The ASUS Chromebox 3 is the best Chromebox you can buy right now. It’s available in several configurations, but all models feature a true M.2 SATA SSD for years of worry-free storage and upgradability should you need it.
Best Overall: ASUS Chromebox 3
The Chromebox 3 is ASUS’ newest model, and it’s one of the company’s best ever. You can get the base model for less than $300, but we think the N019U model with a faster processor and more memory hits the sweet spot of price versus features — all for just a couple hundred bucks more. All models come with a full set of ports for connection to monitors or televisions — including current-generation USB-C ports — so you can use your favorite mouse and keyboard or an external storage drive filled with movies.
The ASUS Chromebox 3 is a Chromebox for the whole family that’s future proof, secure, and dependable. We do have a few issues — there isn’t any compatibility with Windows apps and there aren’t any internal speakers (so you’ll need to pay extra). This might be an issue if you’re on a budget, since the Chromebox 3 is still expensive compared to others on the market. However, based on what you get in terms of features, you can’t go wrong here.
- Desktop-class Intel Core processors
- High-speed DDR4 RAM
- User-upgradable hard drive
- Legacy HDMI and USB connections
- SD card reader
- No internal speakers
- No compatibility with Windows apps
- Base model is a bit underpowered
ASUS Chromebox 3
- From $270 at Amazon
The best for everyone
You’ll be able to browse the web, shop online, do your taxes, or even play a game with the Chromebox 3 and stay safe and secure thanks to Chrome OS.
Best Value: Acer CX13 Chromebox
If you would rather grab one box with everything you need — including a hard-to-find Chrome customized keyboard — and save some cash, then the Acer Chromebox CX13 is a great buy. And because Google supports Chrome products for a full six years nobody thinks it’s crazy to buy last year’s model to save a few dollars.
You’ll still be able to surf the web and social media, stream your favorite movies and shows, or even get some work done if that’s what you need. It’s not as speedy as the newer and more expensive Chromebox 3, but the price makes it a perfect choice for a lot of people.
- Excellent price
- Chrome-layout keyboard included
- Easy connection to a TV or monitor
- Last years specifications
- Can be sluggish under a heavy load
- Base configuration can be hard to find
Acer CX13 Chromebox
- $254 from Newegg
It’s all in the box
Acer’s CX13 Chromebox comes as a complete kit with matching Chrome keyboard and mouse so you won’t have to track down any peripherals.
The ASUS Chromebox 3 is what we’ve always wanted to see in a Chromebox. Models and prices for everyone are available, and every configuration has the ports and power you need to have a great experience while staying secure and up to date with Google’s Chrome software. We think it’s the very best Chromebox for everyone.
If you would rather grab one box with everything you need — including a hard-to-find Chrome customized keyboard — then the Acer Chromebox CX13’s base model is a great buy, and because Google supports Chrome products for a full six years nobody thinks it’s crazy to buy last years model to save a few dollars.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jerry Hildenbrand is Mobile Nation’s Senior Editor and works from a Chromebook full time. Currently, he is using Google’s Pixelbook but is always looking at new products and may have any Chromebook in his hands at any time. You’ll find him across the Mobile Nations network and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.
Andrew Martonik is the Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central. He has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.
Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he’s writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there’s a correlation.