back to article Review: Samsung Chromebox

Moan, moan, moan: that’s how I suspected this review would come across as I pondered on my initial impressions of Samsung’s Chromebox – its Mac Mini-styled desktop computer that runs Google’s Chrome OS. You know, the online operating system that turns your computer into paperweight when there’s no internet connection. And then I …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No device that needs 100% Internet, 100% of the time is ever going to work unless you have pre-loaded front end apps that can support Internet outages in the short term.

    As a writer I use Google Docs to do a lot of work on the road. When Google is not available all I have on my PC is a 1K shortcut to my doc which does nothing for me.

    Put it on the cloud, that is fine, but give me a copy to play with.

    1. LarsG
      Facepalm

      Why

      Why were you so generous in giving this paperweight 45%?

      1. Silverburn

        Re: Why - @ LarsG

        For once I actually agree with Lars...this thing is indeed a paperweight. And the thing with the splash screen arrows pointing to nowhere? This smacks of poor testing, and poor design.Which doesn't bode well for the rest of it...and indeed it was proven to be so.

        My opinion: Avoid. 300 quid is better spent elsewhere.

    2. emmanuel goldstein

      kind of get where they are coming from

      ubiquitous wireless internet is not far off.

      won't be rushing to buy on the strength of the review, however. I don't understand why this thing exists.

    3. Mike Campbell 1

      Google have some Offline capability

      It is possible to view Documents & Calendar offline. Fairly sure I edited a Calendar offline when I was toying with this stuff. Some of this is still in Beta & clearly it's a moving target. Adding USB Drives etc to a Chromebox/Chromebook must give additional offline capability. Anyway these are all things I'll be trying once I get a Chromebox.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was Chrome, as an OS still born?

    I'm increasingly not seeing the point Chrome when I can buy a Windows device that does more the money. OTOH, as a desktop/Netbook play, I could see Android (with full Chrome browser experience) succeeding where Chrome is clearly failing.

    Good review BTW; it's about time a reviewer took Chrome by the balls.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Was Chrome, as an OS still born?

      You can buy computers built around Android for $50. Built around an Allwinner A10 and usually packing 512MB-1GB RAM and 2-8GB+ of storage they'd be perfectly adequate for browsing and multimedia playback.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Was Chrome, as an OS still born?

        "You can buy computers built around Android for $50. Built around an Allwinner A10 and usually packing 512MB-1GB RAM and 2-8GB+ of storage they'd be perfectly adequate for browsing and multimedia playback."

        Go on then give me some links as I've been after such a device for a while

        1. Code Monkey
          Facepalm

          Re: Was Chrome, as an OS still born?

          "Go on then give me some links as I've been after such a device for a while"

          https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Allwinner+A10

        2. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: Was Chrome, as an OS still born?

          Ebay is filled with items like this:

          http://www.ebay.com/itm/1G-MK802-Mini-PC-android4-0-Google-Tv-smart-Android-4-0-Box-allwinner-A10-Model-/271011214241?pt=US_Internet_Media_Streamers&hash=item3f1986f3a1

          Bid at the low end and eventually you'll get one, or buy direct from Alibaba.com

          You'd probably have to buy a usb hub and wifi dongle to use it (and mouse + keyboard) but then you have a perfectly adequate web browser.

          1. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Re: Was Chrome, as an OS still born?

            Yes. There's nothing like a product only being available on Ebay to inspire confidence.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Was Chrome, as an OS still born?

              No intention to defend this Google-badged PoS, but...

              "Yes. There's nothing like a product only being available on Ebay to inspire confidence."

              Yeah, the confidence you get from support you get when you buy from the usual big names is *sooo* much better. Or maybe not.

              The idea of "support" from Google is even more ridiculous than the idea of support from Redmond's earthly representatives, or PC World, or Carphone Warehouse.

              And has someone forgotten that Windows out of the box hasn't played DVDs for most of its life, for example, and has needed a 3rd party DVD player adding, and will do so again in Windows 8 for those whose system builders haven't added a DVD player before it left the shop (which is what usually happened with XP and previous)?

