HDMI-based streaming sticks are hot. Whether it’s the Chromecast, the Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, Roku Streaming Stick or Mozilla’s Matchstick, putting a stack of electronics into a stick that can plug into the HDMI port on your TV (or computer monitor) and runs as a computer. That’s why new Intel Compute Stick — which the company showed off at CES 2015 — is so cool.
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The Compute Stick can run fully-functional Windows 8.1 or Ubuntu Linux and all of this stuff is in a size of a portable USB. The best part is that the full Windows 8.1 version of the Intel Compute Stick will sell for only $149. Intel’s compute stick is a step forward to the world of portable computing.
This mobile PC uses Intel’s Bay Trail Atom Z3735F quad-core processor and includes 2.4Ghz 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0 and a single USB port. It also has a microSD expansion slot for more storage.
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The 2GB RAM version of compute stick is running Windows 8.1 and has 32GB of flash storage built into it. As I already said, it’s available just for $149, and that’s why it’s a steal when you know that a full version of Windows OS is included in a portable device.
A version of the Compute Stick, which is running Linux, is available for $89. It has 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM.
The massive success of the Raspberry Pi, as well as Google Chromebook, have helped persuade Intel to get involved in the low-cost computer business game.
The Compute Stick could be a significant opportunity for businesses or schools who want an economical machine for web and light office work. It is going to ship in March.