Samsung Chromebox Series 3 Review
What would you get when you put a Chromebook inside a box? The answer to this is the all new Chromebox. Samsung tried this with the Chromebox Series 5 500 but the satisfaction level was limited. As we know this Korean giant always puts its best effort, they have launched the Samsung Series 3 Chromebox hoping to fix the drawbacks of Series 5.
The all new Chromebox Series 3 is here to surprise you all. Like Chromebox Series 5, the Chrome OS is docked inside a slim black mini power station made of aluminium. It is powered by Chrome OS 19 running on Intel processor. Now, what makes it different from Series 5 which was not a huge success (just to let you know)? Will the new cloud based model be any use to students and corporate users? Let us find out what this charming little box has to offer.
At the first glance, this device can be mistaken as Mac mini. It has strikingly similar looks with Apple Mac mini and we are all pretty sure Apple is ready for another legal battle for the patented design once again, given the recent loss Samsung incurred a week back. It has a 7.6” sq footprint dimension and is made up of colour plastic instead of Aluminium as in Series 5 Chromebox. It is also a bit slimmer at 1.3 inches and has the plastic top featuring Chrome and Samsung logo. The bottom panel is all painted black with the black lid requiring a simple push to un-box it.
This device also beats Mac mini with its additional connectivity options. You can find multiple port connectivity options and enhanced features which is sure better than the limited Mac mini functionalities. Complete assessment of device features are discussed in detail below.
Processor, RAM and Hard Drive
The configuration is all very sober and can easily manage multiple tasks with 1.9 GHz dual core Celeron B840 processor and 4GB of RAM. It comes with a built in 16 GB SSD.
Ports and Connections
There are two Displayport for connecting monitors and device screens. The DisplayPort++ output which easily connects with HDMI, VGA monitors and DVI display panels. There is also a DVI-I output for single link.
The Samsung Chromebox Series 3 comes with a bundle of USB ports and options for attaching external devices. There are 6 USB ports and all of them worked smoothly when we tested them with different USB devices.
No Optical Drive
There is however no provision for optical drive. Personally, I have not seen any cloud based device offering optical drives. If you have some real work with compacts disks, you can get an external optical drive from eBay or Amazon at rock bottom prices.
Network and Connectivity
As far as internet connectivity goes, this mini devil has got everything you need. With Dual Band Wireless Network Adapter 802.11 b/g/n/a and Gigabit Ethernet port, Chromebox can be connected with both Wi-Fi or wired Networks. The Bluetooth 3.0 radios allow you to quickly connect wireless keyboard and peripherals.
Like Chromebook, the Chromebox too runs on version 19 of Chrome OS which is currently available for CR 48 and genuine Chromebooks. This version enables you to view offline and online files with a support for wide array of file formats. It also includes an upgraded media player and a decent photo editor application. It also provides additional support for editing Google Docs under offline mode, Chrome Remote Desktop (BETA) , Google Drive Integration and many more.
Cloud based Services
Samsung series 3 is more inclined towards Enterprise customer line. If you are willing to pay an additional $149.99, you will get Management support and have a premium access to the web management console where you can deploy and control users and devices. You can also create user groups, install and uninstall apps, configure your very own private network and set up proxy settings. There are loads to features to be tried and tested and Google will not disappoint Chromebox users for sure. This device is sure to make an impression in the enterprise market.
Currently the Chromebox Series 3 is priced at $329.99 and you can directly order it from Samsung Store.
We were very much disappointed with the series 5, but the latest series 3 works out a balance for economic and enterprise value. The additional support is available only when you need it and is simply not forced with the price of the device. The hardware configurations and multiple connecting ports makes this device a must have for every cloud based user. Check it out in your nearest Samsung Store.