              The low cost alternative doesn't have to be eBay or AliBaba. Those in the UK might like to look at eBuyer for the current incarnation of the Sumvision Cyclone Astro+, a moderately decent ARM/Android box for £80, for example. Obviously not x86 based, of course, and not *much* support (mine won't even run TuneIn Radio out of the box) , but in comparison with this Samsung box...

              http://www.sumvision.com.cn/productinfo/cyclonetablet/cyclonetablet_astro.asp

              http://www.ebuyer.com/341447-sumvision-cyclone-astro-tablet-pc-sumv-astrocyctab

              Or, as others said already, Raspberry Pi (or similar but less hiptrendy ARM alternatives, or whatever follows Raspberry Pi).

              Who needs x86 in a box like this? Weird choice, and not in a good way.

              1. streaky Silver badge
                Big Brother

                Re: Was Chrome, as an OS still born?

                Windows has played DVDs since the dawn of time, the need for an optical drive is not the same as the issue with this device which is that it seemingly doesn't have the software to decrypt commercial DVDs, which the writer was talking about.

                Also yes there are android based computers *everywhere* (check amazon) that are designed as media players that are probably more functional as a PC than this thing.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder where these will end up?

    Bargain bin or landfill?

  4. Charles Calthrop

    when my raspberry pi comes

    I'll have a better computer, in an altoids tin than this for 65 odd quid.

    Better in that I own it, and can do what I like with it

    Better in that I can work offline

    Better in that raspberry pi dot com is not sluriping up everything I do and subjecting my life to an algorithm that then tries to sell me pole dancing lessons (as my gmail just did)

    1. Alex Walsh

      Re: when my raspberry pi comes

      The Pi doesn't fit in an Altoids tin though.

      1. Charles Calthrop

        Re: when my raspberry pi comes

        http://www.bendobson.co.uk/snaps/raspberry_altoids.jpg

        warning large image

        1. andy gibson
          Happy

          @ Charles Calthorp - Re: when my raspberry pi comes

          That Pi fits into that tin as much as this girl fits into these shorts: http://momgrind.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/muffintop.JPG

        2. Aaron Em

          Re: when my raspberry pi comes

          That is one ugly piece of work.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: when my raspberry pi comes

      If you're like me you'll find that when your Raspberry Pi arrives you'll have no such thing.

      RAM is really not enough for a graphical environment, it chokes with just a web browser, and non-accelerated X sucks the will to do anything with it. Great on text console though, so you can always use Emacs/Vi (no preference) and LaTeX.

      But yeah don't buy this garbage. At this price it doesn't even make sense to hack it.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: when my raspberry pi comes

      You can do a lot better than the Raspberry Pi for 65 pounds. Type "android tv box" into Alibaba.com or Ebay.com and see the amount of Android based devices your money could buy. Most of these are built around the Allwinner A10 so they are hackable, and the CPU / RAM is more powerful than the Pi. They also sell with the case, remote and PSU.

      Where the Pi has the advantage is it's a single platform which has gained a lot of interest from hobbyists. It means it might attract a critical mass of development which might permit XMBC or similar to work quite well as a dedicated media player. There are DLNA players for android and VLC like media players but I doubt the experience is quite so seamless.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No you won't.

      You'll have a far cheaper but far far less capable computer with the Pi. It might have a more useful OS installed on it if you do it right though. The Samsung hardware is quite neat, a little overpriced perhaps but it's just a generic nettop really.

      The Pi does suck as a desktop, sure it's good for <£30 but performance is terrible. I've got one, I don't use it with a GUI.

      1. Synonymous Howard

        Re: No you won't.

        That's odd .. try sticking XBMC on it [ http://www.raspbmc.com/ ] and then come back and say performance is terrible [ hint: it is really rather slick for £30 ].

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No you won't.

          Nothing odd about it. XBMC doesn't use X11, it talks to the GPU directly. The slowness is all in the X11-based desktop environment.

          Great if you want a media player (that was the original purpose of the hardware), but it's not suitable for desktop use.

          1. Synonymous Howard

            Re: No you won't.

