Google announces budget-priced Chromebits and Chromebooks

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Google has announced new Chrome-powered computers, which are set to target budget-conscious consumers and schools. The range includes a new type of device called the Chromebit, which looks like an oversized memory stick, and turns monitors and TVs into computers when plugged into their HDMI ports. The tech firm also revealed the cheapest Chromebook laptops to date, costing $149 (£101). The move is likely to intensify competition with Microsoft.

The announcements came less than a day after Microsoft revealed plans to sell a new entry-level tablet-laptop hybrid of its own. Its Surface 3 costs more -$499, and £419 in the UK for the basic model – but provides access to a wider range of software made for the Windows platform.

“This is a booming sector of the market at the moment,” commented Chris Green, a tech analyst at the Davies Murphy Group consultancy. “With the falling cost of hardware, schools are looking to families to equip kids with their own computers – the idea of BYOD [bring your own device to class]. “This has prompted manufacturers to create low-cost entry-level laptops that parents then buy for their children as well as themselves.” Via BBC News.

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