The Intel Compute Stick is a tiny computer with an HDMI connector on one end. Plug the device into the HDMI port on your TV or monitor, and you’ve basically got an all-in-one desktop that can run Windows or Linux. Intel introduced the Compute Stick at CES in January, and it’s expected to hit the streets later this month. Now a couple of retailers are taking pre-orders.
Intel Compute Stick is finally available for pre-order on US based online merchants such as Amazon and Newegg with prices starting at $109.99 and up excluding shipping and two versions with either Linux or Windows 8.1.
The Windows 8.1 model is codenamed BOXSTCK1A32WFCR, comes with 2GB RAM and 32GB eMMC and sells between $150 and $180, while the Linux model (BOXSTCK1A8LFCR) features 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage, and goes for $110 to $130. The 8GB Linux version can also be found on a site called Zones for $101.99. That’s still significantly higher than the $89 price tag promised during Intel’s announcement.
Both versions of the device share most of the specifications:
- SoC – Intel Atom Z3735F Quad-Core “Bay Trail” processor @ 1.33 GHz (1.83 GHz burst frequency) and Intel HD Graphcis
- System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 (Windows) or 1 GB DDR3 (Linux)
- Storage – 32 GB eMMC (Windows) or 8 GB eMMC (Linux) + micro SD slot
- Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4a
- Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x micro USB port for power
- Misc – Power button
- Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port.
- Dimensions and Weight – N/A
But the Compute Stick comes with Intel name and official support from the chip maker, which could help make it a more attractive option for some customers, even though it costs a little more than some other mini PCs. The Linux version of the Intel Compute Stick may ship with Ubuntu 14.04, and you can find the latest BIOS and driver downloads for the Windows and Linux models at Intel’s website.