Asus has made a “Chromebit.” It’s an $89 four-inch black stick you plug into your TV to turn it into a Chrome computer. Temporarily, of course.
A Chrome computer uses Google’s Chrome operating system, which is the driving force behind their “Chromebook” computer. They’re light, easy for traveling, and never get buggy. That’s because all the programs exist out in the cloud, as they call it. The so-called “cloud” being a whole bunch of computers in a big air conditioned room somewhere that is never going to float into the sky.
In this case, the TV is not light and easy to carry around, but it can be a really big screen computer. All the usual programs — web browsing, email, word processing, spreadsheet, power point type presentations, etc. — are available and there is no extra charge. But where an extra charge will kick in is for a keyboard if you want one. Believe us, you want one. We bought a Logitech at Office Depot for $40 at. Nice. Works fine.
The Chromebit stick can also be used to play movies from Hulu, Google Play and Netflix, among others. We were able to order it from NewEgg.com and it should be more widely available within a couple of weeks. All these gizmos work wirelessly now, so you don’t have to worry about a maze of cables stretching across your living room. You will be able to remain on the couch except for a few vital functions, and we can easily foresee that in a few generations there may be no need to move at all.