THINKING INSIDE THE BOX

chromeboxWe have a Google TV box for watching Amazon Video, YouTube, Netflix, and video from any website. But frankly it uses a slow and clunky search screen that forces you to move the cursor around the alphabet to spell even short titles. The new ASUS “Chromebox,” coming up in March will list for $179 and works with just about any keyboard, monitor, or TV, wirelessly.

The Chromebox and the Chromebook are usually seen as alternatives to PCs and Macs. They have screens and keyboards but everything happens on the Internet: you can do your email, search, play games, write and do calculations, and the system is “cleaned” every time you start up. That is, in short, any accumulated junk or malware is removed when you first log on to the web.

But the new Chromebox will probably be attached to your TV instead of a monitor in your office. It’s about half the size of the average set-top box (less than five inches by five by two inches) and has 16 gigabytes of solid state storage. That doesn’t sound like much these days but it’s enough to stream videos from the web without jerky pauses, and they also give you 100 gigabytes of online storage, free for two years.

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