Mini PCs are available in plenty especially from Chinese OEMs, but if you’re looking for a reputed brand then Intel’s Compute Stick is probably the best you’ll get. Now, this device isn’t an Android powered dongle. Instead, it runs a full version of Windows 8.1 to deliver a complete desktop experience on any HDTV.
So how did Intel manage to squeeze an entire desktop PC into a device small enough to fit in the palm of your hand? Well, the entire credit goes to the Bay Trail Atom processors which have enabled such small form factors and also are capable of running Windows as well as a decent amount of software without any hiccups.
The exact chipset model hasn’t been stated here, but it’ll probably be the 1.8GHz quad core SOC. You get the free version of Windows 8.1 with Bing, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. Of course, you’ll need to throw in extra memory since the OS will hog-up a lot of space and that’s why there’s a microSD card slot and a full size USB port.
Connectivity-wise, you get Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI output and Wi-Fi 802.11n. Intel notes that the device can be used for entertainment purposes like social networking, web browsing, streaming media and light gaming. It’ll also support MS Office and other productivity tools including remote desktop which makes it a neat companion on business trips.
The Intel Compute Stick will go on sale for $149, but there’s no release date as yet. If you’re not a Windows fan, you’ll be able to pick up the dongle with Linux for $89. This version is said offer 1GB RAM and 8GB storage.