            I know that and that's exactly my point .. its not the hardware that is at fault its the *current* lack of an accelerated X server. The point is this £30 piece of kit has a lot of potential ... e.g.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fy63w6WxOw

            http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=4649

            So I suspect it will just be a matter of time (and OSS effort 8-) and considering the >300,000 Pi orders, worth it, to get a faster X server running. I'd certainly be interested in helping out with the effort where possible as I have 3 Pi's humming away here and I did a fair amount of work on X11 back in the 90's R2 R3 and R4 days.

    5. Nick Pettefar

      Re: when my raspberry pi comes

      I have two of these wonderful RasPi beasties but neither of them will fit in an Altoids tin and the lack of VGA monitor output is just insane.

      The Samsung thingy looks great and I am sure will work wonderfully when used as a normal computer.

  5. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Huh

    I really don't understand why they continue to peddle this shite.

    Bin it and if they really must dabble in PC OSes do it with Android.

  6. Peter Townsend
    FAIL

    much, much, MUCH too expensive

    for £150 I'd have one of these (I've actually had a decent amount of hands-on with one). But at £280? Not a bloody hope. Same problem with the Chromebooks - at least twice the price they should be.

    1. windywoo

      Re: much, much, MUCH too expensive

      Aren't you the tight fisted twat? A basic nettop starts at about £190 without an OS. £280 may be a little steep, but this is more powerful in hardware than an average nettop and has better design.

      The reviewer is guilty of this too. That desktop he quoted doesn't have an SSD, and is in a standard desktop box.

      The device has its flaws but you are stingy bastards if you think the price is one of them.

      1. M Gale

        Re: much, much, MUCH too expensive

        I wouldn't call him too tight fisted. This is a cloudy OS, where everything you do and everything you type is more than likely being keylogged and mined for all it is worth by the world's largest ad company. It's a paperweight if, like me, you have an Internet connection that comes from a phone and isn't there when the phone isn't.

        If anything, £190 is over the top. I'll have one if it's free and Google pay me to use Chrome OS, but not otherwise.

  7. Paul Hayes 1

    If it was £100 then I could see why some people might want one of these. As it is, you are paying more money for a system that will only run limited software and is almost useless with no internet connection. I just don't get who these things are aimed at.

    Charles Calthrop - sorry but you are going to be very disappointed. Desktop environments on the Pi are currently /very/ slow to the point of being unusable in my opinion. The device is great for command-line programming but until someone writes a GPU accelerated driver for X it's not usable as a desktop PC for things like web browsing. But then that's also not really what it's designed for. To put things in perspective, the 700MHz ARM11 CPU it uses is roughly the same real speed as a Pentium II 300MHz so no where near the performance of that 1.9GHz Celeron.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Pi IDE

      I am a bit surprised that Pi can't do an IDE. It may be far below modern standards (I assumed it would be on par with a PIII 700 rather than a PII 300 but either way), but it was not so very long ago we were using 300MHz PII with 256Mb RAM as desktop PCs - I worked with Visual C++ 6, Borland JBuilder and MS Office on such PCs as did everyone else, probably only a decade ago. And those PCs had nothing in the way of GPU acceleration at all.

      And with Linux being so much faster than Windows (semi serious Linux barb) that should make it usable as a low-power PC. If not why not?

      1. asdf Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Pi IDE

        >And with Linux being so much faster than Windows (semi serious Linux barb) that should make it usable as a low-power PC. If not why not?

        Sarcasm aside maybe in low memory environments compared to modern windows linux is faster but in general about the only thing Windows can still claim over linux is a desktop speed advantage. It amazed me how much more output BOINC based science apps would do on windows compared to linux. Granted a lot more compiler optimization work has gone into windows due to large market share and most shops would spend most of their time optimizing the windows client because %90+ of users would run those but it was still on the order of at least %25 to %50. Plus one can look no further than gaming as well. Granted this is my experience from a few years ago and linux was catching up but still.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pi IDE

        > And those PCs had nothing in the way of GPU acceleration at all.

        That's not exactly true. PCs have had "GPU" acceleration for a very long time. I remember buying an S3 Virge around 1995 which had 2D and even sort of 3D acceleration too.

        The Tseng Labs ET4000 used ever since the 486 was also quite a screamer back then, offloading many of the Windows GDI operations (and later for X too) to it's 2D acceleration hardware.

