ASUS' new Google Meet hardware aims to make it easier to get started

Video conferencing has become the new hot trend these days, be it for small teams or even big businesses. Sometimes all you need is a laptop with a webcam but some situations do require more specialized hardware or setups that could seem like a huge undertaking for companies that don't have any experience in that area. That's why Google and ASUS are not pushing new hardware, including a "starter kit" to help these businesses hit the road running and, in the long run, snatch more customers away from Zoom.

Some who follow this market might be a bit confused but let's set one thing straight. When ASUS says it has been selling Google Meet hardware kits since 2014, what it really means is that it has been selling Hangouts Meet hardware kits that far back. Thanks to the new rebranding, however, everything sounds and looks new now.

The heart of these kits is a new Google Meet Compute System, which is also actually a new name for what ASUS used to call a Chromebox. It's really just a mini PC that runs Chrome OS and is specifically customized to run Google Meet. Of course, that undersells the Intel Core i7 running inside with 128 GB of SSD storage.

That Google Meet Compute System is part of a new, or rather refreshed, Google Meet hardware kit, ASUS' complete video conferencing offer. That kit includes a speaker mic to place on a table, a UHD camera to clip to a huge TV, and a touch screen panel for easier meeting management.

There's also a Google Meet Starter Kit that has almost all of that except the touch screen control panel. In lieu of that, ASUS is throwing in a remote control that also doubles as a keyboard. Google and ASUS are pushing these kits and hardware to businesses that suddenly find themselves requiring regular video conferences in small, socially-distanced rooms or even at home.