TV casting and USB-C hits Chromebooks [April]

Here you’ll find the Chromebooks monthly updates from the month of April. Are you caught up on everything new? Check out our previous Chromebook updates.

Notable new features:

  • Ted and Qello come to Chromecast
  • Asus announces touchscreen Chromebook Flip and Chromebit
  • What USB-C means for Chromebooks

Now casting: TED, MTV, Pac-12 and Qello Concerts for Chromecast

Chromecast has another great group of apps you can now cast directly to your TV.

Hot on the heels of the annual TED conference, you can now watch “ideas worth spreading” with TED Talks. Whether you’re seeking inspiration, an old talk you missed, or something more recent, it’s never too late to expand your mind and learn something new. And for those new to TED, check out the 20 most-watched TEDTalks to get started.

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For the sports fans out there, Pac-12 Networks has all of your favorite collegiate sports covered. From fall to summer, Pac-12 Networks brings you live coverage of 30 sports, including football, basketball, soccer, baseball, gymnastics and more.

For those who want to keep up with the latest family drama in Finding Carter or see what secrets Nev and Max uncover in Catfish, start casting with the MTV app available today.

When you’re in the mood to jam out with Nirvana, Freddie Mercury or the Rolling Stones, you can tune into Qello Concerts for full-length concerts and music documentaries. For a limited time, Chromecast owners can sign up to try Qello Concerts all-access pass free for one month through April 19, 2015. Check out more offers at Chromecast.com/offers.

Find these and more Google Cast-enabled apps at chromecast.com/apps.

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More Chromebooks, for everyone

“Get more done and worry less.” That’s what teachers, businesses, and everyday people have told us they can do, thanks to Chromebooks. Since Google introduced them four years ago, Chromebooks have made computers faster, simpler, and more secure, while eliminating everyday hassles like waiting for your computer to boot up, having to constantly charge it, and remembering to install software updates. And a lot of people love them—Chromebooks were the best selling laptops on Amazon last holiday season, and teachers and students made them the #1 device in schools last year.

Quality and affordability

You shouldn’t have to choose between a computer that performs well and one that you can afford. Today Google is introducing two new devices that meet both criteria: the Haier Chromebook 11 (available at Amazon) and the Hisense Chromebook (available at Walmart). These new Chromebooks are fast, lightweight, have all-day battery life and are available for pre-order today for $149.

They join new partners like TRUE, XOLO, and Nexian and the existing range of Chrome devices —ranging from 11.6” Chromebooks for $199 to 15” Chromebooks for $499 rolling out over the next few months from partners like Acer, AOPEN, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and LG.

A Chromebook you’ll flip for

We’re also excited about the ASUS Chromebook Flip. A premium, all-metal convertible, it’s ultra-portable—just 15mm thin and weighing less than two pounds. The Chromebook Flip has a great keyboard and a touch screen for immersive experiences like gaming and educational apps. It will be available later this spring for $249.

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A little bit more…

This summer, ASUS will launch a new type of Chrome device: the Chromebit. Smaller than a candy bar, the Chromebit is a full computer that will be available for less than $100. By simply plugging this device into any display, you can turn it into a computer. It’s the perfect upgrade for an existing desktop and will be really useful for schools and businesses.

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So whether you’re looking for a smaller Chrome device that packs a big punch or a laptop that can do back bends, there’s a Chromebook for you…and for everyone else, too.

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For What’s Next: the new Chromebook Pixel and USB Type-C

Today Google is introducing an updated, more powerful Chromebook Pixel. While the new Pixel has many improvements, one feature that is especially exciting is universal charging, data, and display in the form of USB Type-C. Google joined forces with the USB Implementers Forum and leaders across the industry to create the new standard over the past few years, and are now starting to see its debut in devices.

The case for a new connector

Mobile devices charge from a USB port, which has worked pretty well, even though USB wasn’t designed for that purpose. Micro-USB can deliver up to 10 Watts, which charges small mobile devices reasonably quickly. However, as phones get bigger and batteries charge faster, there’s a distinct need for something that can supply more power than micro-USB.

Laptops, on the other hand, have no common charge standard. Each one tends to have its own proprietary connector and power supply to deliver just the right combination of voltage and current to charge that laptop at its most efficient point. Laptops also need a lot more than 10 Watts of power.

More power and speed

USB Type-C combines these varying needs in a durable, high power, high data-rate connector powerful enough for laptops yet small enough for mobile phones. It also does so in a symmetrical design to eliminate the guesswork when plugging in.

USB Type-C can deliver up to 100W of power, which is more than even the largest laptops typically need. When a USB Type-C enabled device is plugged in, the charger negotiates the right power for that device. That way, phones, laptops and tablets can all be powered from the same charger.

Not only does Type-C enable universal charging, but it also allows high-speed data and high resolution display. Type-C was designed to transfer data at speeds up to 20Gbs. Since current USB devices max out at 5Gbs, there’s room to grow.

From the same port, Type-C also enables high resolution display output to a monitor or TV through DisplayPort and HDMI accessories.

New possibilities

USB Type-C on the new Pixel means that one day soon you’ll be able to charge your phone, laptop, and tablet all from the same power charger.

There’s a Type-C port on both sides of the Pixel, so you can output display and charge at the same time. It also means you can charge from either side of your laptop, something that’s really convenient on a crowded desk.

Forgot your power adapter? Plug in the optional Type-C to USB A cable, and top up from any traditional USB port, your phone charger, or a USB power bank. It won’t charge as fast as the included 60W supply, but it’s handy in a pinch. For the truly adventurous, you could even charge your Pixel from another Pixel!**

As more devices use Type-C, you can imagine a world where chargers become ubiquitous to the point where device makers won’t need to ship them with a new phone or laptop. Google’s even open sourced their work on Type-C adapters so that you’ll have more choice of accessories. That’s good for your wallet and the environment.

We’re really excited about the new Chromebook Pixel and USB Type-C. To learn more, head over to the Google Store, the new home for the latest devices made with Google, or the Pixel site.

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About

Garrett Wenger is a storyteller and marketer at Newmind Group, and a native to Kalamazoo, MI. He received his BFA in English Literature from Western Michigan University, and has heritage in Southwest Michigan’s creative writing community. He published his first book of poetry in late 2013, and he has been featured in numerous literary journals.