        However currently the Pi doesn't even offer this, so it's really slow. It also doesn't offer the full 256MB of RAM since some (depending on resolution) is used as graphics memory.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Pi IDE

          To speed up your Raspi, run the latest Debian version Wheezy, or the Raspbian Hard float version which makes everything a LOT faster. And you can usually overclock to 1GHz with no ill effects. Should get you between 30 and 70% faster overall. It's still early days for the Raspi, and a lot of great work is already being done.

  8. DrXym Silver badge

    Wait for the lawsuit

    What's up with Samsung and ripping off Apple designs? There are a multitude of shapes their devices could take, so it's mysterious how often they come to resemble rival companies' designs.

    As for chrome OS, Google ffs just dump this thing and fold the best things into Android.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait for the lawsuit

      Indeed, look at the circular access port? under the Samsung, Apple's Mac Mini had that a long time before.

      Why can't Samsung style their own products in their own style?

  9. 0laf Silver badge
    FAIL

    the point?

    I just don't see the point oft his now. Rasberry Pi maybe doesn't have the performance to do what this proposes to do but Pi2 and the Chinese / Taiwanese Pi copies will and for a lot less money. and they'll work when BT cuts you off unexpectedly.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 11:33

    You can use Google Docs offline: http://support.google.com/docs/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1628467

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get A Cheap Chinese Android Box

    You can get a Chinese Android box for a lot less than this and it is going to give you just the same functionality.

    Dear oh dear Google what are you thinking ?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DisplayPort

    Will someone kick the PC makers and tell them to stop this nonsense and fit HDMI ports instead.

    Not that it matters on this, I can't see anyone buying one anyway.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: DisplayPort

      It's a desktop machine not a media centre?

    2. NumptyScrub

      Re: DisplayPort -> HDMI

      quote: "Will someone kick the PC makers and tell them to stop this nonsense and fit HDMI ports instead.

      Not that it matters on this, I can't see anyone buying one anyway."

      DisplayPort is effectively a dialect of HDMI, so you just need a (passive) physical DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. So 2 Displayports = 2 HDMI with the caveat that you'll need to spend a little money buying the adapters, e.g.

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/DisplayPort-HDMI-Adapter-DP-Male/dp/B0027HYK7S

      Expect to pay under a tenner each (some are near the 5 quid mark) so an extra £10-15 should give you 2xHDMI connectivity.

      Also bear in mind that DVI-D is also effectively a dialect of HDMI, and you can also buy passive DVI -> HDMI adapters for a similar sum (£5-10 depending on where you shop). ~£20 should get you 3 HDMI outputs from that box, should you somehow have a use for 3 HDMI outputs :)

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Wanda Lust
    FAIL

    Looks like....

    an Acer Revo.

    For casual, non techie users, I've set a few Acer Revos up among the usual friends & family cohort one gets the "help!" calls from. With Ubuntu installed, the phone certainly rings less often.

    The Linux variant of the Revo is usually less than £200 (& it has HDMI).

    I think Google & Samsung are onto a loser here. The review is clear, the thing isn't going to do what even the mst casual user expects.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Looks like....

      Agreed. Revo plus Ubuntu = great platform for browsing, email and docs. And so cheap. My AP has one bolted to the back of his monitor and support calls are very thin on the ground.

  15. spegru
    Stop

    Buy a Zotac Zbox

    and put Linux Mint on it

  16. Piro

    329 quid, what?

    That's all I needed to know. That's insane.

    What's the point at that price?

  17. Nick De Plume

    Could have been a slick XBMC machine

    Going by the looks only, of course. Add an HDMI port, replace the intel part with AMD - and you've got the perfect HTPC..

    1. Blitterbug
      Meh

      Re: replace the intel part with AMD ...

      You had me up until that rather inane statement.

      FTR I used to be a rabid AMD fanboy back in the days of the K6, etc, when they totally kicked Intel's butt - but >every< AMD-powered machine I have worked on for the past six years or so has struggled badly in comparison with similarly-specced Intel jobbies, to the point where I sadly have had to stop recommending AMD as a platform to clients.

      CPUs aren't a religion; they are a means to an end.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: replace the intel part with AMD ...

