Earlier this year, Google and ASUS announced the Chromebit — a full Chrome OS-based computer on an HDMI stick. Following a further announcement earlier this week, the two companies are officially launching this new way of using Chrome OS on any screen with an HDMI port. Here is what you need to know.
Chromebit is a computer on a tiny stick that contains a full computer, with a Rockchip ARM processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 802.11ac Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0 and even a USB port. The device can plug directly into the HDMI port of a monitor or TV and instantly turn that screen into a full-on computer.
The Asus Chromebit offers a complete Chrome OS experience, meaning you’ll be able to do everything you can do on a Chromebook or a Chromebox, and is also optimised for video playback; retailing in the US for $85 (UK price points are yet to be released).
For a simple but rich digital signage experience, the Chromebit also enables a single app solution that provides full screen 1080p30 content on screens of different sizes, customers can add the Single App Kiosk Management for $24/year. These kiosks can be used for ticket printing, self-service, point-of-sale, a way finder, and paper replacement (such as a job application kiosk), to name a few examples.
Any TV or monitor with a standard HDMI port will work with Chromebits, and monitors without HDMI ports can be supported with HDMI conversion accessories. However it is important to note that a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse will need to be purchased separately, or a wired set with a USB hub.
Chromebits will be great multi-use devices for businesses and education, but will also appeal to consumers looking to turn a spare monitor into a secondary PC or those who want to travel light.