Google is not good at TV – despite having more money and super-smart engineers than you can shake a remote control at, the company has always stumbled in the living room. Google TV was a good idea, but it's suffered from poor support and various bugs. The Nexus Q meanwhile was killed before it even launched once someone inside Google realized it should never have been made at all. But this... the Google Chromecast, might have a shot. I've only had it for a day at this point, but it's already got more going for it than Google's previous TV products.



Getting the Chromecast up and running only takes a few minutes, but it's nowhere near as elegant as you might think from all the Google press images. The HDMI stick itself is slightly bulbous – it might stick out from behind your TV if you have side-mounted HDMI ports. The more bizarre part is the power cable. Google only mentioned this in passing at the event, but you have to plug a microUSB cable into the Chromecast to power it, just like charging a phone. This is included, but it attaches right to the end, making the device a little less magical. A TV with HDMI 1.4 should be able to power the Chromecast, but I don't have the hardware to test that.

C2 c3

Getting the Chromecast on your network is fairly easy with the Android app. I've seen the connection fail a few times, but it always goes through eventually. Depending on where your TV is in relation to your router, you may have connectivity issues. If that's the case, the included HDMI extender may help by getting the stick away from the back of the TV a few inches. It's also useful if the rather large Chromecast doesn't fit in the port. However, the HDMI extender makes it look even more awkward.

The only strange thing I'm seeing right now with regard to setup is that the Chromecast doesn't support 5GHz WiFi networks, but my Android devices mostly do. The app tries to connect the Chromecast to whatever network the controlling device is on. For me that was a 5GHz N network. The setup failed and didn't really explain why. The app also complained when I manually changed the Chromecast over to my 2.4GHz network (dual-band router) that I wouldn't be able to connect because my device was on a different network. Well, no. That's not how routers work. It still connects fine with my devices on 5GHz, but the app seems confused about this whole situation.

How It Works

After I got the streamer up and running, all my devices saw it automatically. There are only a few apps right now with built-in support for the streamer, but it works well. Opening something like Netflix and selecting the Chromecast immediately boots it into "Netflix Mode," then it waits patiently for a video to be selected. There's about 1 second of delay from the time I hit a button on the phone, to the time it registers on the Chromecast Netflix stream. If you've ever used the Netflix app's PS3 remote streaming functionality, this is almost identical.

YouTube streaming works the same as Netflix right now. The delay is slightly shorter, and the Android app is just better in general. Part of the better feel might simply be the more responsive touch interaction on the mobile device.

2013-07-26 17.06.04 2013-07-26 17.06.53

The all around video playback quality seems as good as any other device, but that's not surprising. The Chromecast is pulling from the same source online, not from the mobile device. Audio from Google Play Music seems good so far. It can only play music in your online storage, though.

I'm probably most intrigued by tab casting from desktop Chrome (sadly, no Android support yet). The Chromecast extension lets you project any tab right onto the TV, and the results are pretty good. There are some settings to tweak the quality level, so if you have a fast local network and solid connection, try the high-bitrate 720p setting. The other options are 480p and low-bitrate 720p. The delay is more significant – about 2 seconds. This is useful for getting video from non-supported sources on your TV.

The Chromecast extension also plugs into certain websites with streaming video. So far I've seen this on YouTube and Netflix. This basically does the same thing the mobile app would – instructs the Chromecast to go out and pull down the video from the same online source. This means you should get higher quality when compared to tab casting (up to 1080p if the source supports it).


The Chrome OS software is very limited, but I'm impressed with now attractive it is. It cycles through a large number of very lovely background images each time you use it. I would like to see some sort of history of casts, though. There's some wasted potential here.

I am seeing one early bug with Chromecast, but not on the device itself. The Netflix app seems to be causing my Nexus 4 (on 4.3) to freeze after it opens a video, then is allowed to go to sleep. It's pretty reproducible for me, but your mileage may vary. Edit: This is possibly a Netflix and 4.3 issue, not Chromecast/Netflix. Still investigating.

I Want To Believe

The Chromecast is an exciting product. Maybe I'm more surprised than I should be, but this isn't exactly in Google's wheelhouse. It is a really handy streaming device, and the tab casting is incredibly cool. This product has an interesting mix of simple, consumer-oriented features, and things for power users. And it's only $35.

