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As usual, Google picks the Intel-solution over a cheaper solution for political reasons (just like with the original Chromebooks, original Google TV, etc), and ends up failing, because the price is not competitive in the market for that type of product that it is.

What political reasons would lead Google to choose x86 over ARM?

other solutions in this space (ex. Cisco) are much more expensive

I'm not sure how you think the price isn't competitive. Can you link us to other products in the market which can compete with the chromebox on price?

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