If you thought the Chromecast was an impressive piece of computing wizardry, you’re going to be pretty impressed by the newly announced Asus Chromebit. Here you have a device that’s roughly the same size as a conventional USB flash drive, except it’s actually a complete computer running on Chrome OS.
Like the Chromecast, the Chromebit is an HDMI dongle that you can plug directly into your HDTV (or other HDMI-compatible display). Unlike the Chromecast, the Asus Chromebit runs on Chrome OS and for all intents and purposes, is just as much a computer as a Chromebox or a Chromebook. The kicker is that it’ll cost less than $100. You just need to supply a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
Under the proverbial hood, while you won’t find Earth-shattering specs, you will find enough horsepower for your basic needs. There’s a 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A17 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and a single USB 2.0 port for accessories and peripherals. This could be the perfect alternative to a “real” HTPC for people who want a PC-ish experience in the living room at a fraction of the price.
Expect the Asus Chromebit to launch this summer in your choice of blue, orange or grey. And as with the Chromebox and Chromebook lines, we fully expect to see other Chromebit products from companies other than Asus too.