I'm going to continue testing the Chromecast in advance of the full review, but I'm optimistic. Google might have nailed it – finally.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • deltatux

    They should have placed that USB plug elsewhere. Would have been great if HDMI provided power too but oh well.

    • Craig Hawkins

      It can, as long as you have a TV with HDMI 1.4

      • Ben Freund

        Yep. the review should really mention this...

        • RyanWhitwam

          This is just a first impressions post. The final review will go into much more detail.

    • Chris

      It does, on the newer standard. See google's documentation.

  • Stefan

    I'm so jealous Google isn't a Dutch company, so we would get all these good products first. Oh well... ;-)

  • http://about.me/tysonayoung Tyson Young

    Love the X-Files Quote "I Want to Believe" stuffed in the article.

  • zhuowei

    What does Developer Mode do? Does it provide debug output on the USB port? Maybe open up a debugging shell on Wi-Fi?

  • duse

    In your full review please discuss the nature of tab casting and how it relates to the general idea of feeding Chromecast a local URL instead of a web URL. Also please discuss supported codecs. In particular, I'm wondering how likely it is that Plex will be able to turn this into something useful.

    • Justin W

      And the cast everything feature as well. I know it's experimental, but it would be nice to see how well it performs.

  • sciwizam

    Another option for power.

    • wolfkabal

      Exactly how I have mine setup - I think it works and even looks good. No complaints here.

      • Brandon Watkins

        If your tv supports HDMI 1.4 then you Don't need it at all! my tv which a 5 year old 42in Vizio LCD(not LED) supports it. HDMI 1.4 has been out almost as long as HDMI itself. So most of you shouldn't even need the HDMI port in the first place.

        • mgamerz

          Um, no. HDMI's been around since 2002, and HDMI 1.4 has been out since 2009, not even close.

          • Idon’t Know

            And not all HDMI 1.4 will work.

          • David Fulde

            Has to be MHL compliant I think

          • Brandon Watkins

            Yes that's true. Thanks for pointing it out but I didn't mean it literally. Either way most ppl have an HD TV that supports 1.4 so I was just trying to help those ppl out. It was never mention in the the review.

          • mgamerz

            I just bought a new HDTV less than 4 months ago and it doesn't support 1.4. It wasn't a super low end one either, a mid range.

          • Brandon Watkins

            Really...well we have 4 HDTVs two led smart vizio TVs and two LCD normal TVs. A 5 year old vizio and a 3 year old Hitachi. The only one that doesn't support it is the Hitachi, so I guess maybe vizio just got on the band wagon before everyone else. Although the 5 year old one was top of the line when we bought it. An LCD with 240 Hz was pretty good hell most TVs now are only 120 Hz.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I have a pretty old Vizio which obviously doesn't support it and a relatively recent Panasonic, which also doesn't support it.


    • redthunda69

      Hey, I took that picture! Neat.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      None of my TVs have a USB port :(

  • bblackmoor

    If Google went back in time five years and released this before the Roku came out, this would be news. As it is, it's a waste of $35, in my opinion.

    • Justin

      I'm actually considering getting this for several family members that aren't terribly tech savvy. The big draw of this for me is that it just works, and it works well, for multiple people with absolutely no pairing required. If you're on the same network, it just works.

      I set this thing up while my partner was driving home from work, when he got in the door and hopped on wifi, he immediately saw the netflix controls. It is damn simple, that's my favorite part.

      • Gav456

        Wanna stick another "it just works" in there, buddy?

    • yippiedad

      If you only use it as a Netflix/Amazon VOD player, then yes. However, the Roku doesn't support anything that smells like tab casting or that integrates as well into the Android and Chrome platforms and that's where this baby shines.

    • lensgrabber

      As a person that doesn't have a Roku I disagree. I was lucky enough to get in on the Netflix deal before it expired. Is it a waste of $11? I think not. Even for $35 I think anyone that doesn't already have a streaming solution this is the device to get.

    • Idon’t Know


  • Michael Pahl

    I had major audio sync and lag issues casting a video from HBO GO into my living room (10 feet) on a very fast network.

