Back at CES in January Intel shared with us a preview of the company's latest new platform form factor, the Compute Stick. That's the formal, official name, a follow up from the same team that brought us the NUC (Next Unit of Computing). The Compute Stick is a thumb-drive-shaped, full PC integration that has a physical HDMI connection to plug directly into your TV.
The specifications remain unchanged from what we learned at CES:
The Intel Compute Stick, aptly named, seems to fit somewhere between these two devices. It is an HDMI dongle enclosing an x86, quad-core, computer with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Intel eventually plans to have the device powered by the HDMI port, but it currently requires power over micro USB. Besides power, it also has a standard USB (Type A-Female) port and a micro SD card slot. It also has 802.11n wireless networking inside it. Being a full Windows device, you can stream media, browse the web, and use many other applications on it.
This week the devices have started showing up for pre-order on Newegg.com and even Amazon.com.
- Intel Compute Stick – Win 8.1, 32GB – Newegg.com ($149) – Amazon.com ($149)
- Intel Compute Stick – Linux, 32GB – Newegg.com ($109) – Amazon.com ($109)
Newegg.com has a specific pre-order going but it looks like Amazon is still on the waiting list process. Interestingly, a quick search for "compute stick" on Amazon reveals a host of other very similar devices, the most popular of which are sold as the MeeGoPad Stick with a price tag of ~$109. I'm not sure what those products will ship with when it comes to an operating system and some reviews indicate that the Windows version installed is not activated, so go in at your own risk.
As for the official Intel sold Compute Stick, I'm excited to try one out. The device includes a Bay Trail quad-core CPU, a single micro-USB port for power, a full-sized USB 2.0 port for connectivity (webcam, etc.) as well as a MicroSD slot for storage expansion. The device embeds Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth so you'll be able to connect to a network and get wireless keyboards and mice up and running easily.
The amount of capability you get for $149, including a full copy of Windows 8.1 with Bing, is astounding and, if it lives up the hype, could be a great replacement for a Google Chromecast or a Kindle Fire TV. Look for a review very soon!
Perfect home streaming
Perfect home streaming device.
Looks fairly large for a
Looks fairly large for a dongle. Does HDMI have a weight spec to avoid bending/breaking the port?
Does any other port? It seems
Does any other port? It seems it would depend a lot on the distance of the center of mass from the port, rather than just the weight. It seems an odd spec to have.
At any rate. I know they provide short HDMI extension cables for those for TVs next to walls for the chromecast and amazon dongle, so that should help reduce stress on the socket anyway.
No, there is not. It’s not
No, there is not. It’s not even relevant since many thicker/heavier HDMI cables place greater strain on ports than this tiny device ever would.
Flash Player… Let’s hope it
Flash Player… Let’s hope it !=Death. Well at least until flash itself dies. Otherwise I’ll have to get a NUC, I’ve been waiting. Ryan, whoever reviews it please ask them to try your favorite(or not so favorite) cable/telco online streaming service that uses flash.
Lots of Billions lost trying
Lots of Billions lost trying to gain a foothold.
“Mobile and Communications lost $4.2bn in fiscal 2014 – which was even worse than the previous year, when it lost $3.1bn. Intel says it plans to improve its mobile profitability by $800m in 2015, but that’s hardly enough for the division to avoid chalking up another lossmaking year.”*
* “New reporting structure hides handheld division’s deep losses”
You need to update the story
You need to update the story — your own links show the “linux” version with *8GB* storage, not 32GB.
An interesting device!
An interesting device!
For $149, it’s almost the same cost as if you’d buy the OS alone. However, it’s not the Professional version.
I am doubtful the Intel Atom Quad-core Processor will let you to enjoy smooth performance.
Then, if you start to install all your MS Office Suite, you’ll run out of storage pretty fast.
Was about to put in an order for it and use it for light gaming, but doubt the performance is better than my 15 years old AMD Athlon II PC.
It’s currently out of stock.
Looking forward for PCper to provide some live hand-on review.