Google's OS version of the Chrome browser hasn't been seeing a lot of action lately, but Samsung seems to have rekindled its interest here at CES. As one of the original hardware partners for the Chromebooks, Samsung knows what it's doing when it comes to the low-power, high-connectivity hardware. We took a look at the new Samsung Series 3 ChromeBox at their booth, with impressions below.
The ChromeBox is smaller than most of the "ultra-small" Windows desktops, probably because it doesn't need any serious storage or power requirements. The demonstration unit was connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, with full connectivity via Ethernet. On the front you'll find just one power button, a headphone jack and a pair of USB ports, with the back populated by four more USB ports, a DVI port, Ethernet port, two Display Link ports and a power jack. We assume that two DL ports means this little guy can output to a dual monitor setup.
Chrome has remained the same: the browser user interface with a few extra bells and whistles. If you've used the Chrome browser, odds are pretty good you know how the Chrome OS interface goes - just subtract Windows or OS X. Quick boot times and web-friendly features are countered by a reliance on Google's services and cloud storage.
It's hard not to think of the Mac Mini when loooking at this diminutive hardware (the footprint is just 7.5 inches square), but the Chromebook doesn't really compete there. We expect the Series 3 to come out sometime this year at around $200-$300 - unfortunately, Samsung didn't have ant official price or availability information on hand.