A single mention of Chrome OS probably has you picturing any number of low-end, low-cost laptops, along with the occasional high-end beast. You might not think of Chromeboxes very much, but if you don’t need a built-in monitor, they’re an excellent option for entry-level desktop machines. However, the latest Chromebox from CTL is anything but “low-end,” with enough storage and RAM to blow any run-of-the-mill gaming PC out of the water.
CTL’s Chromebox CBx2-7 looks a lot like the CBx2 we reviewed earlier this year, but with a massive boost in performance. While that model featured an Intel Dual-Core Celeron processor, the CBx2-7 sports Intel’s 10th-gen Core i7-10610U CPU. Paired with 2TB of storage and 64GB of RAM, this latest variant is leaps and bounds more powerful than pretty much any other Chrome OS product on the market right now. Throw in five USB ports and two HDMI ports — not to mention a headphone jack and an always-handy SD card reader — and you’re looking at a pretty capable device.
Unsurprisingly, all of that hardware comes with a price to match. At $1,419, it’s not exactly budget-friendly, even if it’s easy to justify the price on the sheer power of the hardware alone. If you’re looking for capable hardware but unwilling to pay an arm and a leg, the CBx2-7 also comes in a configuration with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and the same processor for $729.
Both versions are now available from CTL’s website (as spotted by ChromeUnboxed). While the top-of-the-line model might not fit the needs — or budget — of every user, it’s good to see Chrome OS on desktop getting more powerful hardware.