Intel's $150 Windows PC-on-a-stick is now on sale - Geek

News By Apr. 7, 2015 2:27 pm
Intel Compute Stick

What fits in your pocket, has more connectivity options than Apple's latest Macbook, and costs over $700 less? The Intel Compute Stick, an HDMI dongle that packs a full Windows 8.1 PC.

Intel announced the Compute Stick back in January, and now it's up for pre-order at a handful of online shops including NewEgg and Amazon. The Windows 8.1 version of the Stick will set you back just $149.99 — roughly the same price you'd pay for a retail boxed copy of Windows 8.1.

Despite its incredibly small size, the Compute Stick isn't really all that different than one of Intel's NUCs or a run-of-the-mill desktop PC. All you need is a monitor with and HDMI port to plug it into and a USB port to supply power to it (assuming your display doesn't support MHL).

Intel Compute Stick

What kind of a computer do you get for $150? One that's roughly comparable to HP's inexpensive Stream 7 tablet. The Compute Stick runs a quad-core Atom processor and comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. That doesn't leave a ton of space for apps, games, or media, but there's a USB port that you can plug an external hard drive into. The Compute Stick also has built-in 802.11bgn WiFi, so you can you stream from sites like Netflix and Hulu and easily access shared folders on your LAN.

The Compute Stick isn't going to blow you away with its processing power, but it's still a capable little PC. For a few bucks more than a Roku 3 or Apple TV, you're getting an actual Windows HTPC. You can install apps from the Windows Store, run a full web browser on it, and even do some light gaming. It's even ready for that free upgrade to Windows 10 that's arriving in just a few short months.


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