Designed to plug into the back of any TV with an HDMI port, the Chromecast dongle is intended to provide easy access to streaming video. It's available for just $35 starting today in the U.S., with availability in other countries to follow.
As sleek as the Chromecast device looks, Google's initial presentation skimmed over some of the rougher edges. The specs in the Google Play store list both a USB power cable and a power adapter, which indicate that the Chromecast will have some wires hanging off it -- it's not truly "just a stick." It's the same method PLAiR used to power its similar HDMI-based streaming stick.
In addition to HDMI, the hardware itself supports 2.4GHz WiFi 802.11, which isn't quite as nice as the dual-band Wi-Fi offered on Roku's Streaming Stick. The internal processor is capable of playing back full 1080p video with 5.1 surround sound.