Described as a new generation compute-on-a-stick device that’s ready-to-go out-of–the-box, the new Intel Compute Stick is PC-on-a-stick that will ship with either Windows 8.1 or Linux pre-installed. Featuring a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735F Bay Trail processor, built-in wireless connectivity, on-board storage, and a micro SD card slot for additional storage, this device bring all the features that you need for a functional PC.
This tiny device can also handle media streaming via its HDMI 1.4a port, its other specs let you do much more. Intel also suggested that future generation of the Compute Stick will use newer processors, including Broadwell Core M CPUs, so if the current processor isn’t that impressive, this device will definitely become really useful with next-gen kernels.
The Windows version of the gadget comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage, while the Linux Computer Stick only get half the RAM and 8GB of built-in storage. The Intel Compute Stick also features full-sized and micro USB ports, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. The unit isn’t powered through HDMI, relying on the micro USB port, which is to the liking of some and disgruntle of others.
Sure, there will be voice saying that the Enterprise edition of Windows 8.1 comes with a feature called Windows To Go, which lets you build a portable version that you can run directly from a USB flash drive. However, for it to work at least decent, you will need an expensive USB 3.0 stick. The Windows 8.1 Compute Stick will set you back $149 and the Linux version just $89, but I’m wondering if there’s really demand for products like this among average consumers. Intel is aiming for a March release, in case you plan to buy one.