Google really wants to get it on with your television. They’ve been aggressively pushing their Chromecast device at super low prices for over a year, and now they’ve partnered with ASUS to produce the Chromebit, a dongle that plugs into your TV and effectively turns it into a Chromebook:
It’s portable, cute, comes in three attractive colors, 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.)
In addition to your Rockchip RK3288 (with quad-core Mali 760 graphics) you get 2GB of RAM, 16GB of solid state storage, 2×2 dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, 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.
Google isn’t the first or only company that’s getting into the ‘computer in an HDMI stick’ game, but they do differentiate themselves by running their device on the fast and reliable Chrome OS. Trying to go full desktop on televisions has never really taken off – perhaps the Chromebit will simplify things to a point where it becomes the default choice for people pissed off at how stupid their Smart TV software tends to be.
The ASUS Chromebit is set to debut this summer at a retail cost of under 100 dollars.