‘Computer on a stick’ launched by Google & Asus

Google
and Taiwan’s Asus are launching a “computer on a stick” which can
plug into a display to turn it into a PC.

                                                   Image
credit: Matt Weinberger

The
Asus Chromebit, announced by Google today, packs a lot of computing power into
a little itty bitty form factor and a sub-$100 price point: Plug this stick
into any display with an HDMI port, like most big-screen TVs nowadays have, and
suddenly you have a Google Chrome desktop at your disposal.

It
has uses limited only by your imagination. Like:

-Upgrade
an existing PC by plugging this into the monitor.

-Use
it for art projects or to build interactive displays using cheap TVs.

Google
cites the example of a retail store that can use it to manage all of their
digital signs, changing a sale on shorts to a sale on umbrellas instantly once
it starts to rain. Google said in a blog post that the Asus Chromebit would be
arriving mid-year with a low price tag. “Smaller than a candy bar, the
Chromebit is a full computer that will be available for less than $100,”
Google said.

“By
simply plugging this device into any display, you can turn it into a computer.
It’s the perfect upgrade for an existing desktop and will be really useful for
schools and businesses.” The statement offered no other details on the
device, but Google also announced its lowest-cost Chromebook laptop computers
at $149 in partnership with Chinese electronic groups Haier and Hisense.

With
a display of 11.6 inches, the Haier computer is being sold through Amazon and
the Hisense PC through Walmart. Google has produced Chrome devices with other
manufacturers including Acer, Lenovo, Dell and LG. Intel’s soon-to-arrive $149
Compute Stick is going to be the most direct competitor to Chromebits, running
Windows 8.1. Google’s pitch has always been that the browser-based Chrome OS
devices is the better, faster and simpler for low-horsepower computers like
these sticks, and Windows can’t keep up. Not to mention that the Asus Chromebit
will be at least (they haven’t announced final pricing yet) $50 cheaper.
Either
way, the squeeze is on. Whoever can do more computing with less computer at the
cheaper price point is poised to win this brewing tiny device war, and the Asus
Chromebit is, at the very least, a shot across Microsoft’s bow. (Source: Google)




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