Chromeboxes, like other Chrome OS devices, primarily support a single application, a browser, thereby relying heavily on an Internet connection for software functionality and data storage. That connection, via a local area network, can be wireless or through an Ethernet port.
In February 2014, Google bundled an Asus Chromebox with a business video conferencing package, 1080p high definition camera module, external microphone/speaker and remote control. The system retailed for $999 plus a $250 annual management fee, waived the first year—a cost thousands of dollars less than other unified videoconferencing systems, including those from Cisco and Polycom. The Chromebox system employed a Google Hangouts-like interface for up to 15 participants, a dedicated URL for sharing screens, and management accounts for scheduling meetings.
In March 2014, Asus established a new price at the low-end of the Chromebox market with a compact, 1.32 pound model that retailed at $179 and featured a Celeron CPU and four USB 3.0 ports.Yahoo Tech columnist David Pogue called the Asus device among the smallest, "least-expensive desktop computers ever sold", likening it to a Smart car. "You won’t be hauling lumber from Home Depot in it, but it’s a terrific deal—and most days, it’ll get you where you want to go." In May, Asus released a faster model with an Intel Core i3 processor.Hewlett-Packard entered the market in June with a Chromebox powered by an Intel Celeron processor, optionally bundling a keyboard and mouse. In August, Acer introduced two models that could stand vertically and provided some business-oriented features, including encryption and fast deletion of local data. In September, Dell entered the market with an entry-level machine, as well as Dell's implementation of the Google video conferencing system.