Google’s Chromecast burst onto the scene back in 2013, and with an incredibly cheap price tag and simple functionality, has offered many standard television sets a degree of smart TV functionality. Today, another compact, HDMI-based product has been announced by the Big G, and this one will turn your TV into an all-singing Chrome PC for under a hundred bucks.
The Chromebit, as it is to be known, boasts a sleek profile that means it could easily be squirreled away into the pocket, but while it’s very portable, the form factor belies a device that packs quite a punch.
It offers all of the necessities you’d expect from a computer or notebook’s underbelly, including a Rockchip RK3288 processor, two gigs of RAM, quad-core Mali 760 graphics and a 16GB solid state drive. From a connectivity standpoint, you connect to your display directly via HDMI, while the Chromebit also includes Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0, and a full-sized USB 2.0 port.
Sure, it’s not a powerhouse, but given its size, it’s no pushover, and while the Chrome OS is still quite limited in what it can offer, it’s evolving all the time. The search giant has greatly improved its browser-based ecosystem in recent times, with enhancements continuing to arrive on a frequent basis, and as the Android maker continues to expand the Chromebook line-up with Rockchip-based SoC models, the Chromebit’s arrive makes complete sense.
Where the Chromecast was a bit of a revelation, the Chromebit is not exactly a new idea. Intel has its own, $150 dongle that can turn any HDMI-packing display into a desktop PC, and notably, one that can run on Microsoft’s Windows.
The resistance to Chrome OS seems to be dropping, and the fact that the Chromebit costs less than $100 may prompt strong sales when it hits the scene in the summer. With that said, folk are still very much accustomed to using Windows, and with Intel catering to this demographic for only $150, the Chromebit’s release will be a real test of how far Chrome OS has progressed these past few years.
Chromebit, which will be manufactured by Google’s long-time partner ASUS, will become available over the next few months, and as you can see, will offer a multitude of different color options.
What do you make of the new Chromebit?