    • jm9843

      The computer you're casting from also needs to be fast as it's encoding the contents of the tab "on the fly."

      • Michael Pahl

        AMD 8350 8 core @ 5ghz
        8GB DDR3 1800
        7970 @ 1.2Ghz core and 1.6Ghz mem

        It's fast enough.

        • Nick

          Did you try using the hdmi extender to get the chromecast away from your tv a bit, it seems that some people are having problems with the tv and other stuff blocking wifi signal.

          • Michael Pahl

            Its connected to my receiver not my TV. Ill try the extender and see what difference it makes.

          • Michael Pahl

            Its connected straight to my receiver. ill try that though.

        • Idon’t Know

          Except for the 2.4ghz only wifi. On a video streaming device.

      • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

        It was my impression that this downloads the information directly to the device directly from the internet. No transcoding involved. Chrome is just used as a controller.

        • ProvoAggie

          That is the case for everything except for Chrome Tab casting. For Chrome Tab casting it mirrors the tab from your computer.

  • ProductFRED

    Heads up, you only have to plug in a microUSB cable if you have an older, HDMI 1.3 TV. Newer, HDMI 1.4-compatible TVs support power over HDMI.

    • wideopn11

      Hmm, I tried on my SC-37 Pioneer Elite which supports HDMI 1.4 but it didn't seem to work.

      • Justin W

        Has to be MHL compliant

  • Todd Cissell

    Have you tried it plugged into the HDMI in on a receiver? Does it automatically switch inputs the same way it does on the TV? In my setup everything goes to the receiver first, so in very interested about this.

    • Jeff Badger

      In theory it should assuming your receiver's input is CEC compatible.

    • enoch861

      Honestly, it depends on your receiver. All my receivers support CEC so they all turn on when they sense an input "turning on" or when a CEC compatible device sends the "power on" signal (turning off works the same way too).

      So to answer your question, yes, when you start "casting" the receiver and TV turn on and they all switch to the proper inputs (the days of the Logitech Harmony are starting to get numbered).

      It's weird though because it seems like the Chromecast is always on but only sends the "power" signal when you start "casting"?

      • Todd Cissell

        Thanks! I think my receiver will support it - looking forward to trying it out.

  • GlennStile

    I don't know about the US but in the UK this could be huge. Most people don't have Apple TV, Roku or a HTPC and are unwilling to spend out on such 'techno-wizardry' but with a cheap little device like this your old TV becomes a smart TV.

    BBC, ITV, 4OD and maybe even Sky should all be able, and most importantly, willing to build support for this mainly because of the DRM. This seemingly overlooked feature means that the contractual nightmares the media providers have had is no more. Sky can stream straight to your TV and assure the movie companies they are imposing DRM on the content and advert supported stations can make sure you watch the ads.

    More revenue for them, more choice for us and all from a cheap little dongle

    • sivkai

      Just one problem. This is not available in the UK, nor in the foreseeable future.

      • GlennStile

        Blimey! That's very pessimistic and perhaps a little short-sighted.

        its available now if you use a shipto service and i'll eat my hat if it's not over here by Christmas :)

        ( I don't actually own a hat but at Christmas I will have one from a cracker so that will do )

        • sivkai

          You call it pessimism, I call it realism
          I will re-evaluate my opinion the day Google Voice is released in the UK.

    • Gav456

      Google: mk808, that works in the UK =P

  • https://plus.google.com/109766515409503371323/about -benjy

    In the full review, please cover "Hotel Room" use case for those who want to take their Chromecast on the road.

    Many hotels have a browser based authorization / terms of use acceptance screen beyond just connecting to the access point. Will road warriors and vacationers be able to use it on HDMI equipped hotel TVs or will it connect to the access point but never show then the browser based gateway page?

    You can partially test this at McDonalds, since they have a click through (but no code entry).

    • r4v5

      The biggest factor there is that many TVs in hotels block any kind of HDMI input or input switching in general.

      • KingRando

        That's not true at all. I've stayed at a dozen different hotels this year all ranging from $80-$200 a night and they're ALWAYS willing to help me hook things up to the TV. Hyatt has an entire panel next to the TV for various hookups.

