Intel’s Compute Stick miniature PC reviewed

I’m all for progress. Moore’s Law and I go way back, and I’ve eagerly chronicled its progress and consequences over the years. But I have to admit that, every so often, I kinda feel like past me has been punked by the passage of time. That’s the feeling I experienced when I first laid eyes on Intel’s Compute Stick. This candy-bar-sized plastic doodad houses the guts of a complete PC, and if you’ve been around computers for a while, its existence may send a wave or two of future shock through your chest.

Just look at that thing. Inside of it is a quad-core Atom processor with built-in graphics, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of flash-based storage.  Plug it into a TV or monitor with speakers, attach a mouse and keyboard, and you have a complete computer system capable of most anything you’d want to do short of video editing or hard-core gaming.

The price? About $150, complete with Windows 8.1 with Bing. Intel also plans to release a version running Ubuntu with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage in June, with a street price of around $110.

Understand the basics about this nifty little gumstick, and you pretty much get the concept. Here are the full specs of the Windows version we have for review.

Processor Intel Atom Z3735F (Bay Trail)

4 cores, 1.33GHz base, 1.83GHz Turbo peak

Graphics Intel HD Graphics

311MHz base, 646MHz Turbo peak

Memory 2GB DDR3L
Storage 32GB flash

MicroSD card slot (up to 128GB)

Audio via HDMI
Wireless 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi

Bluetooth 4.0

Ports 1 HDMI

1 USB 2.0

Expansion N/A
OS Windows 8.1 with Bing

The Compute Stick’s distinctive combination of capability and form factor invites a brainstorm about the possibilities for such a device. If you’re familiar with Google’s $35 Chromecast dongle, then the prospect of attaching a Compute Stick to the back of a big television and going to town on media streaming probably comes to mind first. A full Windows PC will stream video from just about any source, and unlike a Chromecast, it can also act as a client for Steam’s in-home game streaming (although doing so at full speed may require the use of a better networking adapter via USB).

In fact, this devious little gumstick slyly undercuts some other recent entrants into the living room computing space. Nvidia’s Shield console is more gaming-focused overall, but a big part of its mission is to act as a game-streaming client. There are still a bunch of Steam boxes teeming on the horizon, too. Assuming they ever make it to market, they’ll have to justify themselves against the cheap and simple option of streaming Steam games from your desktop gaming rig to your TV via a Compute Stick—without the complication of SteamOS.

The Compute Stick is also a pretty darned solid basic computer for whoever needs one: grandma, the front-desk receptionist, the kids playing Nick Jr. games, or what have you. If you’re familiar with older “basic” systems based on Atom-branded CPUs, you might be surprised by the sheer competence of this Bay Trail chip’s quad Silvermont cores. Combined with its flash-only storage, the Compute Stick generally feels downright snappy when navigating the Windows desktop and surfing the web. It’s flawless for streaming from Netflix. Installing software, especially the 70-some Windows updates Microsoft pushed out to it when I first fired it up, can feel bit sluggish, though—and you won’t be playing Battlefield. But as a basic Windows system, the Stick is good enough to satisfy an awful lot of needs.

Intel cites a handful of other potential uses for the Compute Stick, including powering electronic kiosks and digital signage. Those things make sense, but the possiblities go well beyond that, I think. The boundaries are probably defined by simple considerations. In many scenarios, a cheaper option or something more integrated, like an iPad or an inexpensive Bay Trail-based laptop, might be a better fit. I suspect we’ll see some intriguing deployments of these devices once people catch on that a Compute Stick plus an HDTV equals a certain type of nerdvana.

So the Compute Stick concept is simple and clever, and the relatively modest price opens up a ton of possible uses. Unfortunately, from here, the practical conversation about this little PC has to turn toward its limitations. One of the big ones, for those wanting to use this thing for media consumption or digital signage, is a peak display resolution of 1920×1080. I couldn’t even get it to drive a 16:10 monitor at 1920×1200, and 4K just ain’t gonna happen. That’s no big deal for a lot of folks, I know, but the ol’ Stick ain’t exactly future-proof.

