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Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 RAM upgrade – mini PC review & price

Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 mini PC review
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Is there any good in Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 mini PC? It blends the fast and secured Chrome OS into a small form-factor desktop giving you the freedom to choose how you want to connect. Simply attach to a monitor or TV, connect the included keyboard and mouse, and you’ll be on the Internet in just a few minutes. Whether it be a big screen TV or any size monitor, you can safely access the web and your favorite Google Chrome apps. Can you do Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 RAM upgrade? Discover here in Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 mini PC review.

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Pros & Cons – Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 mini PC

PROS

  • Compact, clean design
  • Includes plenty of ports
  • Excellent performance for the price
  • Supports Android apps by way of the Google Play Store

CONS

  • Limitations of Chrome OS
  • Slow boot times

Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 mini PC spces

  • Intel Celeron Processor 3867U (1.8GHz, 2MB Smart Cache)
  • Google Chrome
  • 4GB 2133MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM Memory (Can you do Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 RAM upgrade)
  • Intel HD Graphics 610
  • 128GB M.2 SSD
  • High-Definition Audio Support
  • 1 – USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 ports (up to 5 Gbps), DisplayPort over USB-C, USB Charging, 3 – USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (2 Front & 1 Rear), 2 – USB 2.0 ports (Rear), 1 – HDMI Port, 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 Port)
  • Bluetooth 4.2 LE, 65W AC Adapter
  • USB Keyboard and Mouse
  • 1.14 lbs. 515 g (system without stand)
  • 1 Year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty with Toll Free Tech Support

Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 mini PC Price

At the low end is the CXI3-4GKM, which sells for $249 and offers a dual-core Intel Celeron 3865U processor, 4GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD. Next up is the $459 CXI3-I38GKM, which has an Intel Core i3-7130 CPU, and the same 8GB of memory and 64GB of storage offered on our review unit. At the top of the heap is the CXI3-I716GKM, which packs an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, along with 16GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. It sells for $759.

The unit we reviewed is one of the better configurations in the CXI3 line, the CXI3-I58GKM. This $519 model is equipped with an Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. You can upgrade the RAM to 16GB after purchase, but I didn’t see much in my testing that would necessitate that for the average user. Can you do Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 mini PC RAM upgrade?

Compare Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 mini PC vs Asus Chromebox3 mini PC

Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 Mini PC, Intel Celeron 3867U Processor ASUS CHROMEBOX3-NC356U Mini PC with Intel Celeron
Computer Memory Size4 GB4 GB
CPU ModelCeleronCeleron
CPU Speed1.8 GHz1.80 GHz
Graphics CoprocessorIntel HD Graphics 610Integrated
Graphics DescriptionIntegratedIntegrated
Hard Disk Size128 GB32 GB
Hardware Platformdefault_no_selection_valuePC
Operating SystemChrome OSChrome OS
Processor Count21

Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 mini PC review

Build

Acer made the CX13 into a black plastic chassis, with dark-gray faceplates on the front and back. There is an included stand, for which you can as use the box on its own, set it in a vertical orientation, on mount it at the back of a monitor using an included mount.

Design

Like the Apple Mac Mini, the Chromebox CXI3-UA91 is compact and light, measuring 5.9 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches and weighing 1.2 pounds. the CXI3 has curved sides, giving the chassis an oval shape when viewed from the front.

Ports

Around the back, there’s a gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.1 port, an HDMI output, a USB Type-C port, DisplayPort over USB-C and a Kensington lock slot. Wireless connectivity comes via 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2.

On the front face-plate, there are two USB 3.0 ports, a microSD card slot, and a headphone jack, alongside a power button.

Hardware

Chromebox CXI3 came equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 64GB eMMC for local storage. Compared with most Chrome-based desktops and laptops, these are impressive specs. The four cores run at a base speed of 1.60GHz and a maximum speed of 3.40GHz, drawing around 15 watts of power. The chip also includes a UHD Graphics 620 component with a base speed of 300MHz and a maximum speed of 1.10GHz. This miniature Chromebox does not include a stand-alone graphics chip.

