Acer's 4K Chromebox goes big on RAM, not on price

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With a list price of $400, Acer's CXI is the cheapest Chromebox you can get with 8GB of memory.

The CXI is a compact, VESA-mountable desktop running Google's Chrome OS. It comes with a dual-core Intel Core i3-4030U processor and 16GB of storage, and it supports both 2K and 4K displays through HDMI and DisplayPort.

So far, that doesn't sound much different than other Core i3 Chromeboxes from Dell and Asus. But unlike those devices, Acer is offering an optional 8GB of RAM in the CXI. Until now, only HP has offered a Chromebox with this much memory, and it's a Core i7 model that costs $660. (Acer is also selling a 4GB version for $350.)

Other specs include four USB 3.0 ports (two of which can charge external devices with the power off), an SD card slot and a bundled keyboard and mouse. Acer is targeting the CXI primarily at businesses and schools, but it sounds like it'll be available soon for consumers as well.

Why this matters: Most Chromeboxes come with either 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and for good reason: As a lightweight, browser-based operating system, Chrome OS doesn't offer a lot of memory-intensive applications. Still, the extra RAM could be helpful for users who juggle dozens of browser tabs, so it's nice that Chrome OS fans at least have the option.

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