It took a little while to come to market, but Intel’s Compute Stick is finally starting to appear on online stores for pre-order.
The dongle-style computer plugs directly into the HDMI port of a television or monitor transforming it into a full-blown PC. The Compute Stick comes in two primary flavours; both have a 1.33Ghz quad-core, but users can opt for 1GB of RAM and 16GB of solid-state storage; or a beefier 2 GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Both models include 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 for the connection of peripherals.
While the specs will hardly bowl power-users over, there certainly are plenty of use cases for the micro-PC. Intel says that the stick will comfortably handle 'light productivity, social networking, web browsing, and streaming media'.
Intel is not the first vendor to throw its hat into the micro-PC ring, with Google recently announcing the Chromebit; but what sets Intel’s Compute Stick apart is its ability to run Windows. The native operating system will go a long way to enabling SMBs to deploy thin-client solutions with ease, but it looks as though early adopters will have to pay a premium.
Both Amazon and Newegg are taking pre-orders but prices are higher than the RRP from Intel.