Also, like the Chromecast before it, the Compute Stick loses a bit of its luster once you realize that a mess of cabling is involved. At a minumum, the system requires an HDMI connection and a power input, either from a USB port or from the included USB wall wart. Not many displays will accept something this size sticking directly out of an HDMI port, so you’ll probably need to use the included HDMI extender cable, too.

The last port left open is a single USB 2.0 connector, and it must serve several purposes. If your display doesn’t have speakers and you want audio output, that will have to happen over some sort of USB audio device. Also, a keyboard and pointing device are pretty much required. I was able to avoid any additional cords by using HDMI audio and snapping the adapter for a wireless USB keyboard and mouse combo into the Stick’s lone USB port. For media use in the living room, one of those integrated keyboard-plus-touchpad jobs might be a sensible choice, too. Just be aware that working around the Stick’s single USB port requires a little forethought—or maybe an external USB hub.

After pulling the Stick out of its box, I wandered my home looking for places to connect it. I had hoped to really simplify my Compute Stick setup by plugging the device’s USB power lead into one of the integrated USB ports on one particular monitor, creating a powered loop of USB virtue and cutting out the wall wart entirely.  Evidently, though, that monitor’s integrated USB hub isn’t powered. What I created instead was a loop of USB futility. Ah, well.

After I finished futzing around with USB loops, the Compute Stick ultimately wound up attached to a TV in my bedroom, where I’ve struggled to find a satisfactory media streaming solution that lets me watch Daredevil while the kids are still up. The Stick is very much at home in this role. The Netflix app for Windows 8 makes things easy. I’m not entirely persuaded the Compute Stick is a better streaming option than just using a Chromecast with a phone or tablet, but I guess the answer to that question will depend on your needs.  At 150 bucks, the Compute Stick costs less than a Nexus 7 plus a Chromecast, and it’s probably going to be dedicated to a particular TV instead of roaming about with a person like a tablet might.

One thing about the Stick really surprised me (ok, two, ’cause I never thought I’d utter those words): there’s a fan inside that becomes audible during heavy use. The blower didn’t spin up during video streaming sessions, but when I was trying to surf the web while Windows installed some updates in the background, its faint whine became audible from across the room. The fan isn’t especially loud and doesn’t run all that often, but the Stick isn’t utterly silent, as one might expect from this class of device. Also, as a long-time hardware guy, I can’t help but worry a little about the longevity of a tiny blower like this one.

At the end of the day, though, the Compute Stick is a cool concept that’s both well-executed and surprisingly affordable. I’m still a little shocked it exists. Clearly, Intel and Microsoft have had a change of mindset prompted by the rise of iOS, Android, and ARM. In years past, this concept would never have made it out of Intel’s labs. After all, this is a quite competent little Windows PC turned into a true commodity item. Its very existence would be a risk in the absence of non-Wintel alternatives. But we’re in a new era now, and the Compute Stick is one fortunate by-product of that fact.

Intel’s other NUC products are also nifty, but honestly, this is probably the one that should sell in the largest numbers. Most people who get a NUC probably don’t need any more power than this. The fact that this system ships complete and ready to boot, with Windows installed, makes it a tremendous convenience. Here’s hoping Intel decides to keep building Compute Sticks going forward through multiple generations. Heck, bring on the Skylake version.

Comments closed
    • southrncomfortjm
    • 5 years ago

    Will this get a free upgrade to Windows 10? Any news on a “with Bing” version of Windows 10?

    • Delphis
    • 5 years ago

    Linux and [s<]XBMC[/s<] Kodi and I'm sold 🙂

    • yuhong
    • 5 years ago

    It is sad that RDP requires Win8.1 Pro, as it would be very useful for things like this.

    • Meadows
    • 5 years ago

    This thing looks extremely capable for the price, but I have one issue: “Intel HD Graphics”.

    More specifically: no model/series number, no information on relative performance.

    I’d like to know what this chip compares to, despite the fact it’s obviously not made for gaming.

      • DrDominodog51
      • 5 years ago

      According to the [url=http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-Bay-Trail.103037.0.html<]notebookcheck[/url<], it is one of three weakest iGPUs from the HD series. "... it offers a performance similar to the Tegra 4".

        • Meadows
        • 5 years ago

        That doesn’t give me a useful comparison either.

        How does that compare to a GeForce 210? Or a Radeon HD 2400? Or even just an old GeForce Go 7300? Anything?

