Intel’s Compute Stick With Windows 8.1/Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Hits The Market: Specs, Storage, Gaming Performance, Launch Date And Price Comparison

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Intel Logo
An employee walks past an Intel logo during the 2014 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei June 3, 2014. Reuters/Pichi Chuang

Intel’s announcement on a new Compute Stick after the wave of Google’s Chromebit, proves to be the era of computing sticks, after PCs and laptops. Intel leaves no stone unturned in the computer hardware and the latest Compute Stick is the proof of it. Intel offers choice of access, either Windows 8.1 or Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, in the Compute Stick. Despite being constructed with the mini desktop concept, users should remember it works as an HDMI dongle, which can be plugged into the monitor yet not as powerful as a desktop and it cannot handle heavy photo editing or gaming on Atom processor, which are some of the common traits of tablets, powered by Intel. Arstechnica says that besides these small setbacks, the Intel confirms fantastic streaming performance and in-built Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, in the handy set, at the cheapest price. Simply plug into the HDMI port to make your monitor alive and you can use it even when you tote.

Specs, Storage and Plug-in

Being a portable pocket PC, Compute Stick Intel is crammed with Quad-core 1.3GHz Atom Z3735F Intel processor, with 32GB storage capacity and 2GB RAM. Intel is generous delivering 128GB storage, if a microSD card slot is inserted to the stick. The USB port allows external device plug-in. With the inbuilt Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi b/g/n connection, any peripherals like keyboard, mouse etc., can be paired with the stick.

Videos and Gaming Performance

Even a tight space can fit in the usage of Compute stick, yet the hardware installed goes in line with the mid-tier tab devices. Netflix and Youtube video streaming with 1080p can run flawlessly and MS Windows 8 work like a charm. CNET reviews claim that apps readily pop up, while all other menus do not take incessant time to come alive. Intel team of engineers have designed the stick so that the users can try the mobile friendly games such as Halo Spartan Assault and Minecraft, although the Compute stick claims to give least importance to gaming terminals. However, expecting silky smooth visual effecting may make you grumble over the gaming scenes.

Price and Launch date

Intel’s Compute stick with Windows 8.1 costs $150 (AUD $194 and £100) and Ubuntu OS costs lesser for $110 costs (AUD $143 and £74) and will be available at the end of April 2015, while the Asus Chromebit can be availed cheaper, at $100 (AUD $130 and £70). Different strokes for different folks, the Chromebit with Chrome OS can be a cherry pick for the Chrome fans, but people are ready to pay little more to enjoy the Windows treatment, particularly because the Windows 10 is just down the line.