Graphics card

As stated, Acer’s Chromebox relies on Intel’s integrated UHD Graphics 620 component. It supports a maximum 4,096 x 2,304 resolution at 24Hz through the HDMI port and a maximum 4,096 x 2,304 resolution at 60Hz using a DisplayPort cable connected to the USB Type-C port. Intel’s chip supports up to three connected displays.

3DMark produced the same huge differences between Intel’s chip and MediaTek’s processor. The first Sling Shot Extreme test using OpenGL produced an average of 28.6fps on the Chromebox — six times the C330’s. In the non-extreme Sling Shot test, the Chromebox outperformed the Chromebook C330, the Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA, and Acer’s own Pentium-powered Chromebook 15.

The Chromebox saw a 45fps average in the Manhattan 3.1 test, while Lenovo’s Chromebook only hit a 17FPS average at a lower resolution. The T-Rex off-screen rendering test produced a 121fps average at 1080p.

Chrome OS

On the Asus Chromebox 3, we ran into issues with Chrome OS’s snap-to-edge feature, whereby (as in Windows 10) you can drag an application to one side of the screen to have it automatically fill that half. Windowed apps would snap to one side but not fill the whole space, but luckily there are no similar issues here. The dual-app view works nicely, successfully improving the OS’s potential for multitasking.

Keyboard

The CXI3 comes with a chicklet keyboard, which has the standard Chrome OS layout – no function keys, search button instead of caps lock, etc. If you use a regular keyboard, Chrome OS seems to recognize Windows keyboard shortcuts. For example, I could lock the Chromebox by pressing Win + L.

Fan

For cooling, Acer’s Chromebox stays chilled with a spinning fan you’ll only hear when the processor really heats up. If you’re viewing the Chromebox horizontally, you’ll see an air intake vent on the bottom half of each curved side while a long exhaust vent resides at the back.

Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 mini PC Performance review

 in the online performance test JetStream, the CXI3 scored 168.22 points (higher is better). This is more than twice the score of the Asus Chromebox (75.6) and significantly better than both the Azulle Access Plus (45.8) and the Ockel Sirius B Black Cherry (38). The system that came the closest to matching this score was the Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny (158.25), which also boasts an Intel Core i5 processor.

The CXI3 also averaged 58fps in the GFXBench Manhattan 3 offscreen test, which is again about double what the Chromebox 3 managed. It’s still relying on integrated graphics – Intel UHD Graphics 620 – but since you can only install mobile-focused games from the Play store, this will be enough to run just about anything that’s actually compatible.

To test graphics on Chrome OS products, we use WebGL Aquarium, a simulation that renders hundreds of fish floating on-screen. When rendering 1,000 fish at a time, the CXI3 maintained a strong 60 frames per second. When we dialed it up to 5,000 fish, the frame rate dropped to 49 fps, and for 10,000 fish, it went down to 28 fps. This is fairly impressive graphics performance that rivals that of traditional Windows PCs.

On the multi-core front, Intel’s chip scored a 11,155 in the multi-core test, which matches Dell’s Inspiron 5379, Inspiron 7373, and Acer’s own Swift 5 (SF514-52T) (the Chromebox’s single-core test actually outperforms the Swift 5). Acer’s Chromebox falls behind the Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Pro 6 sporting the same processor in multi-core performance testing.

Alternative of Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 mini PC

Windows-based alternatives like the Intel NUC Kit NUC6CAYS($329.99 at Amazon) are readily available, too, fully configured and ready to go with Windows 10 installed. Note that not all Intel NUC mini PCs and machines of its kind are complete systems out of the box. Some are bare-bones models that make you provide certain internal components, as well as the operating system (which is often the biggest outlay). But the point is, you can find similar Windows-based solutions.

That said, whether you have a spare monitor (or 50 of them) lying around, the Acer Chromebox CXI3 is a quick, easy way turn it into an all-in-one (or a computer room full of them). Unlike some mini Windows PCs, you don’t have to install anything yourself; out of the box, the Chromebox CXI3 just works. If that kind of setup and manageability are what matters to you, this is as powerful a Chrome OS desktop solution as we’ve seen.

How to do Acer Chromebox CXI3-UA91 RAM upgrade?

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