        • r4v5

          Interesting. My colleagues and I had to specifically ask the front desk for a TV to be wheeled in so we could show something to the group, because of that lock. This wasn't at a small hotel, either, it was the Westin O'Hare. I've stayed at a few different hotels and none of them would allow switching away from the "LodgeNet" input.

          • Cory_S

            A harmony remote is a quick fix for this issue.

          • KingRando

            Ah well that's because you stayed at a Westin. They're the most backward "high end" hotel chain I've ever seen. They still charge for Wifi.

            My dad works at one and between the outrageous prices and low-end quality, I'm not sure how they're still in business.

        • Idon’t Know

          Which has nothing to do with the question asked.

          • r4v5

            No, it was responding to my objection that a Chromecast doesn't mean anything if the hotel you're in blocks access to the onboard HDMI ports. It's apparently possible to override in some cases, but a simple google for "lodgenet tv hdmi" shows it's relatively common in US hotels.

            Now for the real question: Can it connect to a mobile hotspot connection on the phone and use that?

          • Elias

            'Murrica. Because freedom.

          • Trent Russell

            Inherently the phone won't be on the same network if it's creating a hotspot, so i'd assume no. Now if you were creating a hotspot and had say, a laptop or tablet and chromecast connected to it, then yeah i'm sure that would work.

        • darley

          I am in a Hyatt right now. I plugged the Chromecast into each of the inputs on the back of the TV and using the panel as well, all to no avail. Constantly get a NO SIGNAL message on the screen. :(

      • https://plus.google.com/109766515409503371323/about -benjy

        That problem will go away as soon as travelers start voting with their dollars.

        • Idon’t Know

          Hah! MANY hotels still charge a lot of lousy wifi. Hasn't exactly worked out voting with your dollars in that case.

      • tylerbrainerd

        At a cheap super 8, maybe. Most normal hotels don't care at all.

        • Captcaveman

          First you have to find a modern TV at a Super 8.
          The last one I stayed at the TV was older then my step-daughter.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

      I'm on it. I wonder how McDonalds will react to me trying to bring in a 42 inch TV to test.

    • Michael

      I travelled extensively in the past 3 months and has been to a dozon hotels from cheaper hotel to Hilton, and I could not activate the HDMI input from the TV nor remote and the desk said it is blocked. Sure, they want you to rent their movies. I just want to use their TV for photo editing directly from my camera. I can use a cable or better, retractible HDMI cable.

      A regular cable works also as good and safe S35 dollars unless you are always walking around the house to watch a movie. This is a toy and not a necessity as the cable do the same thing.


  • TheRealCBONE

    If it doesn't stream from your network or devices, why is this even a thing?

    • Nick

      You can tabcast local files, mkvs play just fine.

      • TheRealCBONE

        News to me. I never considered playing videos in chrome rather than vlc on my computers. Learn something every day. Thanks. Carry on.

    • Taylor

      A convenient, cheap way to watch Netflix on your TV.
      Easy method to share Youtube videos.
      It's $35.

      • Idon’t Know

        Or you can buy a Roku for $49.95 or less since they are easy to find on sale and it does dramatically more.

    • PhineasJW

      Google music through your AV receiver...

  • Aleksey_US

    Guys, anyone experiencing the same issue as me? So I've connected and set everything up, Galaxy Nexus works great, my iPad works great, the ChromeCast App on my laptop works and sees the TV... the only this the does not work is the Chrome Extension on the same laptop... It states no Casting Devices found ;( I've re-installed everything and restarted everything and still no luck. Called Google and they suggested the exactly the same things that I've already done. I doubt it has anything to do with my router since mobile devices and the App on the laptop work fine right? Any suggestions?

    • yentrog31

      VPN or proxy?

      • Aleksey_US

        Neither... that's also mentioned in troubleshooting steps on Google's website

        • Ken Hayes

          I have same problem... 3 hours of messing and I'm giving up. Figuring that it's too new for anyone to have solved the problem and will wait a couple days for a fix.

  • Luke Skaff

    The main reason I bought this is to stream my google music all access account to my AV receiver, I can now change what I am listing to from any room which is very convenient.

    • zachjen

      This is exactly what i was hoping to do. How do you have it hooked up?