        The CPU is not the important part in an HTPC. The GPU is where it's at and Intel GPUs are crap.

        1. Blitterbug
          Meh

          Re: The GPU is where it's at and Intel GPUs are crap

          Yes. Intel GPUs are nasty in comparison with AMD's embedded ATI functionality, but this is only true of 3D accelerated graphics. HTPCs, by definition, are mainly used for audio / video playback applications, and all Intel CPUs (as of HD3000) handle blu-ray and other 1080p content perfectly.

          Your argument is therefore nonsensical, as no one uses an HTPC for gaming, unless they are on a massive budget or just very uninformed, and this is the only area where AMD wins.

          1. Blitterbug
            Unhappy

            Re: The GPU is where it's at and Intel GPUs are crap

            Duh - massively >low< budget, I meant...

          2. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Re: The GPU is where it's at and Intel GPUs are crap

            > and all Intel CPUs (as of HD3000) handle blu-ray and other 1080p content perfectly.

            I've heard empty promises like that before. It's like the year of Desktop Linux.

            So my argument is hardly nonsensical.

            Some of us actually use this stuff rather than just talk about it.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    More Google innovation

    Force users on to Chrome, charge the same as regular machine.

    They've started going after Opera users already: http://www.ghacks.net/2012/07/05/google-annoys-opera-users-with-incompatibility-warnings/

    Can't have other browsers around, can we.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where a device like this could come in

    Is where ISP's could supply one as part of a package. The ISP doesn't care about how it works off line.

    So some punter wants this interwebby thing. ISP can offer the connection and a device to use on connection. Said device will be supported by ISP. Hey it plugs in and works. Can browse the interwebby and can read email. Maybe can tie into the ISP so doesn't work if leave. Not much to go wrong, if it breaks maybe send a remote reset and if still fails swap it out. Not much stored locally so don't need to wipe and customer doesn't loose important pictures and the like.

    All this may take some special set up and the price needs to be a lot lower.

  20. h4rm0ny

    Hmmmm

    I think there is market space for a device like this - self-contained, application focused. And Linux is perfect for this: you want something easily customized to the application space you want, robust and low-cost. And Linux runs on hardware both great and small. So this looks like it's in the right direction.

    But I have a few reservations. It's a wee bit expensive. Okay, the Mac Mini is a couple of hundred more, but it's massively preferable to this if you're the sort of person who has the money available. If you're not the sort of person who has such money, then a mini-PC is a bit of a luxury anyway. You'd be better off just buying a cheap PC in the first place as pretty much everyone is familiar with such an environment.

    Also, whilst I'm not really very familiar with Chrome OS, just looking at that Desktop seems weird. If the entire environment is accessed through the browser, then why on Earth make the browser a normal window floating on a Desktop? Why not make it a permanent full-screen affair and have tabs implemented in a way more similar to switching between applications like on Windows, KDE or Gnome? Why even have those icons in the bottom left? Just have a web-interface to the system settings and have a standard means of taking you back to that page when needed. It seems like a lot more thought could go into usability for this.

    As regards the review, I'd be interested to know if the reviewer actually ever solved their problems. That helps us know if the situation was just them making a trivial mistake (which we all do, but shouldn't be held against something in a review) or if it is really deep-routed bad design or bugs.

    Anyway, I'm sure we'll see better iterations of this, and probably cheaper versions in the future too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmmm

      It was full screen before, but Google changed it in a later version. My guess is they needed to for drag&drop.

      Linux may be great for this, but not when exclusively locked to Chrome. That's why Google has Android.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Hmmmm

        ""It was full screen before, but Google changed it in a later version. My guess is they needed to for drag&drop."

        Huh. I never even thought of that. How *do* you drag and drop files in ChromeOS?

        "Linux may be great for this, but not when exclusively locked to Chrome. That's why Google has Android."

        I'd probably whack KDE on there but I doubt it would be suitable for something like this. Really this is designed to be just a browsing and media device isn't it? That just screams for a cut down, more focused environment. I'm not sure Chrome OS is it from what I've seen, but I don't think full Linux + KDE / Gnome would be either. The original Apple Mac Mini interface (the last time I used one was the first one, so I don't know what it's like now) or the upcoming WindowsRT are probably better suited. But then you're moving up into more expensive set ups anyway. Someone should make a really focused Linux DE - browsing and media and apps only. Hmmm. So why doesn't this run Android again?

