Chromebits were announced long back and we almost thought that Google dropped the whole project. But now, the Asus Chromebit, an Chrome-OS-in-a-stick device that connects to any display that has an HDMI input port and makes it a Chromebook / Chromebox.
Google is positioning this device as something that businesses can use for their kiosks and signage. The device is listed under the Chrome for Work section. The blog post announcing the device says this:
Single App CDM can be used with a variety of Chrome devices – like the ASUS Chromebit, which is available for purchase today – to share relevant content quickly and simply, with the flexibility and security to seamlessly integrate into a broad spectrum of signage configurations. For example, the menu boards at a coffee shop or cafe could be powered by Chrome devices like the Chromebox, Chromebase and Chromebit, running a Chrome Kiosk app that displays relevant, dynamic content. Combined with our rich partner ecosystem of Chrome Kiosk apps from StratosMedia, Telemetry, Arreya, SignageLive, Wondersign, Nutrislice, Chrome Sign builder and many others, we have a solution to support any scenario.
That Price, The $85
News articles about the release (including my blog post) assumes that the dongle will be priced $85. I am not sure if Techcrunch and Endgadget etc have a separate confirmation on the retail price when these show up for sale online.
The current pricing works like this. The official price for this device is $109. This includes a $24 single app Chrome Device Management License. So the $85 that you see everywhere is 109-24. That assumes that when Google unbundles the package, the dongle itself will retail for $85. We will have to wait and watch.
The device is powered by a Rockchip 3288 processor and 2GB RAM. There is ARM Mali-T764 quad core GP for graphics and Wi-Fi: 802.11ac (supports a/b/g/n/ac) for connectivity. On-board storage is 16GB. You can connect your peripherals using Bluetooth, or use the USB port provided. You also get a charger along with the device.
Chromebit will be available at Amazon, Fry’s and Newegg. It will also be available in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the UK.