Google's Chromebit Turns Any TV Into A Chrome PC For Under $US100

Google's Chromebit Turns Any TV Into a Chrome PC for Under $US100

Google just introduced a whole new kind of Chrome OS computer — a dongle that plugs into any HDMI-equipped display. It's called a Chromebit, and it isn't your run-of-the-mill streaming stick. For under $US100, you're looking at a full computer that plugs right into your TV.

How is that possible? Well, it's not exactly a new idea. Intel recently announced the Intel Compute Stick, a $US150 HDMI dongle that does the same thing but with full Windows 8.1 on board. And Chinese companies have been selling Android HDMI dongle-computers for nearly a year, based on the Rockchip RK3288 processor. So now that Google's rolling out Rockchip-based Chromebooks too, a dongle-PC was the logical next step.

Does that make the new Asus Chromebit any less impressive though? Not one bit. It's portable, cute, comes in three attractive colours, and has a super-smart swivel on the business end so you can plug it into practically any HDMI socket without needing an extension cable. (If you ask me, all dongles should feature that.)

Google's Chromebit Turns Any TV Into a Chrome PC for Under $US100

In addition to your Rockchip RK3288 (with quad-core Mali 760 graphics) you get 2GB of RAM, 16GB of solid state storage, 2x2 dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a single full-size USB 2.0 port on one end. It won't be the most powerful PC you could plug into a TV, but it shouldn't be too bad for the browser-based OS. Google also expects it to make quite a splash with small businesses and third-world countries due to price and easy manageability.

Look for this one in the summertime... and don't expect it to be the only Chromebit. Google product management VP Caesar Sengupta tells us we can expect other computer companies to build dongle-PCs as well. Oh, and don't expect the Chromecast to go away either. Google says the streaming stick is a totally separate product that fills a different need.

Google's Chromebit Turns Any TV Into a Chrome PC for Under $US100
Google's Chromebit Turns Any TV Into a Chrome PC for Under $US100

Comments

    And today's date is...

      31st March in America for another few hours. My guess is that we're relatively safe from spoof tech news until this evening.

        Google has been known to announce real products on 1st April before as well.

          It's not that hard to believe - android and windows versions of these have existed for all of last year (and for years before that with android - but the new ones are much more powerful and useable for just about anything with quad core and octa core chips now easily available)

    IF this could double as a Chromecast receiver then I'd plug one in the back of every monitor I own. When I moved out I took advantage of the DVI and dual HDMI inputs on my BenQ monitor to have my PC, PS4 and a Chromecast all plugged in. If I could replace the Chromecast with a Chromebit but keep the receiver capabilities then I could keep my PC powered down for most of the time, even with a 600W 80+ Gold PSU I'd save a fortune on power and not really lose anything at all.

    SSDs are fast and cheap enough that if I need proper PC grunt I'll just boot it up, only 10 seconds from cold boot to a fully usable desktop.

    I have been using an android version of one of these for several months.

    There are a few minor issues with them.

    If you can find the right bluetooth gear for a mouse and keyboard, then it works great. "Wireless" mouse & keyboards on 2.4GHz is more reliable option but it takes up the usb port of course.

    Your hotel TV sometimes doesn't have it's HDMI ports exposed but a far more common problem is no power point close to the TV.

    These things won't run off the USB port on the back of a TV for power - android and windows versions of these need 2 amp micro usb chargers as a minimum - so I imagine this chrome one might be the same. (you can just use a mobile phone charger usually, but the cables on those can be quite short)

    Other than those few minor things, these are really great and if you like chrome OS you will have many happy days using this.

    BTW - Yes Windows 8.1 and Android 4.4 versions of these are plentiful and can be found at many places online.

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