Chrome On A Stick: $100 Asus Chromebit Announced

Want Chrome on your TV? Asus and Google are banking that the lightweight operating system will appeal to those looking for a lean-back experience with the Asus Chromebit, a thumb-drive size device that plugs into your HDTV's HDMI port. The $100 device will be available later this summer, according to Google.

Roughly the length of a finger, the Chromebit will be powered by a Rockchip 3288 processor, 2GB of RAM, and have 16GB of eMMC flash storage. it will connect to the Internet via 802.11ac Wi-Fi (both 2.4 and 5Ghz), and will have Bluetooth 4.0 BR/EDR/LE for connecting to peripherals such as keyboards and mice.

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The Chromebit is an interesting experiment for Google. Previously, most stick PCs have run Android, such as the CX-919, and have been able to offer users more gaming and entertainment options than you'd find with a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick. However, given the limited number of Chrome apps, the Chromebit could be positioned as an inexpensive way for people to email and surf the Web from the big screen.

In addition to the Chromebit, Google also announced three new Chromebooks: The $249 Asus Chromebook, a 10-inch touch-screen notebook with a lid that flips 360 degrees, and the $149 Haier and Hisense Chromebooks, two very inexpensive 11-inch systems with up to 10 hours of battery life.