ASUS Chromebox is a TV Stick, which can be connected to the HDMI port of the TV to run Chrome OS on a large screen. And ‘one of a kind, not so much because the specifications or design, and for the operating system: after hundreds of keys PC with Android and Windows, Chromebit is the first model to offer Chrome OS. But what is its history?
ASUS presented Chromebit last March (remember?), But these days seems to have been launched commercially in the USA and parts of Europe and Asia. Just as anticipated by Google, a few weeks ago, the TV Stick will cost about $ 85, so a little ‘more economical models with Windows and much more expensive than those with Android. Think that costs twice as a dongle for streaming, such as Amazon Fire TV Stick or Chromecasts. So why buy Chromebit? It depends on what you want and what you expect to find.
As for the hardware, the key does not disappoint: Rockchip RK3288 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, WiFi 802.11ac dual-band and Bluetooth 4.0, but unlike other models lack the microSD card slot despite being fanless (therefore no fan). Running the same operating system on a Chromebook, you can use Chromebit to surf the Internet, open the Chrome Web Apps and then use Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Google Play Movies and other online services. Oh I forgot, you’ll need a keyboard and a mouse (also Bluetooth are fine), because the OS is desktop / notebook style.
In summary, then: if you want a device to be managed with a remote control, Chromebit is not the best choice, but if you want to reverse a key that allows you to visit some website, edit documents (using Google Docs or Office Web Apps, for example) and play within minutes of leisure, Chromebit could be the most versatile.
Of course, the last word to testers and in these last few hours have been already published the first reviews. TechCrunch Chromebit recommended for educational environments and business, rather than domestic, while CNET claims that he had no problem streaming HD video and the opening of a dozen tabs simultaneously. PC World notes that the video 4K are not parties, but they had no difficulty in 1440p. Engadget believes that Chrome OS is a good operating system for these small devices and low power, since you do not consume too many resources, but for Android Central Chromebit makes little sense, since it can only be used as a desktop PC, including through a few doors. At this point, it is cheaper to spend a few euro more and opt for a Chromebox which is more powerful and more connectivity