          • DrDominodog51
          • 5 years ago

          If the HD 2400 is anything like its slightly higher end successor, the HD 3450, it is worse by far. The HD 3450 was starved for bandwidth because of its DDR2 memory. It didn’t help that the HD 3450 was an AGP card(or at least mine was) and couldn’t access main memory at a reasonable speed, but still it is still worse by far than Intel HD graphics.
          Edit: The HD 3450 has a better chip (RV 920LE) than theHD 2400(RV 910) and performs better.

            • Meadows
            • 5 years ago

            That doesn’t answer my need either. I even checked the Anandtech article referenced in the comments here and the device is only directly compared to other “intel HD graphics” devices, which is no help at all.

            Are these GPUs integrated into the particular processor(s) exclusively? Because if so, then I’ll try a search using that number instead.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 5 years ago

    So the reviews at Ars and Anand weren’t as kind, mentioning input problems with wireless keyboards and mice among other things.

    Are there other products in this size range that might be a better option? Something like this could rock as a kitchen PC but if a wireless keyboard/mice don’t work well with it, well, that kind of kills it

      • NovusBogus
      • 5 years ago

      I’m not aware of anything with comparable performance and features; the only known alternatives are the yarrtastic Meego stick and a few Android dongles. For the money, but not the size, I’d go for an HP Stream Mini: it may be fugly but it’s got a sho-nuff baby Haswell under the hood.

    • USAFTW
    • 5 years ago

    Can it run Crysis?

    • d0g_p00p
    • 5 years ago

    That is a damn slick little “PC” if they they doubled up on the RAM I would be game but sorry 2GB is way too low, even more so running Windows 8.1 or Ubuntu at 1GB.

    It would be a nice XBMC or a Linux on a stick bootable OS machine but again that system RAM is just way too low. That thing is awesome and i kind of want one anyway, heh.

    • AGerbilWithAFootInTheGrav
    • 5 years ago

    What I would like to know – How many FPS in Quake 3 does it get?

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      For Atom graphics we prefer the term “SPF” instead since we like values > 1.

        • Captain Ned
        • 5 years ago

        But will it stop me from getting a sunburn at BBQ??

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        I know this is a joke, but Quake 3 would hit 60FPS on a Pentium II 450 and a Riva TNT. This should actually do considerably better.

          • chuckula
          • 5 years ago

          I know I was being just a bit hyperbolic there 🙂
          The funny thing is, despite being considered weak by modern standards, the IGP in an Atom would have looked like an alien spaceship back in the late ’90s when Q3 came out.

          The entire way that graphics are generated and rendered today is radically different from the fixed-pipeline implementations that existed back then.

    • Bensam123
    • 5 years ago

    No benchmarks?!?!

    That aside, it’s really hard to see this thing replacing a $35 chromecast. It doesn’t really do anything well because it’s so underpowered besides media consumption and Chromecast does that for less.

    I guess with Steam streaming as was mentioned, that may be a go… I could see Steam working with Google to make a app for this on ARM devices though and possibly seeing Chromecasts get that in the future.

    That just really leaves PoS and that could be a thing. Dedicated PoS systems are usually about 2x as expensive as this. It would pretty much need to be welded in place to keep people from jacking them though.

      • Deanjo
      • 5 years ago

      A $35 Chromecast on its own does absolutely nothing.

        • Bensam123
        • 5 years ago

        Elaborate… There are apps for everything right now.

          • Deanjo
          • 5 years ago

          Elaborate? Ummm, do you need another device for the Chromecast to do anything? YUPPERS! You can’t even set it up without another device. Your “$35” is in reality $35 Chromecast + tablet/phone/PC. The Chromecast can’t handle DTS audio either (or many other codecs).

            • Bensam123
            • 5 years ago

            I still don’t understand… Almost everyone has a smartphone. You can use a computer too in the rare case you don’t have one. If you’re arguing that because you need another device to use the Chromecast it somehow doesn’t do the job that’s rather fallacious. I assume you need a input device for Compute Stick… like a keyboard. Are we including a monitor now too or because it’s a requirement for both of them it doesn’t matter?

