Here at the Consumer Electronics Show, Intel is trying to cram its chips into every possible product, ranging from drones and door locks to watches and Chromebooks. So maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s an Intel Atom in the company’s new Compute Stick; a full computer in an HDMI dongle.
The PC on a stick device is four-inches long and has a few ports: HDMI out for your TV or monitor, USB port, and a microSD card slot. Inside is 32GB of internal storage, 2GB of memory, an 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi radio, and Atom processor. [company]Intel[/company] will offer the Compute Stick in both a Microsoft Windows 8.1 version ($149) as well as one with an Ubuntu Linux distro ($89); the latter will have less memory and storage.
For some this might be a low-cost way to add another computer to the home, using an existing television or monitor. In this case, the Compute Stick would bring online streaming content to the TV while also providing full Windows apps and web browsing on the big screen.
It could also work as a modular computer of sorts, provided you don’t need top-notch performance: Carry the Compute Stick in your pocket and plug in wherever you have a screen, keyboard and mouse. All of your locally stored data would come with you since it’s on the stick, but of course, you could alway tap into cloud storage as well.
Intel is aiming for a March release of the Compute Stick, so it’s not quite ready yet. But you might want to free up an HDMI port to put this next to your [company]Google[/company] Chromecast, [company]Apple[/company] TV or other HDMI-capable device.