They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but what they don’t say is that it’s also a damn good way to make money!

China’s masterful mimicry industry – it even has a name ‘Shanzhai’ – churns out cheap and cheerful clones of popular products. From the predictable aping of Apple’s iPhones (‘uPhone’) and iPads (‘haiPad’), to less obvious devices from vendors like Samsung and ASUS.

And, now, Google can be added to that list.

EzCast – Ersatz Chromecast

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 14.18.40The EzCast EzChrome is a Chromecast clone from China that isn’t shy on the source of its inspiration, even slapping a monochromatic Chrome logo on its Chromecast-shaped casing.

Like its muse, the ersatz Chromecast is based around an HDMI-in port, features built-in WiFi, and comes with a micro-USB port for power where needed.

It’s also functionally sound. The reviews of its iOS and Android applications, both required to ‘cast’ content to the device, boast largely positive reviews.

But, at just $5 less than Google’s offering, and lacking the premium content providers like Netflix, HBO GO, et al., the idea of skimping on a few bucks for an inferior clone seems a little…a little bizarre.

American readers can chuck $27 in the direction of Chinese-import site Aliexpress to nab one.

But with Amazon US routinely offering the real deal for around $30, I say skip your next Starbucks and keep it #TeamChrome.

Chromecast Hardware chromecast shanzhai