Asus announced the Chromebit CS10 (first announced back in March), which is an $85 USB drive-type PC that connects to a monitor or HDTV and can be paired to a Bluetooth keyboard to offer users a Chrome OS desktop experience.
On the hardware side, the device looks much like a USB drive, although it's slightly larger than most USB drives these days (12.3 cm long), and it weighs 75 grams. Earlier this year, Google and Asus announced the RK3288-C-powered Asus C201 Chromebook, which started out at $169. Now, Asus is using the same Rockchip processor to power the new $85 Chromebit, as well. The RK3288-C SoC uses quad-core 32-bit Cortex-A17 1.8 GHz CPU and a Mali-T764 GPU (a variant of Mali-T760).
The Chromebit CS10 comes with 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of flash storage, an HDMI port for connecting to a monitor, dual-band 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a USB 2.0 port.
On the software side, we have Chrome OS, often called one of the most secure operating systems around thanks in part to security being a main priority from the beginning of its development, rather than an afterthought, but also because for the most part, Chrome OS only loads websites and web apps. Even the few Chrome apps using native code are securely sandboxed to minimize the damage.
|Asus Chromebit CS10|
|Operating System||Chrome OS|
|Memory||2 GB LPDDR3L|
|Graphics||Integrated Rockchip Mali T764 (delivers Full HD 1080p visuals)|
|Storage||16 GB eMMC storage|
|Wireless||Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi Bluetooth 4.0|
|Connectivity||1 x HDMI 1 x USB 2.0 1 x DC-in|
|Power supply||12V, 1.5A, 18W adapter|
|Colors||Cacao Black, Tangerine Orange|
|Size||123 x 31 x 17 mm|
Although in some cases and for some people, Chrome OS's simplicity is a hurdle for productivity; for others its simplicity is what makes it appealing compared to a more full-featured operating system. Users need to simply log in with their Google credentials, and all of their synced data from their browsers will transfer over to the new Chromebit.
The Chromebit also comes with 100 GB of free storage in Google Drive, which helps those who may need a little more than the 16 GB of onboard device storage.
The Chromebit will soon ship in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the UK.
Lucian Armasu joined Tom’s Hardware in early 2014. He writes news stories on mobile, chipsets, security, privacy, and anything else that might be of interest to him from the technology world. Outside of Tom’s Hardware, he dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.