Google, in partnership with Asus recently introduced the chromebit, a kind of HDMI dongle that, when connected to the TV, turns it into a PC with Chrome Operating System. The technical features of this device are as follows: SoC Rockchip 3288 (28 nm quad-core Cortex-A17 clocked at 1.8 GHz), 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB internal memory, a USB 2.0 port, WiFi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPU ARM Mali 760 quad-core. Applied SoC allows 1080p video decks and 4K resolution, also provides support for OpenGL ES 3.1 and OpenCL 1.1. Without any difficulties we can connect it to any HDMI display and get relatively high resolution (up to 3840 × 2160 pixels). Its no 4K, but pixel-dense none the less.
By simply plugging this device into any HDMI display, you can turn it into a computer. Google thinks this will be the perfect upgrade for the Smart Home and will be really useful for web-based Home Automation interfaces such as Savant’s Plus and Control4 4Sight when accessing remotely or even using the Control4 and Savant google apps for local control. Media player GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) can also be accessed on local networks such as QNAP drives or Sony’s Hi resolution audio player, the HAP-Z1ES. It’s also a great way to show embarrassing home movies.
The chromebit also features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a full-sized USB port, and a micro USB port for powering the stick. This technology has so many advantages, one is that it’s portable, you can easily carry it around and plug it anywhere you see an HDMI device. Another advantage is that it’s cheap .Google announced that the device would come out for just a price of $100. Setting it up is also very easy, you just have to plug it into any display that has HDMI port.
However, one disadvantage is that it requires internet connection all the time since its OS is cloud-based; otherwise its useless. The internal memory also is too small, on the same level as most phones. But, overall this chromebits, which look like moderately long flash drives are a wonderful invention from Google.
The chromebit is expected to launch this summer, with Google and Asus being the major manufacturers, although other companies might join in as well. This cannot however be said to be new, dongles just like this, that can run Google’s android software have been coming from China since 2012. Dell also sells one model called the Dell Wyse Connect. But the major competition to Google’s chromebit dongle will be Intel’s Compute Stick.