            This is really silly. Especially because you present it in such a haughty manner, as if needing a device to turn on another device is unheard of. Your argument should actually be ‘You have to go to the store and buy a iPhone 6 and a two year contract which will cost you upwards of $2000 in order to use a Chromecast!’ -_- Chromecast is direct competition for this thing because all it can really do is media consumption and that’s what a Chromecast does. Valve also makes their own version for $50 that includes streaming to it, the Steam Link.

            And please there are plenty of alternatives for DTS audio. Scraping the barrel now, but I guess if $115 is worth that to you… then I suppose. That price goes up for each TV you want to put one on.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            A keyboard is $9 and technically a monitor is not required for the Compute stick. Use it as a headless computer if you want.

            • Bensam123
            • 5 years ago

            Almost everyone has a smartphone except luddites. This is a silly exception. No one is going to use a atom as a headless computer, it can’t do anything as it doesn’t have enough computational power, which is what I stated in my original post.

            So the Compu-stick actually costs $150+9, where as the Chromecast still costs $35… Unless you don’t have a smartphone, which I highly doubt anyone who is going to be purchasing either of these fits into that category.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<]No one is going to use a atom as a headless computer, it can't do anything as it doesn't have enough computational power, which is what I stated in my original post.[/quote<] There is plenty of power for a lot of things. A huge chunk of the world is still using systems with far less computational power. That atom stick can be also used for items like a print server, file server, NAS on a stick if you wanted to in a headless configuration. Will they be the fastest solution, no, but they are still very usable in those situations. They can also be used for kiosk type displays. Windows 8.1 runs surprisingly smooth on those atom sticks, and it should as they have more computing power than Core 2 systems. Believe it or not, most productivity software does not require a large CPU to run smoothly. These atom sticks are infinitely more flexible and offer a heck of a lot more functionality than any Chromecast. PS: You scoff at DTS but DTS is half of the most adopted encoding for video media. The lack of DTS support is an archilles heal for the Chromecast. Since it can't decode DTS, if you want to play a DTS encoded media, you better hope your phone/tablet can do the transcoding real time on your device before it tries to mirror your device display (since handoff of the stream to the Chromecast device is not possible in formats it cannot support).

            • chuckula
            • 5 years ago

            I’ve been using a (now antiquated) dual-core 2010-era Atom in a headless RAID array fileserver and it performs just fine in that role. That includes running Samba/NFS and providing basic remote login services.

            If anything, a modern Baytrail or Cherrytrail ITX motherboard would actually have additional processing power that wouldn’t even help the system perform better unless I upgraded beyond Gigabit networking or maybe moved to a high-end SSD array instead of conventional hard drives.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            You could probably even go dual Gbit connections and be safe with your old Atom. Even the old Atom D425 found in my Synology DS-712+’s are up to the task and those are single core.

            • anotherengineer
            • 5 years ago

            So what are you doing this weekend??

            Setting up/optimizing my DS-712+!!!

            Great thanks!!

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            Lol, very first thing you should do is bump that ram up from one to four Gig.

            [url<]http://s12.postimg.org/y9wtf6w71/image.jpg[/url<]

            • anotherengineer
            • 5 years ago

            Hmmmm I was thinking of that when I first got it but there was a big VOID WARRANTY sticker covering the ram.

            What make/model of ram did you use??

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            I just used some spare patriot ddr3 1600 ram that I had. Can’t remember the specific model (it was a 4 GB X 2 kit). Nothing really special about it.

      • tootercomputer
      • 5 years ago

      As someone else noted as well, Anandtech did a full comparative review:

      [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/9167/intel-compute-stick-review[/url<] PC Perspective also did a comparative review.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        Also, it’s really f’ing slow compared to an actual Windows desktop. Did we need benchmarks to tell us that? Even a NUC is about 4x faster with about 4x the memory and 4x the storage for about 4x the cost (once you buy all the hardware to make it run). This actually makes the Compute Stick kind of a crappy value.

    • FireGryphon
    • 5 years ago

    Compelling. I get the feeling that Intel is going to release an updated gen 2 version next year that has a USB 3 port and other slightly updated specs (like higher res support).

    Has anyone addressed the potential security issues with taking your computer with you in your pocket and just plugging it in to a TV/keyboard combo to do your work? I see opportunities for a sneaky HDMI data-stealing rootkit to infect TVs, for example.

