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 that also included a 1080p high definition camera module, external microphone/speaker and a remote control. The package 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 entered the Chromebox market at the low end with a compact, 1.32 pound model retailing at $179, featuring a Celeron CPU and two 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 intends to enter the market in the spring of 2014 with a 5-inch square Chromebox in black, white or teal, powered by an Intel Core i7 processor.