Intel announces new “Compute Stick” – a PC the size of a pen drive

Intel announces new “Compute Stick” – a PC the size of a pen drive

Intel announces new "Compute Stick" - a PC the size of a pen drive

After reading the title, you’re surely thinking “…uh?”. We don’t blame you, we found ourselves needing to take a few moments to take it in too.

At the Consumer Electronics Show 2015, Intel surprised quite a few people with their announcement of a new device the size of a pen drive that connects to your HDMI monitor or TV – and instantly transforms your HDMI monitor into a fully functioning computer. This nifty “Compute Stick” – as Intel calls it – will be available some time later this year, with rumours at the trade show suggesting a March/April timeframe.

Intel’s new Computer Stick will come with an Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor, up to 2 GB RAM and up to 32 GB eMMC storage. While the hardware offered is very much low end – for a device that’s the size of a slightly-oversized pen, it’s not to be understated either.

What about the software, you ask? Good news – you’ll be able to choose between Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, with the Ubuntu version coming with half the RAM at 1 GB, and a lower capacity 8 GB eMMC card for storage.

Intel Compute Stick Specifications

  • 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor (1.88 GHz Turboboost)
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics (casual games only!)
  • 2GB RAM (Windows 8.1), 1 GB RAM (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS)
  • 32 GB eMMC Storage (Windows 8.1), 8 GB eMMC Storage (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS)
  • 1x USB 2.0 (Full Size), 1x Micro-USB
  • Micro-SD Card Slot (storage sold separately, useful for adding extra storage)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 (useful for external keyboards and mice)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n (nope, no 802.11ac)

With a full size HDMI connector at the end, it’ll be easy to plug in to most HDMI monitors or TVs. Intel will also include an extension wire, useful if there isn’t enough room to plug in the Compute Stick directly with the screen you want to hook it up to.

So what about pricing? Intel has only announced pricing and release plans for the U.S. market, with no word as to whether they plan to or will offer the Computer Stick in Europe, Asia and/or the Middle East. Set to be released at some point this year, the Windows version is set to be priced at $149 U.S., with the Ubuntu version naturally being cheaper at $89 U.S.

Find out more about the Intel Compute Stick here: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/compute-stick/intel-compute-stick.html

Ben Stones

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