        1. nematoad Silver badge

          Re: Hmmmm

          "I'd probably whack KDE on there".

          Given that the specs are a little light I would have thought that a lighter desktop would be preferable. Something like XFCE or LXDE should fit.

          "Someone should make a really focused Linux DE - browsing and media and apps only"

          I don't know of one off the top of my head but I'm pretty sure that a look on Distrowatch.com might point you in the right direction. They list 722 distros of which 320 are considered live so there's a good chance that someone has already done the work on such a kiosk-like distribution.

  21. Gordon Fecyk
    Windows

    I already have a virus-free up-to-date OS

    [...]and having a virus-free up-to-date OS has its appeal[...]

    I have one of these already. I call it "Windows 7." Chrome OS on that box feels like Windows 95, with about the same level of security.

    As for no HDMI, there are plenty of DVI to HDMI adapters available. A lack of audio from that adapter would be my biggest gripe.

    1. windywoo

      Re: I already have a virus-free up-to-date OS

      Really?

      I like Windows 7 as much as the next man but calling it virus free is worse than a Mac fanboi saying his platform is virus free.

      Chrome OS has Linux at its core, and I believe the apps run in sandboxed web browser processes. You really shouldn't bother with computers if you think that's the same level of security as Windows 95.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I already have a virus-free up-to-date OS

        I had to laugh. What does "Linux at its core" mean in the context of viruses. Are you claiming Linux is virus free? Look at Android, which has Linux at its core. Android not pure Linux enough? Look here instead.

        Sandboxing? Haha. If this has WebGL and NaCl we'll see how far that goes. Google already paid $410,000 in Chrome bug bounties, so it's far, far from being bug free.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: I already have a virus-free up-to-date OS

          Android has some Trojans. Compared to Windows, that's still pretty virus free.

          The key here is always what's your viral infection vector if any? It's not the virus, it's the gaping security hole that it sneaks through.

          1. Gordon Fecyk
            Paris Hilton

            That's like being 'half pregnant.'

            Android has some Trojans. Compared to Windows, that's still pretty virus free.

            "some trojans" != "virus free." And Paris, well... I won't say it. Too easy.

      2. Gordon Fecyk
        Go

        Well I do have an OS, it is up to date, and it's virus-free.

        It just happens to be Windows 7. And I happen to know how to keep viruses off before the fact.

        If Android is any indication of Google's security approach (security is all-or-nothing for apps) I'm not holding out any hope for Chrome OS.

  22. Number6

    Too much!

    If it was closer to £100 I'd consider getting one and flicking that switch so I could install Linux instead. As it is, I don't need something costing £280 for that, plenty of cheaper options.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Too much!

      Be patient. Before long you will likely be able to buy a pallet-load for that price.

  23. Smartypantz
    FAIL

    N F W

    The day i will be"signing in" to any of the giant data-parasites (i. e. google et. al) to use my computer, will be the day there will be two cold sundays on a week in hell!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Behold!! This is the real Google quality!

    This is the real quality of Google programmers ad engineers in broad daylight. Not when they have bought out and stolen an hobbled technology together (Android OS) but when they have to do all the ground work themselves (Chrome OS). Let's just be thankful that as custodians of Android they can get away with hiding their substandard skills from the general public!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Behold!! This is the real Google quality!

      What do you mean by "do all the ground work themselves" for Chrome OS? They haven't done much by themselves:

      *> Ripped a Debian Linux distro

      *> Locked it up so it's entrails didn't pop up very often (but apparently haven't done a great job)

      *> Added Chrome, where Chrome is: the V8 engine (using copied Java Hotspot tech they got by nicking Lars Bak), Webkit and some process isolation tech they might also have copied from elsewhere.

