Lenovo brings Chrome OS to desktops with ThinkCentre Chromebox

It's Lenovo's first Chrome OS desktop and it's priced at $199

Lenovo ThinkCentre Chromebox (1)

Lenovo ThinkCentre Chromebox (1)

Lenovo is venturing into Chrome OS desktops with its new ThinkCentre Chromebox.

At US$199, the Chromebox -- which can be held easily in one hand -- is a nice, low-cost option for those looking to put a desktop in a cramped area. With Chrome OS, the desktop won't provide the full functionality of a Windows PC, but will be good for those who rely heavily on Web applications. The mini-desktop will ship in June.

Chromeboxes haven't been as popular as Chromebooks, which are Chrome OS laptops. Google has been pushing its Chrome OS for use in workplaces and schools -- markets Lenovo is targeting with the ThinkCentre Chromebox.

However, there are less expensive Chromeboxes available. Dell and HP sell $179 Chromeboxes, while an Asus Chromebox starts at $159.99 on Amazon.com.

Regarding monitors for the ThinkCentre, Lenovo suggests buying its $279 ThinkCentre Tiny in One, a 23-inch monitor which has a slot to plug in the Chromebox. However, the desktop can be connected to any monitor via its HDMI port.

Other features include an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi and USB 3.0 ports. Lenovo did not provide further information on specifications.

The Chromebox comes with a slot for a Kensington lock, which has to be bought separately, so the machine can be secured to a desk.

Google pitches Chrome OS as an alternative to Windows, but Chrome OS applications need an Internet connection to work in most instances.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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