Technology is moving at a faster pace than what we once thought. Technology now has an answer to every possible question and a solution to every customer need or problem. The recent trend in the gadgets sphere has pertained to a few particular devices. These popular devices enable customers to access streaming video services and Netflix on big television screens. They have managed to capture the attention of customers but there are various limitations in this regard.
Just to highlight an example, the Chrome cast from Google, Roku and Apple TV were not compatible with the Olympics apps released by NBC. Subscribers to Chrome cast were able to use only Apple TV with HBO Go while Roku still remained out of bounds. This was the exact reverse for customers of Charter. Alongside, customers have to purchase a Hulu subscription worth around $8 a month for viewing free content via desktop computers. Alongside, internet content providers are anxious and reluctant to provide mainstream video streaming experience in the mould of televisions as that would eat into traditional advertising revenue and other sales garnered from television channels. Yet, there is a solution that can work around these limitations and provide good solutions to customers. This is none other than the Chromebox which is already creating ripples in tech circles.
The Chromebox has been made available from the 28th of March by its manufacturers, AsusTek Computer Inc. The starting price for this revolutionary device will be approximately $179. Alongside, there will also be a special variant which makes use of a processor that is comparatively faster and supports ultra-high definition video quality which is also tagged as 4K in the gadget lexicon. Alongside, this variant model will also contain a wireless mouse and keyboard as well. The package is otherwise sold alternately for a sum of fifty dollars. The Chromebox is not really a mere streaming device. It is a desktop computer which also runs the Chrome OS from Google and comes with various features of its own.
The Chromebox can be hooked up with any basic computer monitor, much like any other desktop computer. Alongside, the Chromebox also comes with a handy HDMI port for linking it to high definition television screens. This augurs well if you are looking to transform the Chromebox into a mainstream device for streaming. When you possess a streaming device, you do not really require individual service applications like HBO Go and Netflix. If no applications are present for a particular service, then you will not be able to watch the same in most cases. The Chrome cast possesses this limitation and service support is quite frugal in spite of the low, $35 only price.
However, this limitation is encountered superbly the Chromebox which makes it possible to view any web page content on big television screens. It functions just like a traditional computer in this regard. This can only be done by a competent desktop computer in case an HDMI port or a requisite adapter is available. Apple’s Mac range of computers possesses an Air Play feature which mirrors the computer display via the Wi-Fi network and Apple TV. However, these computers come at prices which are exceedingly steep to say the least! In comparison, the Chromebox is very affordable, with its sticker price only exceeding Apple TV or Roku 3 by $80. In return, you also get features and benefits which you would not be able to otherwise.
The Chromebox functions perfectly well when it comes to watching free content from Hulu, ABC Family shows and likewise. What is striking is the ability to play content which is usually not available for streaming devices. Video quality is decent overall with a little jerkiness coming into the picture at times along with slightly unstable sound quality sometimes too. However, these are minor hiccups present on all other devices as well and should not pose any problems for hardcore users. The Chromebox also possesses a Chrome web browser along with multiple Google service apps including YouTube, Gmail, Hangouts chatting and also Google Maps. There are non Google service apps available as well but this number is smaller as compared to Mac and Windows based computers.
The Chrome based operating system immensely benefits all those individuals who make use of loads of Google based services. Basic internet functionality and operations along with streaming content makes the Chromebox an attractive package of sorts for mainstream customers. You will not be able to access Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop among other advanced apps as the Chromebox represents a basic, handy option for mainstream customers. Alongside, the Chromebox necessitates a running internet connection. Otherwise, most applications will not function properly. Log-ins via your friends, kids or family can be supervised though a new feature present on the Chrome OS. Alongside, particular sites can be blocked and surfing allowed for sites which have been approved in advance.
You can also access a list of visited sites. Chrome OS does not put forth a list of sites that are banned or approved. Configuration takes some time but once you get used to it, it should be a breeze. Families can consider snapping up the Chromebox as a useful and handy secondary home computer. There are dual display ports, special USB 3.0 ports for peripherals and printers, an Ethernet port for internet connections that are wired and slots for memory cards from cameras. Alongside, Wi-Fi capabilities are also present. You can use the Chromebox as a standard computer for your home or even solely as a streaming device.
The wireless mouse and keyboard are handy accessories especially if you are using the Chromebox as a streaming device of sorts. You may feel that basic computing may not be working well at times. For instance, the huge screen of your television may make general computing a tad too difficult with a smaller display unit serving the purpose more efficiently. However, this is just one of the minor hiccups that you have to take in your stride while using the device.
All in all, the Chromebox is one of the most revolutionary streaming devices to hit the market and also functions as a regular computer. Considering its price tag and its bevy of features, this should be a huge draw among tech happy customers!