Intel’s New “PC on a Stick”


Intel-logoIt seems like just about every day there is news of yet another wonderful piece of innovative gadgetry on the horizon, and the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) held recently in Las Vegas has provided a plethora of mouth watering previews to help whet the geek appetite.

How about a full Windows 8.1 PC contained in a stick? That’s what Intel has come up with from its shock and awe department. The rather unimaginatively named “Compute Stick”, which is only slightly larger than a media streaming device and can easily fit into the palm of the hand, includes 2 gig of RAM, Bay Trail Atom Z3735F processor, 32GB eMMC storage, Bluetooth 4.0, USB port, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and a micro SD expansion slot, plus it comes with the full Windows 8.1 (with Bing) pre-installed. That’s about as close to a complete PC as you’ll get in such a tiny package.

I don’t know about you, but I am certainly impressed! This device makes it possible to turn almost any large screen which includes HDMI input into a PC with the addition of a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse – and at $150.00us, it sounds like a bargain to me.

intel-compute-stick-pcFor those who prefer an alternative operating system, Intel is also planning on releasing a Linux version, although with lower specs – 1GB RAM plus 8GB storage – but, at a mere $89.00us, that is also reflected in the pricing. Intel is yet to announce which flavor of Linux will be the lucky winner but Ubuntu is being widely tipped.

The biggest issue with the stick, at least for now, appears to be that it can’t be powered over HDMI, which means you’ll need either a powered USB port or USB power adapter in order to start the thing up.


All-in-all, I just want one!! How about you?

 

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

7 Comments

    • You are correct of course Patrick. Funny thing is, Richard and I were discussing this very distinction not so long ago, and in typical CRAFT fashion I’d forgotten already.

      Thanks for pointing it out mate… article now corrected accordingly.

      I still think “watering” and “wet” should be acceptable in the same sentence though. 🙂

  1. I want one also. My question on reading about the computer stick was what jobs or tasks it could be used for? I thought maybe it could plug into a smart TV and be used as an entertainment controller. Another job the stick might do is allow a business traveler to have a very easily portable PC for his/her word, spreadsheet tasks, and PowerPoint presentations. These ideas are just my guesses. Does anyone know of any specific tasks the computer stick is suited for?

    • I thought maybe it could plug into a smart TV and be used as an entertainment controller.

      Absolutely! It would probably not quite match a dedicated HTPC but it would certainly be superior to most basic streaming devices.

      Another job the stick might do is allow a business traveler to have a very easily portable PC for his/her word, spreadsheet tasks, and PowerPoint presentations.

      Again, spot on! What we are talking here is a totally portable PC that can perform basic chores anywhere an HDMI screen is available.

  2. This Compute stick is interesting but could I use it to seek comments on another item as I have had no replies from other forums.
    There is a company in the UK called Novatech that builds its own computers and while checking its site for desktop computers I came across this page http://www.novatech.co.uk/pc/range/novatechpockithdnpi11.html where it describes “a desktop computer in the palm of your hand”.
    I was unsure of the item because of its size and thinking there must the same types of device elsewhere in the world I asked for opinions.
    I didn’t receive any feedback so I thought I would try on here.
    Many thanks
    John