The netbook revolution was, at the time of it inception, an all-Linux affair, with there being plenty of talk of Linux finally emerging as a serious alternative to Windows in the eyes of mainstream PC users. However, all such talk quickly disappeared when the first Windows-running devices invaded the segment and made it their own in no time at all. Tablets may have derailed the netbook bandwagon, but Linux has managed to claw its way back into contention in the laptop segment with Google Chromebooks. Now, if the search engine giant has its way, its Linux-based cloud OS could end up replicating that same success in the desktop category as well.
Google hopes do this with inexpensive Chrome OS -based PCs like the upcoming Chromebox CXI, which has a starting price of just $179.99. The base model packs a 1.4GHz Intel Celeron 2957U processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, and an SD card slot with support for up to 32GB external storage. For an additional $40, you will be able to get one with double the RAM.
When the diminutive CXI (165x130x33mm) goes on sale in the U.S. and Canada sometime next month, it will be the first device of its kind from Acer’s stable. It will join a handful of similar offerings from the likes of Asus, Samsung and HP.