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Intel Compute Stick, the World’s smallest PC, is now available for pre-order
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Intel Compute Stick, the World’s smallest PC, is now available for pre-order

by AshwinApril 6, 2015

If you thought the Raspberry Pi was the World’s smallest PC, think again.

Intel-Compute-Stick

Back in January, at the Consumer Electonics Show (CES 2015), chipset manufacturer Intel, launched a PC which runs on a USB Stick.

The device is called the Intel Compute Stick, and looks just like a USB Flash Drive (or Memory Stick or Pen Drive). The Compute Stick runs on a quad-core Intel Atom Processor Z3735F, clocked at 1.33 GHz, and has 2GB of RAM. The hard disk is a Solid State Drive (SSD), the capacity of which is 32GB, which is expandable via a microSD card.

The Compute Stick has a HDMI Display port, a USB 2.0 port and supports Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0. The device has a micro-USB port which acts as a power connector.

You can plug in the Intel Compute Stick to your TV or Monitor’s HDMI port, and use it like a PC. You can connect a Keyboard and Mouse using Bluetooth or the USB port.

What Operating System does the Compute Stick run on?

Well, it comes in two variants. One which runs on Windows 8.1 (with Bing), and the other one runs on Linux.

How much does it cost?

The Intel Compute Stick with Windows costs $150, while the Linux variant costs $110.

Where can i buy it?

The Intel Compute Stick with Windows 8.1 (STCK1A32WFC) is available for pre-order from Newegg. It has 2GB of RAM, and a 32GB SSD.

The Intel Compute Stick with Linux (STCK1A8LFC) costs less, at just $110, and is also available for pre-order from Newegg and on Amazon. The Linux variant reportedly has just 1GB of RAM, and 8 GB of internal storage. The Linux operating system on the device is Ubuntu 14.04.

Newegg will reportedly start shipping the device from April 24. It may be available in other retail stores soon.

Who is this device best suited for?

If you have a spare TV or Monitor (with a HDMI port) lying around, and have some money to burn, maybe you can buy this device, and use it for your basic computing needs. But the Intel Compute Stick is more or less an economical solution for developers who cannot afford a PC.

If you are looking to do some serious gaming or graphics designing, this device may not be suitable for you.  Remember that you are getting your moneys worth, so you are better off getting a full-fledged PC. Even though the product page at Intel says that you can use it for streaming videos and playing games, it would be wiser to invest in a full PC with a powerful processor, a dedicated graphics card, and more RAM.

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