve owned many Chromebooks since, but one of my favourite Chrome OS computers is my Asus Chromebox 3. I bought it in 2018 and it has been my go-to computer ever since.
If you’re considering buying a Chromebox today. Then I’d recommend taking a look at the Asus Chromebox 4. It’s the next model up from the Chromebox 3. There are a few changes, which makes it a better choice.
In this article, I’ll go into great detail about everything you need to know about the Asus Chromebox 4. After reading this article you’ll know whether this is the Chromebox for you. I’ll also look at all the different configurations available, so you’ll not end up spending more than is necessary.
What is a Chromebox?
A Chromebox is a desktop computer that runs the Chrome OS operating system. Chrome OS was launched in 2011 and has seen huge advances over the years. This makes Chrome OS a great choice. The days of not being able to do everything with a Chrome OS computer are long gone.
What I love about the Chromebox is that it offers greater flexibility compared to the Chromebook. I’ve used my Asus Chromebox 3 far more than any Chromebook that I’ve owned. This is mainly because I can get a lot more done sitting at a desk. It’s more productive and is great for work. It’s also great for play, which we’ll look at a little later.
Unlike a typical desktop computer, which can take up a lot of space. A Chromebox is much smaller in size and takes up very little space on your desk. This makes it ideal for anyone who likes a minimalist office feel.
The history of the Chromebox
You’ve been able to buy Chromebox computers for many years. However, because the Chromebook is more well known. Many people have overlooked the Chromebox. This has changed in the last couple of years. Mainly thanks to Chrome OS becoming more popular and manufacturers bringing out some great Chromebox computers.
The first Chromebox that caught my interest was the Asus Chromebox 3. I needed a desktop computer that was powerful enough for me to do many different tasks. It wasn’t just about surfing the internet. I needed a computer to run this website and my YouTube channel.
Since the launch of the Asus Chromebox 3. A few other manufacturers have put more effort into offering high-performing Chromeboxes. One of the latest to be released and a direct replacement to the Chromebox I own is the Chromebox 4.
You can choose your own display and keyboard
If you’re interested in buying a new Chromebox then I would seriously consider the Asus Chromebox 4. I’ve had no issues with my Chromebox 3, so I’m fully satisfied the Chromebox 4 is a step in the right direction.
It has a slightly different look to my Chromebox. Slightly curved edges give it a sexier and slimline look. The good thing about buying a Chromebox is there is less to think about compared to buying a Chromebook. You don’t need to think about the display or keyboard quality.
The Chromebox is simply a desktop computer. This means everything else you would need to buy separately. This can mean they end up being more expensive. However, I prefer being able to choose the monitor, keyboard, and mouse separately.
Which Asus Chromebox 4 is right for you?
This is where you’ll have to seriously consider the Chromebox that is right for you. When I bought my Chromebox I had to take some time to make sure I got the right one. You don’t want to buy a Chromebox and later realise you wished you bought one with more processing power.
It’s a juggling act of how much money you want to spend compared to the performance you’re looking for. I decided to spend more and bought one with an Intel i5 processor. I don’t regret it because it means I can do anything Chrome OS is capable of.
To make it easier I’ll explain the different models available, and what they are capable of. This will hopefully make it easier for you to decide, which is the right model for you. There are four different configurations available when it comes to the type of processor.
Asus Chromebox 4 – Entry level configuration
This is the cheapest one you can buy. It uses an Intel Celeron processor, which is a budget processor. The good news is Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system, so you can still do a lot with this model.
It’s a dual-core processor with a base speed of 1.90 GHz and it comes with a 2MB cache. The cache is used to store data that is accessed quickly. It allows the processor to access this data at much quicker speeds than from RAM or storage. The more cache available the quicker your Chromebox will perform tasks performed regularly.
The entry-level model is perfect for anyone looking for a desktop computer to do any of the following:-
- Surf the internet
- Use Social Media
- Stream YouTube/Netflix movies
- Android Apps
- Word processing and spreadsheets
You can obviously do more tasks than this, but I’m just trying to give you an idea of what this processor will be capable of handling. More advanced Android Apps with intensive graphics may perform slower. Everyday apps will work fine, but you may find some Android App games would do better with a higher-performing processor.
Entry Level Model
Different retailers may offer different configuration types. However, you’ll tend to find most of them stick to the same. Typically a computer that comes with an Intel Celeron processor will also come with less RAM and storage.
