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Intel Compute Stick Review

At CES 2015, Intel quietly announced its upcoming Bay Trail-based Compute Stick. Last week we got to check out a sample unit up close and personal.


Although we're on the fence when it comes to the Compute Stick's pricing, it might come in handy if you're looking for a statically placed device in your living room. However, if you're a mobile type of person, you're probably better off with a tablet that won't cost much more than the Compute Stick.

When we first saw the Intel Compute Stick at CES 2015, we weren't too surprised by it. We've seen computing devices get smaller every year, but none of them really have the power to take on the core i3, i5 and i7 computers of the world. So we look at these SoC devices and try to fit their limited abilities into our lives.

This isn’t a dedicated streaming media device. Nor is it a PC. Nor is it a tablet. It’s none of those, and yet a little bit of all of those. It can stream, it can perform lightweight computing tasks, and you can take it wherever you go. For the PC hobbyist, it might be fun, and at $150, it’s not a bad price to pay.

But our expectations for stick computing are going to stay low for now, and probably in the near future. Stick computers and other SoCs may contribute services around the Smart Home, or run specific tasks, but to put too much hope that the Compute Stick will replace your PC is a pipe dream.

Julio Urquidi is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware, covering Networking and Systems. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Corrections: Typos fixed regarding processing speed.

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