Intel’s new Compute Stick dongle is nothing like Google’s Chromecast or Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter, it’s a fully functional PC that’s capable of running both Windows and Linux. The specs are obviously weak, but impressive considering the size of the device which, paired with the affordable price, could make it an excellent tool for budget conscious organizations to still have access to computers.
A few months back, I got a breathless email from an Intel PR rep due to some confusion over a little Chinese-made HDMI PC. Now we know why: Intel was stealthily getting ready to launch one of their own. This tiny black stick emblazoned with the “Intel inside” logo is Intel’s Compute Stick. This device isn’t like the Dell Cloud Connect dongle that they took to CES last year, nor is it a copy of Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter. It’s a full PC, capable of running both Linux and Windows, and it’s set to go on sale in the very near future. The Compute Stick is actually strikingly similar to the one made by Shenzen Apec Electronics that went on sale in October. Intel is planning to offer two models initially. Both will be powered by a quad-core Atom processor. This one, which will run Windows 8.1 with Bing and comes with 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage, will sell for $149.