Google Cloud Apps Admins

This Week's Chromebook of the Week is actually a Chromebit!

Written by Joey Allen (GCP Apps Admin) | July 22, 2017

Chrome devices have changed the way businesses boost productivity, improve customer experiences and enhance mobility. They are also well-suited to digital signage and kiosk deployment. To achieve this purpose, IT staff simply need to activate the kiosk mode on the Chrome device.  Today we are celebrating the Chromebit, a Small Wonder that causes us to rename this column.

 

Google continues to introduce innovative solutions that address a key business aspect – controlling costs. Devices like the Chromebit revolutionize how companies can display marketing content without investing in expensive equipment. It is now easier to deploy a plug and play HDMI dongle that requires minimal configuration.

The device plugs into the HDMI port of a display and supports a mouse and an external keyboard. This allows companies to deploy it as a kiosk for use by employees or customers. It comes as no surprise that technology experts are praising the device saying ''the Chromebit may be the hottest enterprise device ever.''

Business Insider says ''the whole computer-on-a-stick thing has been done before, but never this well.''

Last month you may have thought you were seeing double fidget spinners with when we announced that the Chromebook of the Week: These Two Acers: C738T-C8Q2 C738T-C5R6 and that the column was going to every-other-week.

Now, in honor of multi-mode chromebooks and clouds and Chromebits near and dear, from here on in, this column is now called  "Chrome Device of the Week.

 

Key Features of the Asus Chromebit

Dubbed ''a chocolate-bar-sized Chrome OS device that turns any HDMI monitor or TV into a computer,'' the Asus Chromebit is a scalable and easy-to-manage solution. It uses a Rockchip Quad-Core Processor and comes with a Flex Connect HDMI connector (bendable) for hard-to-reach ports.

The device offers robust security features, including an anti-virus software and automatic updates. When it comes to storage space, it provides 16 gigabytes eMMC and 100 gigabytes of Google Drive space for free (limited to two years). ''It packs a lot of computing power into a little itty bitty form factor,'' - Business Insider.

The Chromebit delivers a full HD graphics performance and boots in seconds. It is the recipient of the 2015 Good Design Award and 2016 CES Innovation Award. The Chromebit enables wireless connections with the Bluetooth 4.0 and the dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi. It also features both USB and HDMI ports.

 

Chromebit for digital signage, kiosks and other business applications

The device brings many display possibilities to businesses of varying sizes. It provides a viable way to transform billboards into fully functional, smart digital signs. Alternatively, businesses can deploy the device to create a guest kiosk. It can replace legacy systems and enable entities to create a spectrum of matching products using a single managed device.

IT staff can manage the unit remotely while the automatic updates handle additional maintenance requirements. These plug-and-play devices support touchscreens to provide a more engaging user interaction that enriches customer experiences when deployed as an in-store kiosk.

Organizations are using the devices in various settings, including hotels, retail stores, airports, restaurants and fast food outlets. The units allow guests or customers to browse the internet when the public session is activated. Account-based data access ensures privacy in the single app kiosk mode. Users are automatically logged out after a specified period.

 

Here's what the experts are saying about the Asus Chromebit :

CNET - ''The least expensive stick PC yet.'' The Chromebit looks like an oversized USB stick and comes with the DNA of a desktop. It relies on the display unit for power since it does not use an internal battery. When compared to the Intel Compute Stick, the Asus Chromebit is smaller and looks slicker.

PC Advisor – The Chromebit has the core components of a stripped down PC. It packs the full version Chrome OS into a dongle. ''Chromebooks are cheap, cheerful, and get the job done for most normal users’ needs. The Chromebit follows this template.''

PC Mag – Although the Chromebit could not be subjected to PC Mag benchmark tests, the device boots in seconds and webpages load faster. Opening multiple tabs in the browser does not slow performance even when some of the tabs are streaming 1080p HD videos. The device does not have a power button, it monitors Bluetooth for activity and boots instantly.

Engadget – If you are looking to access email, stream videos in addition to creating and editing documents in Google Docs, you will be pleased with the Chromebit's performance.

 

Final thoughts on the Asus Chromebit

Analysts highlight the Chromebit's simplicity, manageability, flexibility and security as important attributes that make it ideal for digital signage and kiosk applications. The device boots directly to apps when connected to the display unit. In addition, there are no viruses, random app installs or malware to worry about.

The Asus Chromebit is a VERY awesome device for low cost digital signage and kiosks - and super effective!  with the Chrome Sign builder and Chrome Device Management you essentially have a "Smart Sign" for under $100.   The physical design / form factor is awesome.  Asus even includes a hole for a security cable.  Absolutely one of the most versatile Chrome DEVICES out there.  A perfect compliment to my Chromebook.🤓