Google’s Chrome OS is a browser-based operating system that’s been used for Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and Chromebases which are basically laptops, desktops, and all-in-one desktops designed to run Google’s software.

Now meet the Asus Chromebit.

asus chromebit2

The Asus Chromebit is a tiny computer-on-a-stick that you can plug into a monitor or TV to turn it into a Chrome PC.

It’s expected to launch this summer for under $100, and Google and Asus are positioning the Chromebit as a solution for schools or businesses, although I suspect retail customers will be able to pick one up as well.

This isn’t exactly the first PC-on-a-stick we’ve seen. Models designed to run Google Android software have been coming out of China since 2012, and now Dell even sells one model called the Dell Wyse Cloud Connect.

More recently we’ve started to see device makers offer models with Intel Bay Trail processors and support for Microsoft Windows. This year chip maker Intel is even getting in on the action with the upcoming launch of the Intel Compute Stick, a tiny computer that will be available in Linux and Windows variants.

chromebit_02

But the Asus Chromebit is the first device of its type expected to ship with Google’s Chrome operating system. It’s features a Rockchip RK3288 quad-core processor, much like the new line of Chromebooks unveiled today, but Asus tells me other details aren’t set in stone yet.

Still, the folks at Engadget and Gizmodo got to check out an early version of the Chromebit, which packs 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 802.11ac WiFI, Bluetooth 4.0, and a USB 2.0 port.

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12 replies on “Asus Chromebit is a $100 Chrome OS computer-on-a-stick”

  1. Love the look, hate the cloud-only Chrome OS, I had a Chromebook and it was a thoroughly unsatisfying, locked-in, tethered experience and when we moved and were without internet for 6 weeks, it became a paperweight, fortunately I still had a real computer and all my stuff backed up to hard disk. I learned the hard way that the cloud way is a convenience but not practical for me.

  2. Not sure there’s any point to the whole pc on a stick notion. You’ll need a usb hub anyway to supply this with USB power while attaching a KB/mouse and whatever else. So why not go with the style where they put the tiny computer in the USB hub section with an HDMI out and have one device rather than two. Make it small and you can still hang it off the back of the monitor.

    They sell these cheap I guess because they can leave out the multiport USB hub part. So they are $5 cheaper. Which then you will have to spend on the USB hub. Meh.

  3. Would be nice to see the Chromecast casting feature make its way onto this!

  4. I see this as chromecast 2.0 . If it can run a VNC session well then it is certainly worth the price. Does anyone run VNC on odroid c1? RPi2 is not a snappy VNC box.

      1. Not sure about the CPU but the Intel stick beats the Chromebit hands-down. 32GB vs 16GB and the Chromebit has now way of easily adding extra storage… I know ChromeOS doesn’t need the spec of Windows 8.1 but I think this is a missed opportunity by Google. Hopefully multiple models will be released.

        1. Windows probably needs the 32GB. “adding extra storage”? There’s the cloud, of course. This is, after all ChromeOS and with 802.11ac WiFi to provide speedy access to the cloud.

          1. I know ChromeOS is based around having everything on the web but I personally would like a little bit more storage available off-line… it would be nice to see a slightly better spec version of the Chromebit.

  5. The bonus with this is that it will sync with desktop monitors, the Chinese sticks seem to only work with the refresh rates on televisions (at least that’s the case with my RikoMagic MK802IV)

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