At IFA 2014, Dell took the wraps off of both their Chromebox for Meetings system, as well as their vanilla Chromebox. We’ll go through both and give you a rundown, starting with Chromebox for Meetings.
Chromebox for Meetings
Dell’s Chromebox for Meetings is designed to make videoconferencing for businesses and offices a snap. It comes installed with Chrome OS, and Hangouts is at the center of the Chromebox for Meetings experience.
Inside Dell’s Chromebox for Meetings is an Intel Core i7-4600U processor clocked at 2.1Ghz, and a 16GB SSD. We weren’t able to pin down an exact RAM count, but for what it’s worth, most Chrome OS devices come with 2GB of memory, and a maximum of 4GB.
Internet connectivity can be achieved in one of two ways: wired, or wirelessly. Chromebox for Meetings includes both a Gigabit Ethernet port, along with dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth as well. The roster of ports consists of four USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI, one DisplayPort, and a memory card slot as well.
In case your Chromebox for Meetings rig goes on the fritz, the system itself includes a Recovery button which should get you back up and running in no time. Measuring 4.8×4.8×1.67-inches and weighing 1.16-pounds, you can fit Chromebox for Meetings just about anywhere. You can also use a VESA bracket to mount it.
There are two other components that make Chromebox for Meetings work, and they aren’t inside the unit itself. The setup also ships with a remote that doubles as a full QWERTY keyboard on its underside. Also included is a 1080p camera which you perch on top of your TV/monitor so that your clients and co-workers can see you when you virtually meet. Don’t worry about people not hearing you either; there’s an omnidirectional microphone built in.
Chromebox for Meetings will sell for $999 once it hits the market starting today.
The standard Dell Chromebox is basically a Chromebook but in desktop form. The specs aren’t all that flashy, and the operating system inside is Chrome OS, which doesn’t take kindly to doing stuff that doesn’t involve the Internet.
However, if you do happen to spend most or all of your computing time on the Web, this could be a solid way for you to get a desktop while also spending very little.
The Dell Chromebox will come in one of two configurations. The lower-end version will sport an Intel Celeron 2955U processor clocked at 1.4GHz, 2GB of RAM, and a 16GB SSD. The higher end model swaps out the CPU for an Intel Core i3-4030U chip running at 1.9 GHz, and doubles the RAM count to 4GB while keeping the SSD at 16GB. Also, unlike Chromebox for Meetings, the Dell Chromebox doesn’t include a Web cam, or a remote.
Connectivity options, mounting options, ports, and measurements are the same ones found on Chromebox for Meetings, regardless of which model you go for. However, there’s one exception. These versions of the Dell Chromebox also get a headphone/mic jack. There’s also a built-in speaker, but there doesn’t appear to be a built-in microphone.
The Celeron Dell Chromebox will sell for $179 starting on September 26. Dell has not yet revealed how much the Core i3-powered model will go for, but that one will be available for purchase on September 26 as well.