Google has a new type of Chrome OS device, one that's designed to make it easier and more discreet than ever to hook up a TV. It's called Chromebit, and it's a complete Chrome OS computer in an HDMI stick about the size of a candybar.
Chromebit is manufactured by Asus and packs inside a quad-core Rockchip 3288 ARCM Cortext-A17 processor with an ARM Mali 760 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a USB port, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 4.0. The thing even has a swivel hinge it so you can turn and twist the stick so it's not sticking straight out from the back or side of your TV. You'll need to provide a mouse and keyboard to make it all work, naturally.
Then there's the question of price, which is actually quite reasonable: $100, and launching this summer. And this is only the first Chromebit — Google expects other manufacturers to start making similar HDMI Chrome OS dongles as well. Chromebit is going up against Intel's $150 Compute Stick, which puts a Windows 8.1 PC into an HDMI stick, and any number of Android-powered HDMI sticks, not to mention an array of Chrome OS-powered desktop mini-boxes.
It does make for an interesting ecosystem for Google. Chromebit joins the Chromecast streaming dongle as well as Android TV-powered dongles and televisions in Google's living room line-up. So you could, in theory, plug a Chrome stick into your Android television. It's a wild world we live in.