What is the difference between Chromebox and "Android TV"? I was thinking of buying either a Dell Chromebox or a Lenovo Touchscreen Chromebook to go with my Chromcast on my living room TV but I don't know if Chromebox is designed to work like the Chromebook. Also, would a Chromebox be a good replacement for my Chromecast?

  • @Huey, do you have source on that? Because Google just released the Nexus Player a little over 2 months ago, which runs the new Android TV. Google TV, which was the predecessor to Android TV is no longer updated, and most devices have reached their EOL. – Ryan Conrad Jan 4 '15 at 17:11

Chromeboxes, such as Dell Chromeboxes, are essentially small computers with video output. They are designed to run Chrome OS on a larger monitor - think of these as Chrome OS Desktops, whereas Chromebooks are Chrome OS Laptops.

Android TV devices, on the other hand, are media devices designed to run a version of Android and deliver media (video, music, pictures, and games) to your television. They are more similar to a Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

Chromebooks & Chromeboxes are very similar, however with different form factors; they should run the same Chrome OS versions and act very similar.

Chromebooks & Chromeboxes work nicely with Chromecast - you are able to cast Tabs, and various apps to the Chromecast.

Using the Chromebox as a replacement for the Chromecast could work - but it would be like connecting a PC to your TV and be very mouse and keyboard driven.

It is a usable solution, but it is not ideal. An Android TV device might be easier, as its interface was designed to be more simple, and easier to read from "couch distance."


A chromebook (or chromebox) runs Chrome OS. This is basically a very lightweight version of Linux that runs a Chrome Browser. You do not have the ability to install "native apps", with the exception of recently, it was announced, you can now install some Android apps.

The difference between Chromebook and Chromebox is a Chromebook is a laptop, which has a screen, keyboard, mouse/trackpad. While a Chromebox is the desktop version. It does not include a monitor, nor a mouse or keyboard.

Android TV runs Android. It is designed to be connected to a large display, like a TV. Its UX is designed for the 10 foot experience. It runs Android applications, but may not run all the same apps that you can run on a tablet or phone, because of the different user experience. Apps need to be tailored to use a remote or a gamepad.

Android TV would be a better "replacement" for a chromecast. As they usually offer the functionality that a chromecast does, and more.

A chromebox is not necessarily designed for that 10 foot experience, and may not offer you the apps for streaming content like Android TV would. While you could probably log in to the service websites and stream from there. But you would need to have a mouse and keyboard connected.

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