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ASUS Chromebox 3 Revealed: The Mac mini rival we’ve always wanted?

After first announcing the box back at CES, ASUS has fully revealed its latest Chrome OS-powered mini desktop computer known as the Chromebox.

The Mac mini-like Chromebox 3 is notable due to the presence of the 8th-generation Intel Core ‘i’ processors (of which there’s been no word as yet) that are to appear on a host of popular Windows 10 PCs.

It also includes a USB-C port, for the first time, as well as pair of HDMI ports and a DisplayPort connection.

The device offers dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, too, as well as Gigabit LAN. All of that should make 4K video streaming an absolute doddle.

In addition to ChromeOS apps, the box will also be able to run Android apps from the Google Play store, massively increasing the amount of available software, as well as offering a much better offline experience.

Asus Chromebox 3 price

There are several different models of Asus Chromebox 3, each equipped with different hardware and retailing for radically different prices.

Prices start at a reasonable £249.99 for a box that’s packing an Intel Celeron 3865U, 4GB of RAM, and a 32GB M.2 SSD.

Stepping up to £449.99 model gets you an i3-7100U CPU, and 64GB of storage.

The £569.99 Chromebox 3 ups the CPU from an i3 to an i5-8250U, bumps the RAM to 8GB, and increases the total storage to 128GB.

At the top of the range you can expect an Intel Core i7-8550U, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. This would put the Chromebox 3 firmly into decent gaming PC territory, were it not for the lack of a dedicated graphics card and an operating system that will run mobile games at best.

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With specs like these the Chromebox 3 is shaping up to be a nice little machine for light productivity work, as well as being a decent media streaming machine.

The launch of the Chromebox 3 comes as Apple fans continue to hope for a new version of the cult favourite Mac mini.

Back in October, an email allegedly sent to a user saw Apple CEO Tim Cook pledge the diminutive desktop was still “an important part of our product line going forward.” At the time, Cook reportedly said it wasn’t the right time to share more details.

Would you consider the Chromebox 3 as a handy desktop companion? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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