While the future of Chrome OS is uncertain, for the time being Google is tackling the present by launching a new type of Chrome OS device. No longer is Google’s often looked over other operating system limited to netbooks, you can now run the web-based OS on TVs and PC monitors.
Weighing in at 75 grams, the new Asus Chromebit is a thumbstick-sized PC that comes equipped with a 1.8GHz Rockchip SoC, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of solid state storage (according to TechCrunch‘s Frederic Lardinois, who got to try out the device, the internal storage here is of the relatively slow eMMC variety).
In terms of connectivity, the Chromebit comes equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, a dual band 802.11ac WiFi module and, most importantly, an HDMI port allows users to connect the device to either a HDTV or any modern monitor. There’s also one USB port which anyone that intends to purchase this device can use to connect a peripheral, though one expects most people will connect a keyboard and mouse to the device using Bluetooth.
Initially set to become available this past summer, the Chromebit missed its ship date for an unknown reason. When it was first announced, Google said the intention behind the device was to create a new type of consumer PC that sold at retail for less than $100. Although we don’t have Canadian pricing yet, with a $85 price tag in the United States, it appears Google has achieved that goal in at least some of the territories where the Chromebit will be available.
According to TechCrunch, the Asus Chromebit will soon launch in Canada. We’ve reached out to Google to find out about Canadian pricing and availability. We’ll update this post once we hear back from the company.
Update: We just heard back from Google. Available in two colours — “Cacao Black” and “Tangerine Orange” — the Asus Chromebit will retail for $119 in Canada. It will be available at Memory Express, Canada Computers and NCIX sometime in early December.