      • enoch861

        I believe as long as you have it hooked up to one of your receiver's HDMI inputs you can play music without even having the TV on (although it turns on everything anyway).
        I can't confirm though until tomorrow when I get it hooked up to my other receiver without a TV.

      • Luke Skaff

        I just plugged the chromecast into one of the HDMI inputs on my receiver, I have a separate zone on my receiver to power speakers in other rooms. You do not have to power on the TV when listening to music but it does not hurt because it shows the song info. If you want to use this purely for audio you can get a HDMI decoderslitter that splits out the audio from HDMI to a digital output such as this: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?p_id=5557

    • Elias

      Precisely why I wished this thing had an analog P2 output.

    • PhineasJW

      Yep. I bought it for the same reason.

  • Keyz Karanza
    • gspida


  • jm9843

    2 things about this hands on:

    "Chromecast doesn't support 5GHz WiFi networks"

    Really? The reported specs are that the Chromecast supports 802.11n. Perhaps it's an issue with your brand of router?

    "Audio from Google Play Music seems good so far. It can only play music in your online storage, though."

    Someone could interpret this as meaning the Chromecast doesn't support Google Play Music "All Access." I don't think that's what you meant.

    • Brandito

      From the Chromecast page on Google Play


      2.4 GHz WiFi 802.11 b/g/n"

      802.11n devices don't have to support the 5ghz range.

      • jm9843

        Thanks for the clarification.

    • enoch861

      Google Music All Access is supported. And works pretty well too so far.

  • Brandito

    I'm experiencing the same netflix crashes on 4.3 on my nexus 4. I don't even need to play a video, simply opening the app will cause the phone to get stuck "asleep" Nothing seems to wake it except for a long press of the power button to shut it totally off.

  • TrueFarm

    I hope Chromecast solves my Hangout problems
    As of now, I would have to extent my computer screen from my office to the big screen TV in the living room (one room over) and then drag the Chrome tab over to the big screen. I then have to turn on the Unified Remote app for both computer and phone to control the mouse input since I won't be able to see what's going on on the big screen from my computer.

  • Avrohom Eliezer Friedman

    Random question - just wondering:

    Can I set up a few Chromecasts on the same network with the same name (let's call it "Lobby TV's") and cast to "Lobby TV's" and have it play simultaneously on all of them?

    • enoch861

      Doesn't look like it so far so good.
      Anyone else have multiple Chromcasts that can chime in?

  • Gav456

    Forgive me, but I don't see a single advantage of having this over an android tv stick, I'm currently using the RockChip mk808 which cost only slightly more than this but is infinitely more useful. u just install mediaportal, movietube and Google play music - done. It'll stream movies tv shows and music in 1080p, otg support for a wired 360 pad for gaming as well as any other apps you think might be useful on the tv. Also there are ROMs that allow control from another android device... Why does this product exist?

    • Brandito

      Because it's far more simple solution to the idea of sending media from your devices to your tv. This isn't for turning your tv into an android machine, it's for quickly sharing media.

      • Gav456

        I don't really buy that, with Google music, Google+ and Google drive your media should be automatically uploaded. can't get quicker than "already there". I just switch my tv to hdmi 2 and boom, media there ready to stream/download/share. Don't understand why that needs simplifying. I certainly don't see why Google should design and manufacture a product because it's "simpler" than seeing up Google cloud and auto upload services...

        • Brandito

          I think you're misunderstanding exactly how chromecast works.

          Watching a video on your phone? click a button and bam, it's on your tv and you can use your phone to queue up more videos without interrupting the feed on the tv. You can then use the phone for whatever you want.

          It's not even really the device that matters, it's the software that's the big deal. The feature will eventually make its way to google tv making it far more functional in my eyes.

          If you're fine with your android stick, and don't want the convenience chromecast offers, don't buy it I guess.

          • Gav456

            Ah, then it is more useful than I thought, but not by much... I suppose there could be a market for it. What I was struggling with is the amount of media hype it's received, but then, without the hype it wouldn't sell. Personally I wouldn't give it hdmi space on my tv, I certainly couldn't afford the hdmi port + a plug socket/usb slot, but obviously there are people out there that like it. Moar power to Google I guess =P

          • Brandito

            I think the fact that it's almost completely sold out after a day or two shows it has a market.

