Intel Compute Stick: Is That A Computer In Your Pocket?

Intel quietly announced at CES 2015 a new computing device called the Intel Compute Stick. Quite a bit north of, say, an Amazon Fire Stick, this is meant to be a computing device, not merely a media controller, although it can certainly serve that role. It's outfitted a bit more like what you'd expect from a smartphone. And for $149, with Windows 8.1 (the version with Bing, which is intended for low-cost hardware devices), it's a compelling thought.

The Intel Compute Stick is powered by a Bay Trail processor (the Z3735F, essentially a quad-core Atom processor intended for tablets). It comes with 32 GB of eMMC storage and 2 GB of RAM. It has a USB port, HDMI of course (1.4a, using a standard connector), and a microUSB port that provides power, as well as a microSD slot. An Intel spokesperson said that it would eventually be able to draw power over HDMI. Its wireless capabilities include rather pedestrian wireless, at 802.11b/g/n, and also Bluetooth 4.0 support.

There is a lower cost Compute Stick running Linux Ubuntu, with 8 GB of storage and 1 GB of memory for $89.

The company sees the Compute Stick as a lower-entry computing device that can also be a powerful media player and consumption tool for consumers. For corporations, it can serve as a thin client device.

While the first version is using Bay Trail, we'll soon also see it run on Cherry Trail, and, it was hinted, even Core M. The first Compute Sticks ship in March. 

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  • nikolajj
    This just might end up being amazing!
  • neon871
    Compute Stick really ! ...............PC stick sounds better
  • aldaia
    This is far from a novelty. This kind of computing devices have been around for several years now.

    Nov 17, 2011 Norwegian company FXI technologies showed off a USB stick-sized portable computer prototype, complete with a dual-core 1.2-GHz Samsung Exynos ARM CPU (same as in the Galaxy S II), 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI-out and a microSD card slot for memory.