Asus Chromebox M031U evaluation

Asus Chromebox M031U review

Asus Chromebox review

The Chromebook has established Google’s Chrome OS as a good participant throughout the laptop computer pc market, nonetheless now it’s creeping into the desktop home as correctly. Samsung didn’t make quite a lot of a mark with its first- and second-generation Chromebox gadgets, and has since flounced out of the Chromebook and laptop computer pc enterprise totally in Europe, nonetheless others are undeterred: HP and LG have revealed new desktop fashions, and now Asus has joined the fray with the Chromebox M031U.

Asus Chromebox review

Asus Chromebox M031U evaluation: design

The Chromebox M031U itself is a compact little subject, outwardly identical to an Intel NUC, measuring roughly 5in alongside all sides and standing merely decrease than 2in extreme. It’s no Apple Mac mini, but it surely absolutely’s solidly constructed and actually considerably partaking – the combination of textured black plastics and rounded edges look very wise for a £205 gadget. Higher of all, it’s near-silent aside from a few moments when the followers spin up as a result of it wakes from sleep.

There’s an affect button on the front-left nook, with two USB 3 ports merely to the right. On the left-hand facet there’s an SD card reader and a Kensington lock, whereas the rear holds one different two USB 3 ports, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, a headphone socket and a Gigabit Ethernet port. That ultimate port is a very sensible addition, in our view: for a conveyable computer, wi-fi networking is a foregone conclusion (the Chromebox has dual-band 802.11n as commonplace), nonetheless a faster and further sturdy wired connection makes additional sense for a desktop system, notably one aiming to attraction to corporations and schools.

Asus Chromebox review

Asus Chromebox M031U evaluation: specification & effectivity

Predictably, the Chromebox presents effectivity identical to a each day Chromebook. There are pricier Core i3 and Core i7 fashions obtainable, nonetheless our evaluation model bought right here outfitted with a 1.4GHz Intel Celeron 2955U CPU, 4GB of RAM and a tiny 16GB SSD.

That’s not as disappointing as a result of it sounds, though. The Celeron CPU is a dual-core half based on Intel’s Haswell construction, so surprisingly potent for a low-end CPU, and the small portions of inside storage aren’t a large issue given the plentiful number of USB 3 ports and Chrome OS’ give consideration to cloud-based storage.

Unsurprisingly, the Chromebox M031U turned in comparable outcomes to the similarly specified Toshiba and Dell Chromebooks we’ve seen. The Asus scored an honest 2,990 in Futuremark’s HTML5 Peacekeeper browser benchmark, and adopted this up with score of three,156 in Rightware’s Browsermark. Graphics effectivity is respectable, too, and in AlteredQualia’s WebGL Cubes browser-based check out the Asus averaged a straightforward 31fps. In numerous days of use, the Chromebox coped with every job we threw at it, from phrase processing to HD video streaming, spreadsheets to modifying pictures, with none noticeable hiccups or slowdowns.

Asus Chromebox review

We’ll moreover report that Chrome OS works surprisingly correctly as a desktop OS. Since you’ll take connectivity nearly with no consideration whilst you’re sat at a desk, a great deal of our factors with the OS soften away. Printing by the use of Google Cloud Print works utterly correctly, and Chrome OS thrives on a large show, making it easy to keep up numerous apps and residential home windows open and work between them – actually, with an odd PC keyboard, a mouse and a 24in present, it’s less complicated to get extreme work carried out than it is on a each day Chromebook. A Chromebox moreover makes a helpful little media participant, with apps for Google Play Movement photos and Netflix, and the flexibleness to play completely something that will stream all through the web.

Truly, for individuals who determine the right apps and alter your workflow, you may in a short while stop missing your Residence home windows PC. We solely felt the need to alter once more as soon as we ran all through one factor involving PivotTables or Macros in Excel, or wished to carry out superior image-editing in Photoshop Lightroom.

Asus Chromebox M031U evaluation: verdict

Asus Chromebox review

We’re undecided of the aim of the pricier Core i3 and Core i7 packages – with the Core i7-4600U model bumping the worth as a lot as spherical £599, the Asus Chromebox finds itself going head-to-head with Mac mini and Intel NUC systems that will do a complete lot additional. Set your sights on the additional sensible Celeron-powered model proper right here, though, and there’s loads to like – for lots of homes and small corporations, an reasonably priced, low-cost Chromebox might be all the desktop PC you need.


Assure 1 yr return to base

Basic specs

RAM functionality 4.00GB


CPU family Intel Celeron
CPU nominal frequency 1.40GHz


Wired adapter tempo 1,000Mbits/sec


Memory kind DDR3

Graphics card

HDMI outputs 1
DisplayPort outputs 1

Laborious disk

Functionality 16GB


Dimensions 124 x 124 x 42mm (WDH)

Rear ports

3.5mm audio jacks 1

Entrance ports

Entrance panel USB ports 2
Entrance panel memory card reader positive

Working system and software program program

OS family Chrome OS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Press ESC to close