The main reason for this is to keep the price down. If you’re buying a computer with an Intel Celeron processor. You most likely want to get a computer at the cheapest price possible. Apart from the processor the amount of RAM and storage used also allows manufacturers to keep the price low.
Also, when it comes to the RAM. If your processor offers lower performance. You will not necessarily see a huge advantage in having more RAM. An Intel Celeron processor performs perfectly fine with 4 GB of RAM. Any more than this would possibly only see marginal gains in performance.
Entry Level Model – RAM & Storage
The entry-level Asus Chromebox 4 comes with 4 GB of RAM. As I’ve just mentioned. This is more than enough RAM for this processor type. Also, you can perform all of the tasks I’ve mentioned above with this amount of RAM.
The storage available is 32 GB. This is pretty low and is something you’ll need to seriously consider before hitting that buy now button. Chrome OS computers come with less storage than a typical computer such as MS Windows. This is because they don’t need that much.
That being said, because you can use Android Apps and Linux Apps on your Chromebox. The amount of storage is something to think about. I don’t think you’d get a great experience with Linux Apps with the entry-level model. Therefore, we only need to consider how many Android Apps you’re planning on using.
Your Chromebox local storage
You need to consider whether 32 GB of storage is enough. This is because Android Apps can only be installed on your local storage. All other data files you can store in the cloud. Therefore, the only things that should be used for your local storage are Chrome OS the operating system, and Android Apps.
It’s difficult to say how many Android Apps you’ll be able to install with 32 GB of storage available. This is because all Android Apps vary dramatically in size. You may want to take a look at the type of apps you use and check how much space they need.
Generally speaking, you should easily be able to install around thirty Android Apps with 32 GB of storage without any issues. My Asus Chromebox 3 comes with 64 GB of storage and I’ve never had an issue with storage. If you do want to install a lot of Android Apps then you will need to have a think about whether 32 GB of storage is enough for you.
Asus Chromebox 4 – Intel i3 configuration
If you’re not too sure whether the Intel Celeron model will be powerful enough. The next configuration model up comes with an Intel i3 processor. This processor will perform much quicker and you should be able to do most things with Chrome OS.
The processor used is the Intel i3-10110U. A tenth-generation processor with a base speed of 2.10 GHz and a turbo speed of 4.10 GHz. It’s a dual-core processor and comes with 4MB of cache.
A more than capable processor to do the following type of tasks:
- Internet surfing
- Social Media
- Streaming HD movies
- Productivity software such as spreadsheets
- Android Apps
- Linux Apps
The Chromebox 4 with an Intel i3 processor will be able to deal with all types of Android Apps. You’ll not have any issues with streaming HD movies, Also, using Linux Apps will be possible and you should not have any issues.
Intel i3 RAM & Storage configuration
The most likely configuration you’ll find with the Intel i3 model is the following. The amount of RAM should be 8 GB. You may find it available with 4 GB of RAM. However, you would not get the best performance from the i3 processor with 4GB. Therefore, I would recommend making sure it comes with 8 GB of RAM.
The extra RAM will definitely make a big difference when it comes to performance. All the tasks will perform much quicker, and the i3 processor will take advantage of that extra RAM.
This model will most likely be widely available with 64 GB of storage. Like I’ve mentioned, my Chromebox 3 comes with 64 GB of storage, and I’ve not had any issues with running out of storage. However, it will depend on the type of tasks you’ll be carrying out.
Asus Chromebox 4 – Intel i5 configuration
If you want excellent performance then the Intel i5 model is a great choice. This is because it comes with the Intel i5-10210U tenth-generation processor. The main difference between this processor and the i3 model is the number of cores. Instead of dual-core, the Intel i5 comes with a quad-core processor.
This means there is double the number of cores running, which will dramatically improve the performance. The base speed is 1.60 GHz and it has a turbo speed of 4.20 GHz and a 6MB cache. There is no question that the Intel i5 will offer amazing performance. Nothing will be out of bounds when it comes to what you can do with this configuration type.
The advantages are that all Linux apps will work without any issues. This means you’ll be able to take advantage of more advanced apps such as image, video, and music editing software. Chrome OS still isn’t great for professional video editing, but this will hopefully improve over time.
Intel i5 RAM & Storage configuration
From what I can see, but you’ll definitely need to check when buying. The Intel i5 and i7 models use SSD storage rather than eMMC. SSD storage is a more expensive and better-performing type of storage. It comes into its own when handling large amounts of data. Essential if you’re using software that needs to access a large amount of data stored locally to run correctly.
