On paper, HP's new Chromebox has all the ingredients of a nice, discreet little web browsing box: a Haswell processor, fairly plentiful connectivity, a rock-bottom $179 asking price, and according to HP's product page, "silent operation" thanks to a "fanless design."
Except there's just one problem: the HP Chromebox isn't fanless.
As FanlessTech reports, HP's own disassembly guide shows the Chromebox has the same kind of cooling apparatus you'd find on a laptop. There's a small fin array and a blower-style fan, which the guide clearly labels as such:
And the fan isn't just for show. FanlessTech points to this YouTube review by Lon Seidman, which says the Chromebox is "making noise when it's plugged in," and "there is air being blown out the back."
This may not come as a shock to some, especially since the HP Chromebox uses a 15W processor, and the chassis' dimensions and venting don't leave much room for passive cooling. Still, I'm surprised to see HP mislead customers about something so blatant.