            I haven't seen it mentioned in the mainstream media yet, just on tech sites and more so on android sites.

          • gspida

            There is also the problem that my Android Stick (iMito) keeps overheating I suppose as it cuts off and I have to wait a couple days for it to boot properly. It might be my device but it would be much easier to get an exchange at best buy than to ship it back to china

      • Mike Reid

        And it's Google.

        • Idon’t Know

          So they upload the videos you are watching to the NSA?

  • ProvoAggie

    My Chromecast device came this afternoon and it works great. My only complaint is that when you share your entire screen it doesn't show the cursor on the TV screen so you have to look at the laptop screen. I was thinking that this would be great in our conference room at work to wirelessly broadcast to the TV for cheap but seeing the cursor is a necessity.

    • Rirath

      Do you mean the tab casting? If you're a web developer or your company has one, you could probably rig up a cursor stand-in using JS. Just have a cursor image or dot that follows the mouse position on the page.

      Could be made into a bookmarklet that could be ran on any site.

      • ProvoAggie

        The Tab Casting feature also has the ability to share your entire screen (without audio). I don't think there would be any way to rig up a fake cursor that works throughout the operating system and I also don't want to have to build one into our software for when I'm just sharing a tab.

  • grain

    they should have made it so that it also works as a miracast adapter -.-

  • MV

    can someone pleasy try streaming sports via wiziwig.tv and see if the mirror image of browser works on the tv, if this works ill get one :D

  • AFB

    Great post. I'm still patiently awaiting mine on the mail. Quick question: Are you guys planning on doing an in-depth teardown of the Google Cast SDK that was released also? It might give us a pretty good insight over what's possible for developers to do with it.


  • Idon’t Know

    No 5ghz on a streaming device? Odd. Ac would have been even better.
    Limited content compared to a Roku.
    Google hid the power supply information. Both pictures on Google Play don't show it and its not in the "3 step" instructions.

    • Freak4Dell

      The USB cable and power adapter are clearly shown in Step 1 of the setup instructions on the box.

  • gspida

    Anybody know if mxplayer can or will support this?

  • Utlarsh

    How is it better than any other wifi streaming apps?
    I can do everything with my smart tv with a built in wifi, well except for the chrome tabs casting. Also no netflix in India.

  • jim

    I no this sounds dumb... but would I be able to for example.. I had a movie on my tablet, than s tream it to my TV? if i had this thing? or is it for programs specifically supported, like youtube ect?

    • Michael Pahl

      its complicated kind of.

      its only for programs that support chromecast atm, although you can stream from any Chrome browser...

  • monci85

    hello, I wanted to know since I can not find the specific works on European TV?

  • madmilker

    I plugged it in and it made this O'fart better looking....


  • DanSan

    how do you change what quality setting you want it to stream on?

  • Moebius

    It's a very cool device. I've been playing with it non-stop since Friday, when I got it. Netflix looks crazy sharp and Youtube is awesome. Because it's first release, there's room for improvement. Otherwise I give it a big A++++. Good job Google.

  • Elias

    "The Nexus Q meanwhile was killed before it even launched once someone inside Google realized it should never have been made at all."
    What killed the nexus q was not a thoughtful decision from someone inside Google, it was the pricing disaster. Everyone was willing to have a nexus q, but not for that price. Pricing it over apple TV made it DOA.

  • NB

    Does the Chromecast replace a HDMI to X cord to the PC?

    For example, I have a HDMI to DVI cord from my HDTV to my PC to use as a 2nd monitor occasionally.

  • Simon Belmont

    My friend just plugged his into his Samsung TV and the other end into a USB Samsung WiseLink port on the side of the TV. Worked perfectly.

    I'm glad that Google included an AC adapter though. For $35, you get a nice package with this.

  • ms_gkygrl

    I'm having the same Chromecast / Nexus 4 issue on 4.3 that you mention. It freezes my phone after I have turned off the cast and I have to reboot the phone. Hoping they find a fix to this. :-)

  • Tom

    My chromecast is not working on hitachi tv anyone else with this problem

  • Ryan

    Why can't I get the cursor to work with Chromecast? It does not show up which defeats the whole purpose of mirroring your desktop if you still have to stare at the monitor to see what needs to be clicked.