Buying Guides

The Best Chromebox Mini PC for Price and Performance

Mihir Patkar 14-02-2018

Google’s lightweight Chrome OS for desktops doesn’t need a large PC. Loaded on mini PCs you can mount at the back of your monitor, these inexpensive Chromeboxes are excellent purchases.


You should know that as these desktop PCs get smaller, so does their capability. But that affects the Windows operating system more. Chrome OS is light, fast, and runs smoothly even with basic hardware.

So what should you buy? These are your best options.

Best Chromebox:
Asus Chromebox 2 G095U

best chromebox mini pc

  • Processor: 1.7GHz Intel Broadwell Celeron 3215U
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB SSD, SD card slot
  • Ports: HDMI, DisplayPort, 4 x USB
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi

ASUS CHROMEBOX2-G095U Mini Chrome OS Computer with 4Gb Memory ASUS CHROMEBOX2-G095U Mini Chrome OS Computer with 4Gb Memory Buy Now On Amazon

Asus excels at making these Chrome-running mini PCs, and the Asus Chromebox 2 is the best of them all. It features 4GB of RAM, which is an important specification to have with Chrome OS. While the operating system runs fine with 2GB memory, for smoothness you need 4GB.


A dual-core Intel Celeron 3215U processor powers the Chromebox 2, which is among the better mobile Celeron CPUs you can get. The 16GB of storage is limiting, but enough for Chrome OS. You should probably add a high-capacity microSD card though.

Asus ships the Chromebox 2 with a wireless keyboard and mouse, as well as a VESA mount, so all you need is a monitor or even a TV. Hook up the mini PC at the back, connect the HDMI wire, and you’re ready to go. It’s no wonder we picked this as the best Chrome mini PC or Chromebox.

Most Powerful Chromebox:
Asus Chromebox 2 G013U

best chromebox mini pc

  • Processor: 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-5010U
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB SSD, SD card slot
  • Ports: HDMI, DisplayPort, 4 x USB
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi

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For the most powerful consumer-level Chrome PC, look no further than the upgraded version of the same Chromebox 2. The G013U model’s differentiating component is the CPU.

The Asus Chromebox 2 G013U has an Intel Core i3-5010U processor. As you probably know, the Core i3 is faster and has a better graphics unit than the Celeron series. You can check out their comparison on CPUBoss.

Apart from that, Asus upgraded the memory to 8GB RAM. That improves multitasking as well as graphics performance since the graphics memory is shared. You could actually use heavy-duty image editors without a worry.

The rest of the hardware is the same, but these two boosts make all the difference.


Barebones Chromebox Mini PC:

best chromebox mini pc

  • Processor: 2.1 GHz Intel Celeron N3050
  • Memory: up to 16GB
  • Storage: Whatever You Want
  • Ports: HDMI, 4 x USB
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi

Intel BOXNUC5CPYH NUC PC Celeron N3050 Intel BOXNUC5CPYH NUC PC Celeron N3050 Buy Now On Amazon $109.00

Intel released its own line of mini PCs, the Intel NUC. NUCs are generally barebones, which means they only feature a small cabinet with the chipset and processor. The RAM, storage, and other accessories are your costs. And as luck would have it, one of the more popular NUCs is compatible with Chrome OS.

Google doesn’t officially support the Intel NUC 5CPYH, but several reports on the internet claim it works fine. The NUC comes with a dual-core Celeron processor that’s better than the old Chromebox, but not better than the Chromebox 2.


The best part of this mini PC is its flexibility. You can add up to 16GB of RAM and any of the best SSDs you can buy.

Cheapest Chromebox:
Asus Chromebox M004U

best chromebox mini pc

  • Processor: 1.4 GHz Intel Haswell Celeron 2955U
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB SSD, SD card slot
  • Ports: HDMI, DisplayPort, 4 x USB
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi

ASUS CHROMEBOX-M004U Desktop ASUS CHROMEBOX-M004U Desktop Buy Now On Amazon

The older version of the Chromebox is still a good purchase and costs about $50 less than the Chromebox 2. It has a few limitations you should know about though.

The Intel Haswell processor actually pulls its weight and will run most things smoothly. The only bottleneck is the memory. With 2GB RAM, you can’t expect to multitask much or use graphics-intensive web apps like photo or video editors.

But don’t worry too much about that. It’s pretty easy to upgrade the memory or storage, but that’s an additional cost you’ll have to bear yourself. And it voids your warranty too. Unless you’re on a strict budget, you’re better off buying the Chromebox 2 or fitting a larger microSD card.

Still, this is better than buying several similar Chrome mini PCs from competing manufacturers like HP, Acer, and so on. They cost way more while offering a marginal upgrade on the specifications. You can actually buy the Chromebox 2 for cheaper.

Android Apps Don’t Work on Chromeboxes Yet

While Google is merging Chrome OS and Android, letting you run Android apps on the desktop operating system 12 Android Apps You Need to Install on Chromebook With the Google Play store about to come to our fingertips, the power of an incredible number of apps is about to reach Chrome OS. So what will we install first? Let's see. Read More , the Chromeboxes don’t support it yet. There may be one exception: the AOpen Chromebox Mini. The Chromebox Mini is listed as the only Chromebox that currently supports Android apps in the Stable channel. However, we’ve seen no reviews or confirmation that mention this.

In the near future, though, we hope to see all Chromeboxes include Android apps.

Does anyone else use Chromeboxes? Let us know in the comments!

Related topics: Chrome OS, Google Chrome, Mini PC.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Coleen
    February 14, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    I cannot log in to any devices, all of them are not logged in. FB been sending me codes to my SMS old number/ phone. I cannot recieve any codes in my curent mobile number. How can I pass this session. I need help bringing my fb back

    • Jduprey
      February 15, 2018 at 2:24 am

      I'm running the Acer Chromebox CX-i2 with the i3 Pentium fifth generation chipset. It flys. A wonderful Windows desktop replacement.

      After more than a year of being on the 'Planned' list there is still no Play Store support. Very frustrating.