Intel's Compute Sticks were already pretty impressive little machines in their own right, but the company's now kicking things up a notch. A new line of Compute Sticks get Skylake Core M CPUs, adding some respectable oomph to their performance. An updated Cherry Trail Atom Compute Stick is now available at the base of the lineup, too.
The Core M Sticks come with 4GB of dual-channel DDR3 and 64GB of eMMC storage. That storage can be further expanded by way of a microSD slot good for cards up to 128GB. Connectivity is handled by 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2, as well as a built-in USB 3.0 port.
Buyers can choose between two Core M CPUs: the Core m3-6Y30, which is a two-core, four-thread unit with 900Mhz base and 2.2Ghz turbo speeds, and the Core m5-6Y57, which bumps clocks to 1.1GHz base and 2.8GHz turbo speeds. Both CPUs have 4MB of cache. The Core m5 Stick also has vPro support.
Stick PCs tend to be powered by a single USB port, but these new units need a little more juice than that can provide. Instead, Intel bundles them with wall-mountable power adapters which also include a couple extra USB 3.0 ports. Power for the Stick itself comes by way of a USB Type-C cable.
Intel says these Sticks will enter production in February 2016. The Core m3 model will cost $399 with a bundled copy of Windows 10, while the Core m5 version will set buyers back $499 without an operating system. Intel says that's because it believes the Atom and Core m3 Sticks have the most consumer appeal, while businesses after the Core m5 version will want to install their own operating systems. We have the Cherry Trail Atom Compute Stick in our hands, and we'll take a look at what that system can do soon.