Haswell-powered Asus Chromebox goes up for pre-order

You know that Haswell-powered Asus Chromebox system we told you about last month? Well, it's gone up for pre-order at Newegg. The e-tailer charges $179 and quotes a March 14 release date. You'll also find similar listings at Amazon and TigerDirect, although the latter charges an extra 99 cents for some reason.

The version up for pre-order is the base one, which features a Celeron 2955U processor, a couple gigs of DDR3 RAM, 16GB of solid-state local storage, a card reader, and two free years of 100GB Google Drive service (which would normally set you back five bucks a month). Connectivity includes four SuperSpeed USB ports, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, and the usual Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo.

Honestly, that's not bad considering the price—and the size. Note how huge the USB 3.0 ports look in the picture above. That's because this bad boy measures just under five inches wide, five inches deep, and about 1.7 inches tall, not including the external power brick.

It's just too bad about the limited local storage. The Haswell hardware could likely run Windows fine, but the internal SSD just barely meets the minimum requirement for the 32-bit version of Windows 8.1. Oh well. I guess Chrome OS is probably good enough for the kind of person who'd use this as their primary PC, anyway.

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