Asus recently launched the first PC stick to ship with Google’s Chrome OS as its operating system. The Asus Chromebit is a tiny device that looks a bit like a USB flash drive, but which plugs into the HDMI port of your monitor or TV to turn nearly any display into a Chrome OS computer.
Now you can buy one from Newegg for $85.
The Asus Chromebit features 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a Rockchip RK3288C quad-core processor. In other words, it has the same guts as a $150 Chromebook… but it lacks a keyboard and display. You’ll need to supply your own.
The little computer has an HDMI connector on one end, a USB 2.0 port on the other, and power adapter jack. It features 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and customers that buy the PC stick will get 100GB of Google Drive cloud storage for free for two years.
Asus also includes a short HDMI extension cable in the box, in case there’s not room to plug the stick directly into an HDMI port on your display.
Note that unlike some Windows and Android-powered PC sticks, the Asus Chromebit does not have a microSD card slot. It also has only a single USB port, which means that you’ll either need a USB hub or wireless accessories if you plan to connect a keyboard and mouse.
I have an Adesso Keyboard with a 2 port USB hub and SD-Card reader built in.
seems perfect for pairing with this device.
It also comes with a 18w wall adapter which could be larger than the chromebit itself.
In other words, it is crippled to make a point of keeping you firmly tethered into Google’s Cloud. Any word if this ChromeOS device has a developer switch?
You’ve stumbled on their secret plan. They put USB ports and card slots on most every ChromeOS device ever and indeed left a USB 2 port on this tiny stick – but removed the micro-sd slot in an effort to trap you into using their services.
It’s the same reason you can’t reach any other kind of service on a ChromeOS device other than Google’s. Well, other than literally every other thing on the www.
So you can’t use Office 365 on this device? Surely Brad wouldn’t have overlooked such an important detail…
It’s $85. It isn’t designed to be a fully functional computer. It sounds like it’s best use is to enable surfing the web on your TV, likely to watch video and stream music. Not bad for the price. If you want a fully functioning computer, this isn’t for you.
It’s a computer that runs Chrome OS. Just like any other Chrome device. Whether or not you consider it to be a fully functioning computer will depend on whether or not you consider Chrome OS to be a fully functioning OS.
Well, I own a Chromebook, which we use all the time. We love it. But we understand that it isn’t a fully functioning computer. We have three of those in the house and use them for things a Chromebook can’t do, not because the Chromebook is bad, but because Chromebooks aren’t designed to perform those tasks. I knew that when I bought it. I got what a paid for.
Again, if you want a fully functioning computer, don’t buy something running ChromeOS. But if you don’t, ChromeOS is a more economic choice for a lot of tasks.
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