An example of this would be games. Although playing games locally on Chrome OS at the moment isn’t a great experience. This will change in the future. Having SSD storage rather than eMMC will be vital for games that need to transfer huge amounts of data. At the moment the best way to play games is by streaming. You don’t need to worry about the storage type when streaming games on your Chromebook on a service such as Nvidia GeForce Now.
The amount of RAM you’ll typically find on the i5 model is 8GB. Again, more than enough for most of the tasks you’ll want to carry out. If you find a model with an i5 processor with less RAM I’d possibly avoid it. You’ll never be able to take advantage of the i5 processing power with less than 8 GB of RAM. The storage option with the i5 will most likely be 128 GB of SSD storage.
Asus Chromebox 4 – Intel i7 configuration
If you want the best performance possible then the i7 model is for you. It comes with the Intel i7-10510U tenth-generation processor. Again, it’s a quad-core processor, so performance will be rock solid. A base speed of 1.80 GHz and a turbo speed of 4.90 GHz. It also comes with 8MB of cache.
There is no question this is the best-performing model. However, I’d seriously consider whether you would need such a high-performing computer. If you want the very best in performance then it’s the obvious choice.
The i5 version offers all the performance you’ll need, so think about whether you need an i7 model. If you want to spend as little as possible but still get great performance. Then the i5 model will offer just that. That being said, the RAM and storage options may make the i7 a better choice depending on what you need.
Intel i7 RAM & Storage
One of the main reasons to choose the i7 model is more to do with the amount of RAM and storage. You’ll most likely find the i7 model with 16GB of RAM. This will offer excellent performance when matched with the i7 processor. Therefore, if you need a lot of RAM the i7 is obviously the best choice.
If the i7 comes with the same amount of RAM as the i5. Then I’d choose the i5 all day long. The fact it comes with 16 GB of RAM does make your choice a bit more difficult. It’s definitely the right choice if you want to get serious with video or music editing.
You’ll also get more storage with the i7 model. Instead of the 128 GB available with the i5 model. You’ll get double the amount at 256GB. A huge amount of storage, which you’ll most likely use when buying such a powerful desktop Chrome OS computer.
Asus Chromebox 4 supports three monitors
The Asus Chromebox 4 has been improved when it comes to connectivity. On my Asus Chromebox 3, it’s possible to connect two monitors. However, to do this you need an adapter, which isn’t expensive, but it does take up the only USB C port. This is because it only comes with one HDMI port. To get two monitors connected you need to also use the USB C Port.
The Chromebox 4 has two HDMI ports. This means you can easily connect two monitors without needing any further adapters. It also means you can keep your USB C port for other things you may want to connect. Alternatively, you could connect three monitors using the two HDMI ports and the USB C port.
The Chromebox has an ethernet port
Something I really like about my Chromebox and you get the same with the Chromebox 4. It has an ethernet port. This allows you to connect to your router using an ethernet cable. Although you can use WiFi as normal. Using an ethernet cable gives you a much stronger and faster connection.
This is great if you want to stream games on services such as Stadia and NVidia GeForce now. These types of streaming services need a solid internet connection. Providing you have a decent Internet Service package. Using the ethernet cable gives the best results. This is one thing I love about the Chromebox, as you don’t get this on many laptops.
Asus Chromebox 4 AUE Date
If you’re thinking about buying a Chromebox. Another reason why you should choose a newer model such as the Chromebox 4 is the AUE Date. The AUE Date on my Asus 3 is June 2025. This means my Chromebox will stop receiving Chrome OS updates after this date.
The Chromebox 4 AUE date is June 2028, which gives you many years of updates. This is why it’s much better to opt for the later model if you can. Receiving extra updates will ensure you still get the very best of Chrome OS for much longer.
I absolutely love the Chromebox. It’s a great alternative to the Chromebook. Having a desktop computer running Chrome OS is great for work. Also, I regularly play games using GeForce Now on my Chromebox.
You cannot beat playing games on a huge display and the ethernet connection ensures I get decent gameplay. If you’ve not yet tried Chrome OS. I’m sure you’ll not be disappointed with your decision.
It will take a little getting used to if you’ve never used Chrome OS before. Once you’ve played about with it for a couple of weeks. You’ll realise the possibilities with Chrome OS are almost endless.