      • moose17145
      • 5 years ago

      Does anyone else miss the days when it was not possible to infect a TV with a rootkit / virus? Just sayin… I actually miss when TVs were “dumb” but just worked. Now it seems like every TV that is worth a darn is a “smart” TV and always seens to have some weird screwball issue brought on solely by the crappy software driving the thing…

      I have had more weird compatibility issues and other issues I can’t even describe with all these new and “improved” smart appliances than I EVER had when all my appliances were dumb and the only thing that I had to worry about was 1) did I wire it correctly and 2) did I select the correct input for whatever I was trying to run.

        • NovusBogus
        • 5 years ago

        I miss the days when it would have been ridiculous to even ask whether a TV can handle a Super Nintendo, let alone be the reason I haven’t been able to find one for my bedroom.

    • branchingfactor
    • 5 years ago

    Scott – the Compute Stick has a 64-bit processor but it ships with 32-bit Windows!!! How heinous is that?

      • UberGerbil
      • 5 years ago

      It ships with 2GB of memory with no provision to upgrade (apparently there’s also a version that will have just 1GB of memory). Given those constraints, 64bit Windows offers no real benefit over 32bit. In fact, because of the extra overhead for the added page tables, 64Bit Windows would use (slightly) more of that precious memory for itself.

        • Andrew Lauritzen
        • 5 years ago

        Yeah, although the page tables are not as much of an issue as the 2 copies (32 and 64-bit) of all the system DLLs and so on. That takes up a chunk of space both in RAM and on the HDD.

          • NovusBogus
          • 5 years ago

          Very true. I don’t generally recommend 64 bit OS unless you’re going to have at least 6GB of RAM and preferably 8.

            • nexxcat
            • 5 years ago

            You do realise 32bit OSs can only address 4 GB, right? That includes video memory.

            • yuhong
            • 5 years ago

            *3GB

    • MadManOriginal
    • 5 years ago

    Is this a review, or a news piece?

    :/

      • tootercomputer
      • 5 years ago

      Well, they did test it, so this is a legit hardware review.

    • smilingcrow
    • 5 years ago

    “Most people who get a NUC probably don’t need any more power than this.”

    That seems one hell of a stretch to me.

      • NovusBogus
      • 5 years ago

      The problem with NUCs is that most use cases other than desktop/web require more components or peripherals than the NUC series supports. I’d argue that the sweet spot is Haswell/Broadwell Celeron (i.e. HP Stream Mini), but Intel doesn’t make one of those unfortunately.

      • CreoleLakerFan
      • 5 years ago

      I have a NUC w/16GB RAM and a 240gb mSATA drive running ESXi and several VMs. Don’t think I could get that running on one of these compute sticks …

        • LoneWolf15
        • 5 years ago

        Obviously, you’re not “most people”.

          • CreoleLakerFan
          • 5 years ago

          “Most people” aren’t considering a NUC at all. It’s an outlier product which seems aimed squarely at the DUY tinkering crowd. The compute stick is definitely a neat trick, but it doesn’t fill the same niche as a NUC.

    • UberGerbil
    • 5 years ago

    One thing I assume this has over Chromecast: it isn’t an inert piece of nothing when it’s not connected to the internet. I was trying to use a Chromecast to send a video to a projector that would have required a 75″ cable run, and I was disappointed to discover that Chromecast wouldn’t even function unless the Wifi network it was on allowed it to access the internet.

    • blase
    • 5 years ago

    Are there teardown photos of this thing? I’d appreciate a peak at the innards.

    • tootercomputer
    • 5 years ago

    I share your awe and wonder at the progress of this stuff. My first computer experience was in 1969 using punch cards and a Control Data Mainfraime. I flunked the class. Fast forward to the Mac in 1986, which was awesome, then my first barebones PC in 1990, a 286-25Mhz, a speed demon at the time, with 1mg of ram and a state of the art mitsubishi hdd with a whopped 40mg of storage. The hdd was $200, typical price, the size of a small book. That’s just 25 years ago.

    So yes, I am in awe and wonder of the miniaturization X power (at least relative) of this stuff. That little doohickey I’m sure is more powerful than what was sent up on Apollo 11. That is just humbling.

