The final Chrome device I've ordered has finally arrived. I am typing this post with it. As you can see from the picture, it just comes with the unit and the power cable. No keyboard or mouse is provided. I don't expect to for the price which is less than USD $120 before shipping.
It has 2GB RAM with a 16GB SSD and a Haswell Celeron 2955U CPU. I''ve upgraded the RAM to 4GB as my experience tells me this will have the biggest impact on performance. Technically this has the exact same hardware configuration as my original HP Chromebook 14.
Upon boot up, the first thing I noticed is that it is not as smooth as the HP. It has the exact same specs but the HP somehow boots up faster and launches programs faster. Another thing I've noticed is that the ASUS will sometimes stutter when I have music running in one of the tabs via Google Play Music. It's not always but I never get this with the HP. So what accounts for this? I suspect ASUS has cut corners and installed a much slower SSD. But this does not account for the stutteriness of Google Play Music where music is streamed from the network and not stored locally. Maybe it's stored to SSD first during streaming before it gets played? I don't know.
I'm not terribly happy as a result. I was hoping for the HP's performance level when I bought this. Compared to the HP and the ACER which do not have a large performance difference between them, the ASUS can be noticeably sluggish in comparison.
Other than that, there is nothing much I can say about the device other than it is a nicely built unit. The power button is a bit sticky so you are left wondering if you have turn it on when you press it. Luckily it has a white LED indicator to show that it has turn on. It does not have a VGA port, only HDMI, so I have to use an adapter to use it with my current HDMI-less monitor. The unit is also easy to upgrade as you only have to remove its rubber feet to access the screws which allows access to its internals.
Maybe I should have bought the HP Chromebox instead?