After recently opening up preorders, Intel is now announcing the general availability of the Intel Compute Stick. The device, which plugs directly into a display's HDMI port, sells for $149.99 with Windows 8.1 with Bing installed. Intel said the Ubuntu-based version will be made available this June with a slightly lower price tag of $110.99.
The Intel Compute Stick is based on the Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core "Bay Trail" processor and sports Intel HD Graphics. Backing this chip is 2 GB of single-channel DDR3L memory clocked at 1333 MHz and 32 GB of internal storage. There's also a microSD card slot for adding more storage, built-in Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, a USB 2.0 port and an HDMI 1.4a connector.
The specs for the Ubuntu version aren't quite as robust, as it packs a mere 1 GB of single-channel DDR3L memory clocked at 1333 MHz and 8 GB of internal storage. Otherwise, the specifications are identical to the Windows model, except that it sports the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.
Based on these specifications, customers won't be playing graphically-heavy games on this device. Instead, it should be ideal for customers who travel a lot and need an entry-level computing experience on a screen larger than a laptop. Heck, add a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and you may not even need to use a laptop in a hotel room.
Moreover, thanks to Microsoft's OneDrive storage service, customers can store their documents in the cloud and open these files on the stick from anywhere. The device is small enough to fit in a pocket, as it measures a mere 103.4 x 37.6 x 12.5 mm. The audio aspect is handled by Intel HD Audio via the HDMI connector.