ARM-based HDMI® dongles have become rather popular in recent years, usually packing a flavor of the Android operating system, they provide relatively easy access to a number of apps and streaming services. Intel has taken the idea of the HDMI stick and combined it with their Atom processor in order to produce a fully functional x86 PC that can run full Windows or Linux operating systems.
The Intel Compute Stick measures at just 103mm tall by 37 mm wide and 12 mm thick. It features a full-size USB 2.0 port, a micro USB port for power, a micro SD card slot, an HDMI® connector, and a single power button. On the inside, the Compute Stick features a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735F processor with Intel HD graphics, 1GB (Ubuntu) to 2GB (Windows) of DDR3L 1333 MHz RAM, 8GB (Ubuntu) or 32GB (Windows) of eMMC flash storage, and integrated Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11bgn WiFi, all powered by a single 5-volt 2-amp USB AC-DC power adapter.
Now that you’ve got an idea what the Intel Compute Stick is, the next question to ask would be what is it for? Asking around the office, it’s been brought up that the Compute Stick would make a great video game streaming solution by pairing it with a USB 2.0 hub, dual-band 802.11ac USB adapter, and game controller for some awesome gaming in the living room through Steam’s in-home-streaming capabilities (much like the NZXT Doko). Others plan to use it as a media platform with Plex or XBMC. Intel’s product brief for the Compute Stick also lists a few more interesting applications for the device, ranging from using the Compute Stick in a digital signage display to wide deployments in offices or schools as entry-level workstations or thin-clients.
It’s awesome to see how recent advances in mobile computing technology have intersected with the more traditional desktop by giving us similar performance in a much smaller package. For low-power, small-form factor computing solutions, be sure to check out our own M-Series line of compact systems which pack the power of a tower in the palm of your hand. Stop by any of our 9 retail locations across Texas or contact us for any questions regarding compact computing solutions.