Earlier this year, Google and ASUS have announced Chromebit – full Chrome OS-based computer on a stick HDMI. Today, the two companies officially launches this new way of using Chrome OS on any screen with port HDMI.
$ 85 Chromebit is 75 grams (or 2.6 ounces) stick that you can connect to any port HDMI – whether it is a conventional computer screen or a big TV in the living room. It comes with 16 GB of internal memory (as a relatively cheap and slow storage EMMC) and 2 GB of RAM.
In many respects, it is more massive version of the old Chromecast stick. Also, as this device, it comes with a dedicated charger, but unlike Chromecast, it also has a USB port on. Rockchip based Chromebit comes in “Cocoa Black” and “Tangerine Orange”, but in general, it is a modest device that is mainly meant to disappear behind the screen anyway (hence why I’m not sure why there is an orange version).
While most people will probably want to use a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to connect to Chromebit, the USB port allows you to connect wireless peripherals, as well as (with USB-Hub, you can even connect multiple devices).
Because it’s a full machine Chrome OS, you can pretty much run any Web application on it. This will allow you to play movies and TV shows from Google Play, Netflix or Hulu, like any other device Chrome OS, for example.
You could probably use a few Chromebit bulky media center in the living room if you want, but it does at home, in schools, businesses, or perhaps a call center. While work includes only the Web application (or, perhaps, a remote connection to a more full-featured machine) Chromebit is working and can turn any screen into a usable desktop. It is also an option if you want to turn any screen into a modern application kiosk at the hotel or store, for example.
Google gave me a review unit, and in the short time I had to experience the device, it performed quite well. Do not expect blazing performance with a quad-core processor Rockchip SoC, which powers the device, but it is fine to use.
In the United States, Chromebit will be available on Amazon, Fry and Newegg (interestingly, usually a partner Chrome OS from Google Best Buy is not part of the original list of suppliers). It will also be available in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the UK.
Google for business and education customers can also choose to add a new single-mode version of the application for stalls $ 24 per user and year are available through CDW in the US and Canada.