      • UberGerbil
      • 5 years ago

      Uh, [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer<]what was sent up on Apollo 11[/url<] was a 2 MHz, 16bit machine with 2KB of RAM and ~32KB of ROM (using magnetic core memory, so unlike what we have now it was [i<]very[/i<] impervious to cosmic rays and other radiation). Oh, and it consumed 55W. In other words, the very first, original IBM PC (4MHz, 16bit with at least 16KB of RAM) was more powerful than that. (BTW, it's worth reading the section in the Wiki on the software used on the AGC: it's kind of astonishing how sophisticated it was considering the time and the constraints it was operating under)

        • tootercomputer
        • 5 years ago

        I guess my point was the small size of this new intel soc relative to the apollo system, and its power relative to the apollo system, given the high stakes associated with the apollo system. Whatever, I just wanted to acknowledge and identify with Scott’s awe. I don’t ever want to lose that.

    • Techgoudy
    • 5 years ago

    Intel was likely willing to create this type of device because it believes heavily in the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT). No doubt just like the chromecast this thing can easily turn a TV or a monitor into a multimedia platform.

    • spiked_mistborn
    • 5 years ago

    I’m not sure where Intel is trying to go with this. This tablet has nearly identical specs but includes a touchscreen, cameras, and battery for $99. In addition to being easy to hook it up to a monitor and plug in a mouse and keyboard, you can unhook it and take it with you.

    [url<]http://www.microcenter.com/product/440932/TW802_Tablet_-_Black[/url<]

    • Deanjo
    • 5 years ago

    Biggest weakness of this for HTPC use when compared to ARM equivalents is not only the price but the lack of HDMI-CEC support.

    • WhatMeWorry
    • 5 years ago

    The dullest ifixit teardown in history.

    • Firestarter
    • 5 years ago

    I think it would be awesome for something like Steam in-home streaming, but for that you really want a wired connection

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    Hmmm….

    Active cooling?
    Windows 8.1 on a 32GB system partition?

    I guess it’s 1st-generation but those two things make it inferior to all the other HDMI dongle offerings at the moment, in my opinion. If you really [i<]really[/i<] need a Windows HDMI-stick solution you probably also need more capability than this compute stick has to offer. If you don't really [i<]really[/i<] need Windows, then the alternatives are better suited anyway.

      • GTVic
      • 5 years ago

      The one Chromecast device I’ve seen gets very hot and no vent holes even so I’m not surprised that this has an active cooling fan.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        We have a Roku streaming stick in the basement, and it also gets pretty warm, even with the HDMI extender cable that keeps it away from the TV a bit.

    • anotherengineer
    • 5 years ago

    If you disable any thermal throttling and set win 8 to hi-perf mode and run furmark and p95 simultaneously, will the fan fling it all over the room?!?!?

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      [url<]http://anandtech.com/show/9167/intel-compute-stick-review/5[/url<]

        • anotherengineer
        • 5 years ago

        9W, that means the fan will have to run 100,000 rpm, so probably sound like a loud mosquito but fly like a fat bumble bee!! 😉

    • elmopuddy
    • 5 years ago

    Might be a perfect replacement for my WD Live.. I wonder how well it will stream over WiFi, Netflix and such

    • R2P2
    • 5 years ago

    I don’t know if $150 is really that good of a price, considering the HP Stream 7 tablet has almost the same guts (Z3735G instead of F, only 1GB RAM) and only costs $100. Does it really cost $50 to jam that into a stick and add an HDMI output?

      • Anovoca
      • 5 years ago

      [quote<] Does it really cost $50 to jam that into a stick and add an HDMI output? [/quote<] Is that a serious question?

        • R2P2
        • 5 years ago

        Just sayin’. It’s tablet guts minus the tablet, for 50% more money.

          • NovusBogus
          • 5 years ago

          Tablets are cheap because they can be cranked out by the million in Chinese megafactories that were designed from the ground up for maximum tablet producing effectiveness with most of the overhead costs “borrowed” from previous clients. This is a much more niche product.

      • bwcbiz
      • 5 years ago

      It also shows how overpriced cellphones are. This is basically a cellphone with the touchscreen stripped off, and they’re able to sell it for less than half of a comparable iPhone or Samsung – even including a windows install.

