The Google Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick, and Amazon Fire TV Stick have made full set-top boxes less essential for media streaming, and now Intel wants to do the same for Windows computers.
Today’s CES announcement of the Intel Compute Stick hints at just that. It’s a pocket-sized device with a quad-core Atom processor, and it delivers a full Windows 8.1 computer experience that you can plug into any display with an HDMI input. And there’s a Linux version coming as well that’s 40% cheaper.
The Compute Stick has both regular-sized and micro USB ports, although the micro port is used to power the thing, and it has Bluetooth 4.0 support and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi for connectivity with peripherals and Internet access. The Computer Stick also has a microSD slot for expandable storage.
Intel reportedly hinted that more powerful versions with Cherry Trail and Core M chips are coming down the line. But for web browsing, media streaming, and basic apps, the current configuration should be plenty useful.
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Based on the Intel Atom Quad-Core Processor, it comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1 and Bing, along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connectivity, a USB port to connect peripherals and a micro SD card slot for additional storage. The Stick itself has 32GB storage and 2GB memory, and is good for games, videos, spreadsheets and presentations. (Linux users need not weep - there's a Linux option available too, with Ubuntu 14.04, 8GB storage and 1GB memory.) The Intel Compute Stick comes with a price tag of ₹12,900, but is currently available on Flipkart for ₹9999.