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ASUS Chromebox 3 vs. Acer CXI3 Chromebox: Which should you buy?

Acer CX13 Chromebox
Acer CX13 Chromebox (Image credit: Acer)

Acer CXI3 Chromebox

The Acer Chromebox CXI3 runs Chrome OS and all your favorite Android applications like a champ, and the list price includes more disk space. Your Windows apps will be left out, though.

Acer CXI3 Chromebox

Same power, more disk space

8th generation Intel Core i3 processor
Small form factor
Chrome and Android app compatibility
USB-C 3.1
4K graphics
No Microsoft Windows application support

ASUS Chromebox 3

The ASUS Chromebox 3 makes for a powerful and secure desktop PC for home or the office. The downside is that the base price option gives you less storage.

ASUS Chromebox 3

Desktop power

8th generation Intel Core i3 processor
Small form factor
Chrome and Android app compatibility
USB-C 3.1
4K graphics
No Microsoft Windows application support
It's expensive compared to the competition.

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 3Acer Chromebox CXI3
ProcessorIntel Core i3Intel Core i3
Memory8GB8GB
Storage space32GB64GB
MicroSD cardYesYes
Ports2x USB-A 3,1
1x USB-C 3.1
2x USB-A 3,1
1x USB-C 3.1
Graphics4K with dual-display support4K with dual-display support
Vesa mount compatibleYesYes
Price$475$490

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.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.