      Future shock? At first glance maybe, but not if you think about it – recent phones are in the same form factor and just as powerful. But then the real definition of Future Shock is the moment of surprise from a technology or product that seems miraculous until you think about it and realize it’s just an evolution.

    • Shinare
    • 5 years ago

    Where/When will this be available to purchase? I WANT ONE NOW!!!! 🙂

    Edit: A quick look on newegg garnered a 5/31 release date.

    • trackerben
    • 5 years ago

    Nice try, but why swing a Stick when you can bring a NUC?

      • Thrashdog
      • 5 years ago

      [sub<][super<]I Said, I've got a Big Stick[/super<][/sub<]

    • Ninjitsu
    • 5 years ago

    AnandTech has benchmarks:
    [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/9167/intel-compute-stick-review/2[/url<]

      • cygnus1
      • 5 years ago

      I don’t think anyone is going to be shocked at where it places in the graphs. More important to a lot of folks is the HTPC results:

      [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/9167/intel-compute-stick-review/4[/url<]

        • mcnabney
        • 5 years ago

        Can’t handle BluRay audio + video, pass.

      • bacondreamer
      • 5 years ago

      ::snickers:: pee pee stick, I wonder if the product code was intentional or unfortunate coincidence….

      yes, I’m 5.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 5 years ago

    I always figured that one day Intel would Stick it to me, and that day has come. 😉

    • Ninjitsu
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<] The last port left open is a single USB 2.0 connector, and it must serve several purposes. [/quote<] AND WITH THE NEW MACBOOK?

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      The new Macbook is one of the purposes of that poor little USB connector?!?!?!

        • Ninjitsu
        • 5 years ago

        Haha, no. Must edit a bit 😛

        EDIT: Not sure how to phrase it! Hmmm. Basically, the Macbook also has a single USB 3.0 connector that must serve several purposes.

    • drfish
    • 5 years ago

    …but can it run Minecraft?

    • DPete27
    • 5 years ago

    Should’ve had at least 64GB storage. [add] I suppose you can use a micro SD card for 128GB of extra storage at least…

    • adampk17
    • 5 years ago

    How much storage space is free after Windows is patched?

      • Damage
      • 5 years ago

      Ack. I should’ve noted that. Will do so when I return from this press event in the UK.

      Edit: I didn’t think it was a huge deal due to the presence of the SD micro slot. Easy way to expand the storage on the cheap.

        • adampk17
        • 5 years ago

        Are SD cards fast enough these days that running programs from them wouldn’t feel like a large performance hit?

          • Damage
          • 5 years ago

          Well, Bay Trail uses eMMC for internal storage, so I doubt a card would be wildly slower.

            • swaaye
            • 5 years ago

            Some eMMC chips approach about half of SATA2 SSD performance. The 2013 Dell Venue 8 Pro can manage 150MB/s reads for example. I’ve never used one of the super high-end SD cards, but my Sandisk Ultra 64GB SD cards have terrible small write performance, and a decent eMMC chip doesn’t have that problem.

      • Deanjo
      • 5 years ago

      If it is like the Meego T01 with the same specs, you should see about 14 GB free after a fully patched Win 8.1.

      • swaaye
      • 5 years ago

      On a 32GB tablet, you typically have about 16GB left.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]At the end of the day, though, the Compute Stick is a cool concept that's both well-executed and surprisingly affordable. [/quote<] I'm a little taken aback at the lack of Krogoth in this review. [insert conspiracy theorist rant here] Slightly more seriously: Were you able to try out the Bluetooth with any peripherals? It might be one way to avoid hogging the USB port with a wireless keyboard/mouse dongle if Bluetooth can handle the job.

      • Damage
      • 5 years ago

      Nope, sorry. I plugged in a mouse/KB combo since it was necessary for setup, and after that, I didn’t think to try connecting Bluetooth versions of the same. I’ve used BT input devices a fair amount, though, on other systems. Should be a viable option, if a little fussy at times in Windows.

        • chuckula
        • 5 years ago

        Thanks! Good review as always.

        If you want to give us all a nice laugh, try to play some 3D games on it and then do frame-by-frame capture… with a still camera 😛

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