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CNET First Look
Asus Chromebit is the least-expensive stick PC yetThe Chrome OS Chromebit puts the cloud on your TV.
What is the absolute least you can get away with spending on a desktop computer? I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the Asus Chromebit. This is part of a small but growing category of systems that we call stick PCs, Intel's Compute Stick is a great example of that. Unlike that one, however, this guy runs Google's Chrome OS, and if you're not familiar with Chrome OS, it's what you find in Chromebook. It's basically Google's Chrome web browser, a couple of file management tools, and that's really about it. So what do you do with something like the Chromebit? Well you take the stick, you pop the top off, and here you have an HDMI output. And you just kinda jam that into Any monitor or TV that has an HDMI port in it and you're connected and good to go. All most. Much like the Fire TV Stick from Amazon or a Roku stick or even a Chromecast you need power. So there's a tiny power plug right over here so you have to run a wire to a power adapter that plugs into a wall. But then you're good to go. You of course need a keyboard and a mouse as well. You can connect bluetooth ones or you can connect USB dongle ones. There is however only one USB right here at the very end. You can do a lot of the stuff that you would do on an everyday PC anyway. And that's one of the things that appeals to people about Chrome OS. A lot of email is done through web-based email, whether it's Gmail or somebody else. Productivity, you can use Google Docs. You can use Microsoft Online Office tools. Of course, streaming video is very easy. A lot of people do that through Netflix or through Amazon or through Google Play. Photoshop is one of the things you're probably gonna miss out on if you do photo editing. There are online tools like Pixlr that are Or reasonably close to that. And or course social media. That's what most of us pretty much spend most of our online time doing anyway now. All that stuff works fine on an online only device like Chromebit or any other Chrome Home OS system. now how much are you going to pay for all this? Well that Intel compute stick, which is kind of like this, runs Windows, all be it slowly started at about 150 dollars. You can get it for about 120 now. A Chrome Book is usually 150 to 250. This Asus Chrome book, 85 dollars. That's how much it'll cost you to get basic Internet connectivity and web browsing on your TV or your monitor. If all you're interested in doing is streaming media, then maybe you wanna go something even less expensive like the Google Chromecast Which again is a stick that plugs in and casts media from the computer you already have. To set up a pretty simple, on the go, easy to transport, desktop computer experience it's tough to go wrong if you only need basic online connectivity. I'm Dan Aquin and that is the Asus Chromebit.