Google And ASUS Launch The $eighty five Chromebit, A Chrome OS Desktop On An HDMI Stick
Earlier this yr, Google and ASUS introduced the Chromebit — a full Chrome OS-based mostly pc on an HDMI stick. At this time, the 2 corporations are formally launching this new approach of utilizing Chrome OS on any display with an HDMI port.
The $eighty five Chromebit is a seventy five gram (or 2.6 ounces) stick that you simply can plug into any HDMI port — whether or not that’s a daily pc display or that enormous TV in your front room. It comes with 16GB of onboard storage (within the type of comparatively low cost and sluggish eMMC storage) and 2GB of RAM.
In some ways, it’s a bigger, bulkier model of the previous Chromecast stick. Identical to that system, it comes with a devoted charger, however in contrast to the Chromecast, it additionally contains a USB port. The Rockchip-based mostly Chromebit is available in “Cacao Black” and “Tangerine Orange,” however general, it’s a reasonably unassuming system that’s principally meant to vanish behind your display anyway (therefore why I’m unsure why there’s an orange model).
Whereas most individuals will doubtless need to use a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to hook up with the Chromebit, the USB port lets you plug in wired peripherals as nicely (and with a USB hub, you can even plug in a number of units).
As a result of it’s a full Chrome OS machine, you possibly can just about run any net app on it. It’ll allow you to play films and TV exhibits from Google Play, Netflix or Hulu, identical to some other Chrome OS gadget, for instance.
You would in all probability use the Chromebit as a considerably cumbersome media middle in your front room in the event you needed to, however it’s actually at house in a faculty, enterprise, or perhaps name middle. So long as the work solely includes net apps (or perhaps a distant connection to a extra absolutely-featured machine), the Chromebit is up for the job and may flip any display right into a usable desktop. It’s additionally an choice if you wish to flip any trendy display right into a single-app kiosk in a lodge or retailer, for instance.
Google offered me with a evaluation unit, and within the brief time I needed to check the system, it carried out fairly properly. Don’t anticipate blazing efficiency from the quad-core Rockchip SoC that powers the system, nevertheless it’s completely usable.
Within the U.S., the Chromebit will probably be out there at Amazon, Fry’s and Newegg (apparently, Google’s standard Chrome OS companion Greatest Purchase isn’t a part of this preliminary record of distributors). It’ll even be out there in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the UK.
Google for Work and Schooling clients can even choose so as to add the only app kiosk mode choice for $24 per consumer and yr, obtainable via CDW within the U.S. and Canada.