As technology is changing, the way in which users interact with the tech is also evolving. While smartphones and tablets are becoming far more powerful, more processor-capable and generally more than a smartphone or tablet. The need for even more powerful devices, which are also mobile, continues. This is where the market for 10/11-inch Chromebooks and portable laptops have looked to corner some of the market. That said, they still seem too lacking in mobility for what users want, a powerful but portable unit. Well, that changed this week when an announcement came through that Google had partner with Asus to bring to market their Chromebit.
For those that missed the earlier announcement, the Chromebit is a pocket sized USB-like stick which is essentially a fully functional Chrome OS device. The chromebit comes loaded with 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and powered by a Rockchip 3288 processor, with an ARM Mali 760 quad-core GPU. Not to mention a USB 2.0 port as well as a HDMI port for direct connecting to displays. Essentially turning any display into a Chromebook. Due to its small size and lack of additional hardware, the Chromebit is expected to hit the market for under $100.
However, it does seem that Google and Asus will have some competition in the market. Another similar device dubbed the ‘Compute Stick’ is expected to be released quite soon by Intel. The processor giant looks set to enter the market with their option which is similar in size, function and purpose. With the exception of not running Chrome OS, the Compute Stick is a direct competitor for Chromebit and also offering 2GB RAM. However, Intel’s option will come equipped with their own Intel Atom Quad-core processor and will also offer higher levels of internal storage, with the unit available in 32GB and 64GB variants. Not to mention, the Compute Stick will also offer a MicroSD card slot for even more additional storage. Although the Windows 81 version is likely to come in around the $150 mark, a Linux version will also be available and will come in around the $90 marker. Again, making its statement to compete with Google’s Chromebit. In terms of availability, this is not quite clear as of yet. Retailers like Amazon have now started listing the Compute Stick, although their does not seem to be any firm date on when delivery will be possible.