Back in January, we got a sneak peek at the Intel Compute Stick, a computing device that is comparable to Google Chromecast and the Amazon Fire Stick in that it's a dongle that connects to any HDMI port, but it has horsepower rivaling advanced smartphones. Now, the pocket-sized PC is available for pre-order from select online retailers.
The Intel Compute Stick will bear the promised price tag of $149 for the Windows 8.1 version, and it's also available for $109 with Linux (Ubuntu) installed. These tiny devices are both powered by the Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor, come with 32 GB of eMMC storage, and sport 2 GB of RAM.
Connectivity is surprisingly abundant for such a tiny device, with a USB port, a HDMI 1.4a port, a microUSB port, and a microSD slot. If that's not enough of a hook-up, there's Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n wireless support.
The Intel Bay Trail processor inside is designed to provide excellent performance with little power, but just in case some users decide to push the Intel Compute Stick to the limit, there's a tiny fan to disperse heat and prevent throttling for heavier computing tasks.
Though you won't be playing World of Warcraft on the Intel Compute Stick anytime soon, these small wonders are designed to provide light productivity and gaming, web browsing, and media streaming for average consumers. They can also serve as a thin client solution for corporate environments.
However, casual gamers should take heart; we may see Intel Compute Sticks become more prevalent as light gaming devices, as Intel hinted that Cherry Trail and Core M processor variants may make their way to market.