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cotton-candy-usb-computer
Summary:

I doubt mobile computing will evolve to computers on a USB stick for most people, but this prototype is intriguing. Thanks to an HDMI port, the stick — which has the guts of a smartphone — connects to a monitor for standalone computer use.

I doubt mobile computing will evolve to computers on a USB stick for most people, but this prototype device offering found by The Verge is certainly intriguing to a gadget geek like me. Called the Cotton Candy, the small device looks like a traditional USB flash drive with one extra hardware bit on the outside; an HDMI port. While the stick can be plugged into any computer’s USB slot, it works as a standalone computer as well, capable of running Android, Ubuntu Linux or, through a virtualization client, Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X.

We’ve seen “PC on a stick” products before, but the HDMI port helps make the Cotton Candy stand out. Attach a monitor to the HDMI port and a power supply to the USB jack and y0u’re up and running. Adding to the feature set is a microSD slot, and integrated Wi-Fi and BlueTooth radios; these wireless options provide both connectivity and support for a keyboard or a mouse.

Of course, if the Cotton Candy prototype ever makes it to market, don’t expect a full desktop or laptop level of performance. Internally, the device is expected to have the guts of a capable smartphone: 1.2 GHz Cortex A9 processor, 1 GB of memory, and a quad-core graphics chip supporting 1080p video encoding and playback. But with dimensions of 8 cm x 2.5 cm, you weren’t really expecting an 2.8 GHz multi-core desktop processor, were you?

While I like the mobile aspect of the Cotton Candy, a better use for the product may be to extend the feature set of a traditional laptop or computer. It can be used to transfer media from a mobile operating system to a desktop environment or for running Android inside Windows or Mac OS X as needed. Sure, it’s a very niche product, but we geeks often gravitate to such things!

  1. RT @gigaom: USB stick plus monitor equals an Android computer http://t.co/NE3SLRP8

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  2. USB stick plus monitor equals an Android computer http://t.co/PCb5lrJ5

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  3. RT @gigaom: USB stick plus monitor equals an Android computer http://t.co/NE3SLRP8

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  4. USB stick plus monitor equals an Android computer http://t.co/fU8DqYb0

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  5. USB stick plus monitor equals an Android computer http://t.co/eipNxPiY … But I’m waiting for Raspberry Pi http://t.co/qfPrmwyV

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  6. USB stick plus monitor equals an Android computer: 18, 2011, 8:02am PT No Comments I doubt mobile computing will… http://t.co/AgyKuzJX

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  7. RT @gigaom: #USB stick plus monitor equals an #Android computer http://t.co/3UuRpFJp

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  8. I have basically been using the first gen galaxy tab as my main home computer for a while now (obviously I don’t have a lot of heavy lifting computing needs at home), so this is definately something I’ll be keeping an eye on. I love the idea of turning my TV into a smart terminal. The sooner this is available the better!

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    1. well you’ll still need a usb mouse and keyboard since this thing has no input and your tv probably isn’t a touch screen. Not all that convenient.

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    2. I mean bluetooth usb/mouse. usb won’t work I guess.

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  9. USB stick plus monitor equals an Android computer: http://t.co/S25CObbV

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  10. USB stick plus monitor equals an Android computer http://t.co/dptaFmy8

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