We met with Intel at this year’s CES, and they had some exciting new products on the mini-computer front. The most unique new product is the Intel Compute Stick.
It is an entire computer (processor, memory, storage, graphics chipset, etc) all squeezed into a large HDMI dongle. The Compute Stick is based on Intel’s Bay Trail Atom processor, and it will be sold in two variations. The high-end model includes 2 GB RAM and 32 GB of onboard storage. If that’s not enough storage you can always expand it via the MicroSD slot. For connectivity it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in. You can also attach other peripherals to it via the full-size USB port. It plugs into a TV or monitor via the HDMI plug at the end, and it’s powered via Micro-USB.
A PC isn’t very useful without an operating system, so they are including Windows 8.1 with Bing. This entire PC, including the operating system, will be sold for only $150!
There is a low-end version of the Compute Stick also. It only has 1 GB RAM and 8 GB of storage. It doesn’t include Windows either. Instead it ships with a variant of Linux.
The Intel Compute Stick seems tailor made for usage in the living room as a media PC. Of course being huge Windows Media Center fans, that was our first thought too. The downside to that idea is that you’d have to upgrade to Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center which will add over $100 to the cost of the device. But you still will have only dropped about $250 total.
You should be able to buy your own Intel Compute Stick in March. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on one soon.