A lot of us like to keep our gadgets separate. A PC is a PC. A TV is a TV. A smartphone is a smartphone. If you have the luxury of space, you can do that, and allow every device to perform its single function.
Not everyone has that luxury, however, and sometimes necessity requires that you bundle devices into other devices just to save space…or money.
If you’re having that problem wit your PC and/or your TV, here’s the solution – you an turn your TV into a PC with the ASUS Chromebit CS10 stick computer.
The CS 10 looks like an oversized flash drive, but it plugs into your TV’s HDMI port, rather than a USB port. You’ll also need to plug it into the wall, as HDMI, unlike USB, doesn’t provide power. The CS 10 has Bluetooth capability, so you can use it with a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard and mouse and that, combined with your TV, gives you a fully-functional desktop PC on your television.
The operating system is Chrome, which is a Linux derivative. The CS10 uses a ROckchip RK 3288 processor and has 2 GB of integrated system RAM and another 16 GB of storage memory. You can also add a flash drive for additional storage capability.
Wireless networking is built in, with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, so you’ll be able to connect to your router and on to the Web. You’ll also have access to a 100 GB Google drive in the cloud, so you’ll have plenty of additional storage space. On the downside, you will have to sign into a Google account to use it, which could be a problem if you’re one of those people who isn’t a Google fan.
The CS 10 is surprisingly affordable, as it’s priced at under $100. That’s pretty impressive for anything that can call itself a computer, though you’ll have to pay extra for the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, unless, of course, you just happen to have those lying around.
Hooking up a device like the ASUS CS 10 to your TV can be a bit awkward, as I found out when I tried to hook up my FireTV stick a while back. Fortunately, like the FireTV stick, the CS 10 includes an HDMI extender cord so you don’t have to plug it directly into the TV. You’ll also receive 4 hook and loop fasteners which will help you organize your cables.
While the CS 10 is a fully functional PC, it obviously has some limitations. It doesn’t have an optical drive, for instance, and some TVs are going to provide a better experience for doing work than others. I’m not sure, for instance, that I want to do work on a 55 inch monitor. Still, in a pinch, it’s a nice solution for someone who occasionally needs a PC or for someone who is just short on space. If you’re in a small apartment and you’re having to make a choice between having room for a computer or room for a TV, and you don’t need to spend all your time on the computer, then a CS 10 might make sense.
It’s certainly about the most affordable functional computer out there. Even if you have to buy a keyboard and a mouse, you’re still in for a bit over $100. That’s pretty cheap.
You can find the CS 10 at Amazon, and probably at a zillion other places, too.