These two Chromeboxes are practically identical. Either can be purchased in multiple configurations, but we're comparing — and recommend — the Core i3 models for the right mix of performance and price. The biggest difference is that the Acer comes with 64GB of storage space versus 32GB for the ASUS and only costs just a bit more money.
A new generation of Chromebox
Manufacturers are getting serious about Chromeboxes, and two of the biggest names in Chrome hardware are Acer and ASUS. Each company has a great Chromebox for 2019, and both models are similar in almost every way. You'll find an 8th generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of memory, 4K graphics, 2 legacy USB ports and a USB-C 3.1 port, and everything else you need for a Chrome desktop powerhouse inside both.
You don't get Windows app support on either, but if you've already bought into the Chrome OS ecosystem with something like a Chromebook, then you know a lot about this anyway.
|ASUS Chromebox 3||Acer Chromebox CXI3|
|Processor||Intel Core i3||Intel Core i3|
|Ports||2x USB-A 3,1
1x USB-C 3.1
|2x USB-A 3,1
1x USB-C 3.1
|Graphics||4K with dual-display support||4K with dual-display support|
|Vesa mount compatible||Yes||Yes|
Both models also feature something that's not very common for small form factor PC's — user upgradable memory and storage. If you ever decide you need more of either, removing a few screws is all it takes to change the RAM modules or the M.2 SSD drive. You probably will never have to do it, but it's always nice to know you can.
It's also very obvious that there's a clear winner here, and that's the Acer Chromebox CXI3. A few dollars more in price gives you double the storage space without turning any screws. Chrome OS was designed with cloud storage in mind, but it's always nice to have a little breathing room on your local disk.
Either makes for a great Chrome-based desktop, but I'd recommend the Acer Chromebox CXI3 just for the bump in disk space.
Room to grow
Double your disk space for just a few dollars
Both models feature almost identical specs and run the very same operating system, delivered directly from Google. Go for the model with the bigger hard drive.
Still a great Chromebox
32GB could be enough
Might not be as big as the competition, but 32GB is still a lot of space. If you have another reason for buying an ASUS product you'll be more than happy with the Chromebox 3.
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