The Intel Compute Stick is a Windows computer, but not like the conventional ones you have become used to. It is a computer on a stick – just as its name indicates – and connects to your TV or monitor via an HDMI port.
The Intel Compute Stick, arguably the world’s tiniest full Windows 8 PC, is manufactured with those operating on a tight budget and need easy access to computing on the move. Just plug it into a TV or Monitor with HDMI port and feed it power via the microUSB port and you are ready to go.
The design of the Intel Compute Stick is relatively nice given the quality of black plastic used. With a dimension of 4 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches, the computer should be barely noticeable when put in the pocket.
It is no doubt the smallest Windows PC from a major manufacturer – significantly smaller than HP Stream Mini and Intel NUC computers. It is only a little larger than some flash drives. The Intel Compute Stick, which features vents and a blue power light, weighs in at just two ounces.
Setup and Performance
Intel Compute Stick is designed to be used through an HDMI port of a monitor or television. It already comes pre-installed with the cost-friendly Windows 8.1 with Bing software, standing it apart from some rival devices such as the NUC that require buyers to also buy software separately.
You have to ensure the Intel Compute Stick is plugged into a microUSB port, possibly on a TV set, for power supply when using it. When plugged the first time, you will be taken through the usual Windows setup process. The PC is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735f processor running at 1.33GHz and paired with 2GB of RAM.
Interestingly, Intel Compute Stick comes with a cooling fan.
Intel Compute Stick offers 32 GB of built-in storage and up to 128GB can still be added via the available microSD card slot. If you are reluctant to pay $149 for a Compute Stick with Windows OS, there is a Linux Ubuntu version with 1GB RAM and 8GB onboard storage for around $110.
Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi b/g/n is provided for connectivity on the tiny Windows PC. There is also a USB port for connecting peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard or even a USB hub.
Pricing and availability
Intel Compute Stick is not yet available in Nigeria. Intel Compute Stick price in Nigeria is expected to start at around N30,000, depending on your location and the configuration of the laptop.