Chromebook laptops have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in the education space. And while a compact size is a main selling point for many models, the newest Chrome device from Lenovo takes portability to a whole new — well, smaller — level.
Announced today, the Chromebox Micro is just what the name implies — it’s a mini-computer about the size of a cell phone. Weighing in at only a pound, it doesn’t have a screen, and relies on HDMI output for display.
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Part streaming stick, part PC, Lenovo calls the Chromebox Micro “the most compact, affordable Chromebox yet.” It’s technically designed for kiosks, digital signage, and store displays. But with the ability to stream 4K video and share web-based content, it could certainly function as a mini-PC and it would work with any HDMI display.
The Micro is dust-proof, with no built-in fan. It has 8GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and it’s powered by an Intel Celeron N4500 CPU. And given its size, it has a surprising number of ports. There are two USB-C ports, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, two full-sized USB ports, plus a headphone jack. If you’re interested in mounting the computer, there are screw holes to make that easier.
The device can be controlled remotely, and with the ChromeOS Kiosk and Digital Signage Upgrade, multiple units can be managed at the same time. It can actually power two 4K displays on its own, but 15.6-inch and 21.5-inch displays with a built-in cavity to hold the Micro and still access all its ports are in the works.
It’s worth noting that the Chromebit from Asus, released back in 2015, is technically smaller. But the Chromebox Micro carries a little more functionality.
Lenovo’s Chromebox Micro should be available in the first quarter of next year, and it will carry a price tag of $219. Since it’s intended for businesses, there is a chance the average consumer won’t even be able to purchase one. But it’s a pretty interesting purchase should they become available.