zondag 22 november 2015

Asus and Google’s Chromebit turns any monitor into a Chrome OS device.

Earlier this year, we heard of the partnership between Google and Asus to miniaturize Chrome OS in the form of an HDMI stick. Now the resulting device, dubbed the Chromebit, is available for $85

The 2.6-ounce stick looks like a slimmer version of the original Chromecast and comes in "tangerine orange" and "cacao black" (there's no word yet on the blue model shown in the press image above). Its small size limits its capabilities somewhat: the stick contains 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, and runs on a Rockchip ARM processor. It also has a single USB port, so while you can opt for Bluetooth-connected keyboards and mice to pair with the Chromebit, USB is available for one physically connected peripheral.

As Chromebooks continuously improve their specs—with many featuring Intel processors and at least 4GB of RAM—the Chromebit won't provide anywhere near the fastest Chrome OS experience you can get. However, what it lacks in power, it makes up in flexibility. Its purpose is to turn any monitor with a standard HDMI port into a makeshift Chromebook. You'll be able to access all things Google, including Drive and Docs, and any Web apps from the Chrome Web Store that a regular Chromebook or Chromebox could download. That includes things like Netflix and Hulu, which means the Chromebit has the potential to be an ultra-low-power, ultra-portable media system.

That portability is the main perk of the Chromebit. The $85 price tag is enticing, but you could spend another $50 and get one of the cheaper Chromebooks. The small size and decent specs of the Chromebit make it a more convenient option for those who want to throw a device in their bags and know they can turn nearly any display into an Internet-based work (or play) station.

According to reports, the $85 Chromebit will be sold on Amazon, Fry’s, and Newegg (but, interestingly, not Best Buy for now), and will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and the UK.

German version here

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