Google Announce New Chromebooks And “Chromebit” Dongle

folder_openChrome OS, News

This post was published 5 years, 2 months ago. Due to the rapidly evolving world of technology, some material it contains may no longer be applicable.

Google has just announced a new way to run Chrome OS at home or at work with the new “Chromebit” HDMI dongle as well as a bunch of new Chromebooks. And no, these products are NOT just an early April fools!

Chromebit

Asus Chromebit

The Chromebit is a small dongle device which runs Chrome OS (not to be confused with the software of the Chrome cast which is mostly Android based) and connects to your TV, projector or computer monitor via HDMI input.

It runs the Chrome operating system just like a Chromebook (Chrome OS laptop), Chromebox (Chrome OS mini desktop) or Chromebase (Chrome OS all-in-one) but provides yet-another form factor that is even more tiny and even more portable than existing options.

The Asus-built Chromebit will turn your display into a Chrome OS powered computer for a very low-cost (under $100) and manages to cram in a Rockchip processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a USB 2.0 port.

New Chromebooks

In addition to the Chromebit, Google announced three new Chromebooks: the ASUS Chromebook Flip, Haier Chromebook 11 (available at Amazon) and the Hisense Chromebook (available at Walmart).

ASUS Chromebook Flip

Asus Chromebook Flip

A Chromebook you’ll flip for

A premium, all-metal convertible, it’s ultra-portable—just 15mm thin and weighing less than two pounds. The Chromebook Flip has a great keyboard and a touch screen for immersive experiences like gaming and educational apps. It will be available later this spring for $249.

The Chromebook Flip looks to be one of the hottest Chromebooks yet (at least out of those which don’t cost a gazillion pounds) and comes with a lovely metal exterior, a touchscreen and a flip hinge which is much like Lenovo’s N20p Chromebook but with 360 degrees of rotation instead of just 270 – meaning the screen will go all the way back and allow you to use it like a tablet.

Chrome OS is also adding a new feature specifically to cater for this flip hinge whereby it goes into a sort of tablet mode they are calling “Touch View UI” which right now basically just means apps all run all full screen like a tablet but we could see further developments of this soon. Hopefully the fact it runs an ARM processor as well should mean it will have good compatibility with Android apps and games which should be especially good in this mode.

The curved and continuous shape it has actually makes it look like two tablet bodies stuck together with one of the screens swapped for a keyboard – it is very smooth clean for a laptop and especially one of this price.

We don’t know the internal specs (Update: see below) but would imagine we are looking at something similar inside to Asus’s other offerings such as a low-power CPU, 4GB RAM and 16 or 32GB SSD storage plus 100GB free with Google Drive. Although to be honest the specs are not so important with Chrome OS since it is very lightweight and most of the heavy lifting it done in the cloud.

Sadly there has been no word on international availability, but since Asus’s other Chromebooks are on sale in a wide range of countries we suspect this will be as well, albeit most likely sometime after the US launch.

Product Specifications

  • Up to 10 hours battery life
  • 10.1” HD wide-screen IPS Touchscreen display (1366 x 768)
  • Rockchip RK3288, 2.5 GHz quad-core (64-bit)
  • 16 GB eMMC Flash storage
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 2×2 (MIMO) a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Multi-gesture touchpad
  • Virus protection built-in
  • Auto-updates built-in
  • 100GB Google Drive storage included, free for two years

Product Interface

  • USB 2.0 port x 2
  • HDMI x 1
  • Headphone / microphone jack x 1
  • Stereo speaker x 2
  • Micro SD Slot
  • DC-in x 1

Haier Chromebook 11

The Hair Chromebook is the first of two new Chromebooks which sit right at the entry-level with one of lowest price points for just $149.

It is a fairly standard affair, cheap Chromebook from the outside, with a plastic body and 11.6 1366×768 resolution display. It features all the usual ports you’d typically find including HDMI output, 2x USB ports and SD card slot (although MicroSD rather than the more common full SD) and internally, it’s basically the same as the Chromebit.

The key points for this device though are its claimed 10 hour battery life, thanks to its efficient ARM Cortex-A17 based Rockchip processor and of course its super-low price tag of just $149! Below are the full specs for this Chromebook.

Product Specifications

  • Up to 10 hours battery life
  • 11.6” HD wide-screen LED-backlit display (1366 x 768)
  • Rockchip RK3288, 1.8 GHz quad-core (64-bit)
  • 16 GB eMMC Flash storage
  • 2 GB DDR3L RAM
  • Built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 2×2 (MIMO) a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Multi-gesture touchpad
  • Virus protection built-in
  • Auto-updates built-in
  • 100GB Google Drive storage included, free for two years

Product Interface

  • USB 2.0 port x 2
  • HDMI x 1
  • Headphone / microphone jack x 1
  • Stereo speaker x 2
  • Micro SD Slot
  • DC-in x 1

 Hisense Chromebook

Hisense Chromebook

The Hisense Chromebook is a similar story to the Haier Chromebook above although it packs in a slightly more powerful model of the Rockchip chipset.

The chip in this Hisense model is also Quad-core and based on the ARM Cortex-A17 architecture but has a higher clock speed of 2.50GHz (vs the 1.8Ghz clock of the chip used in the Haier and the Chromebit). Although, that higher clock speed does come at the cost of a slightly shorter battery life, however it still manages a very reasonable 8.5 hours.

The design is also slightly simpler and perhaps a little sleeker (or a little less interesting, depending on you point of view), opting for smooth black plastic instead of the patterned / textured design of the Haier Chromebook 11.

The rest of the specs and internals as mentioned are very similar and the price is also just $149. Both this and the Haier so far look like they will be US-only but if we find out about any plans to bring them elsewhere we’ll be sure to let you know.

Product Specifications

  • Up to 8.5 hours battery life
  • 11.6” HD wide-screen LED-backlit display (1366 x 768)
  • Rockchip RK3288, 2.5 GHz quad-core (64-bit)
  • 16 GB eMMC Flash storage
  • 2 GB DDR3 RAM (expandable to 16GB)*
  • Built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 2×2 (MIMO) a/b/g/n/ac
  • Multi-gesture touchpad
  • Virus protection built-in
  • Auto-updates built-in
  • 100GB Google Drive storage included, free for two years

* This is according to the product page on Walmart but the expansibility aspect looks slightly dubious as not many Chromebooks offer expandable RAM. We will be looking into this to confirm, but in the meantime take this with a pinch of salt!

Product Interface

  • USB 2.0 port x 2
  • HDMI x 1
  • Headphone / Microphone  jack x 1
  • Stereo speaker x 2
  • Micro SD Slot
  • DC-in x 1

A New Chrome Ad

Google also introduced a following new Chrome advert which cleverly shows people doing tasks you might not often think of as being possible with a Chromebook such as software development, gaming, 3D modelling and even video editing.

 

The overall message from both the advert and the new product launches seems to be clear: there is a Chromebook for everybody, regardless of the type of user you are or the lifestyle you lead.

Source: Chrome Blog

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