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Asus announces $100 Chromebit stick PC

Ultraportable laptops seem to be all the rage at the moment, as users become more and more used to having devices they can carry with them wherever they go. However, for some, a full-size laptop is still a little too much luggage for day-to-day life — and for them, a stick PC might well be the ideal solution.

We’ve seen this type of device before, but now Asus and Google have partnered to deliver a small, cheap model that runs Chrome OS. All you need is a monitor to plug it into via a HDMI connection, and you’re up and running with a computer that’s capable of running Google’s broadly popular and ever-expanding suite of software. Even better, the device looks set to retail for around $100.

Christened the Chromebit, the device has been developed as a convenient and economical way for schools and businesses to roll out a fleet of computers, according to a report from Liliputing. However, it’s also assumed that there will be a normal retail release. In fact the system seems tailored for that, as Asus has shown it in a variety of stylish and eye-catching colors.

Related: Can a polished Chrome OS really replace Windows? We tested.

Details on the specs of the Chromebit are sparse, but it seems that it will boast a Rockchip RK3288 quad-core processor. This component is also used in the new line of Asus Chromebooks also announced today. This means the system is unlikely to be the quickest Chrome system around, but what’d you expect for a Benjamin? Other specifications are said to include two gigabytes of RAM, 16GB of storage and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. These are not officially confirmed, but have been reported by individuals with hands-on experience with the device.

However, given the target audience for this device, specs aren’t going to matter much in the long run; for businesses and schools, it only needs to be powerful enough to run basic software. Price and ease of use are the key here — and it seems that both of those factors are being catered to very well. An exact release date isn’t available, but Asus is targeting summer 2015.