Should you buy the Acer CXI3 Chromebox?

Best answer: If you're looking for a powerful Chromebox for home or business use, the Acer Chromebox CXI3 should be on your short list. With 8th generation Intel Core processors, user-upgradable memory and storage, and plenty of ports, it's one of the best Chromeboxes available.

Amazon: Acer Chromebox CXI3 ($490)

A powerful, business-class Chromebox

You can save money and buy a Chromebox with low-end specs if you want a small and reliable desktop PC, but you will be limiting yourself to casual use. With the breakneck speed of advancements in Chrome, Google is turning the platform into a true power-user PC and to run all the applications available, you'll need a little more horsepower. That's where something like the Acer Chromebox CXI3 comes in.

With two USB 3.1 ports and a USB Type-C 3.1 port, you 'll be able to connect everything.

Available in several different configurations starting with an Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of memory — that's the low-end model for casual use and one we really don't recommend for anyone — up to an 8th generation Intel Core i7 with 64GB of memory there is a model for everyone.

Our experience with Chrome on the desktop says the Core i3 model with 8GB of memory and 64GB of storage hits the sweet spot at $490. Chrome really shows its teeth with this much power behind it.

No matter which model you're considering, the good news is that both the memory (RAM) and storage drive are user upgradable parts. The Chromebox CXI3 uses standard 204-pin DDR3 SODIMM memory and a 42mm M.2 SSD for storage space. Anyone who knows their way around the inside of a PC can change one or both in just an hour or so.

Plug and play with the option upgrade

But you probably won't need to change any parts. The default configuration will allow you to use Chrome OS and all its extras — like Android apps and packaged Linux applications — without any issues, so you'll not only stay up to date and safe on the web but be able to run your favorite Android games and apps, plus use powerful productivity applications without any fussing about.

Chrome has come a long way since it first appeared in 2009 and so has the hardware it runs on. The Acer Chromebox CXI3 is one of the best Chromeboxes you can buy right now.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

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.