      Actually V8 is so close to Hotspot you can actually use the Sun Java Hotspot c1visualizer tool to run on traces produced by the V8 engine! How's that for copying...

      and bang there's your Chrome OS.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erm, if I were to buy one of these it would be for use as a web browser when plugged into my telly. How does it perform as a web browser? I have no fucking idea because it isn't mentioned in the review. The most important use for the box and it isn't mentioned. Now that's what I call a major review fail. I don't give a shit if it's hard to print from. Why would I want to? Get a grip.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Far cheaper ways of getting the web on your telly, mate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not the point, is it?

  26. Andrew Garrard

    Dragging to external devices

    For what it's worth, I don't really know *what* to expect when it comes to dragging files around. I established in the 90s that Windows had different behaviour depending on the source and destination location, decided that this was one of Microsoft's usability nightmares (I have USB drives that don't behave like removable devices and systems that come up with their drives in a different order; worrying about the default behaviour is the last thing I want), and I've been right-mouse dragging files (and selecting copy or move from the menu) ever since. Oh, and occasionally I use Ctrl-X/Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V. But then I was brought up on Acorn systems, which let you choose whether you wanted a copy or move by which mouse button you were doing it with, so trying to second-guess based on the device type was never a problem.

    Not that this makes the Chromebox any more usable from the sounds of it, but "not like Windows" doesn't mean "broken". That statement is really quite often true.

  27. Mike Campbell 1
    Meh

    Repeating myself, repeating myself.........

    >>For those with a genuine interest in Chrome OS there are two excellent eBooks via Amazon Kindle Store:

    - My Google Chromebook by Michael Miller (he has many IT Books)

    - The Chrome Book by C.H.Rome (this is really Tony Loton who also has a good book on ePublishing)

    Some good stuff in both books.<<

    Above posted 29/06/12

    These guys have used the earlier Chrome devices & go into considerable detail.

    Worth £14.

    I'll be getting a Chromebox just for the hell of it.

    I see them in use as additional family devices, reception areas, libraries, airports, internet cafes etc.

    Definitely concur with Tony Loton's remarks in the opening pages of The Chrome Book.

    Sick & tired of fixing other people's PCs.

  28. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    As expected

    Sadly, this is as expected.

    Basics such as moving instead of copying are going to ruin the user's experience and show the self centred approach of some people.

    1. Andrew Garrard

      Re: As expected

      Absolutely. I wonder why Microsoft decided to do it.

  29. Sproggit
    Trollface

    And The Target Was?

    Lots of interesting comments already made and I agree with the assessments of the review and comments that question the point of this product. Maybe we all got it wrong by considering it to be aimed at consumers? Suppose it was aimed at Apple instead - a device that was intended to try and compete with the latest incarnation of the Mac Mini, but one which was critically compromised by the choice of OS, limited thanks to Samsung's partnership with Googe over Android?

    As others have posted, there is no shortage of viable (and much better) alternatives out there.

    Quite a few people mention the Acer Revo PC. I had one of these, but just replaced mine with the Shuttle X35. The advantages of the latter are:

    Faster Processor

    Completely silent fanless design

    More powerful on-board graphics extends display capability to 1920x1200 pixels

    Add an SSD and you've got a seriously quick, fully featured machine capable of stand-alone operation.

    I partnered mine with Ubuntu 12.04 (works fine with Mint, too) and I get accelerated graphics courtesy of an Intel driver, snappy response and ultra-low power consumption.

    Yes, I must concede that it costs more than the Samsung - especially if you opt for a decent SSD - but it's so worth it.

    This Samsung mess has just got to be prompted by the desire to poke Apple in the eye, as opposed to real consumer demand...

  30. Lallabalalla
    Thumb Down

    What a pile of crap

    That is all.

  31. mr.goose
    Thumb Up

    Alternatively...

    For fifty quid less than the reviewed Samsung's RRP, you could have one of these little cuties, with a similar footprint, OS-free from Novatech in Portsmouth and put (K)Ubuntu (or Win XP or pretty much whatever you like) on it.

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/pc/range/nboxhd.html

    Like any super-small PC, there are compromises. But all-in-all it's a pretty useful little box, IMHO. It has 500GB HD, 4GB RAM, dual core AMD processor, HDMI c/w full 1080p video. And you're not condemned to working around a crap, still-born OS that ties you to the internet.

  32. Christopher Rogers
    FAIL

    Rubbish

    Bin fodder. Google should stick to android.

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