Intel’s Compute Stick is a $150 PC in the size of a Chromecast

Compute-stick
HDMI-based streaming sticks are hot. Whether it’s the Chromecast, the Roku Streaming Stick, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick or Mozilla’s Matchstick, putting a bunch of electronics into n stick that can plug into the HDMI port on your TV (or computer monitor) is all the rage.

That’s why Intel’s new Compute Stick — which the company showed off at CES 2015 — is so cool.

The Compute Stick takes the guts of a fully-functional Windows 8.1 or Ubuntu Linux computer and puts it into something the size of a Chromecast. The best part? The full Windows 8.1 version of the Compute Stick will sell for just $149.

The Compute Stick uses Intel’s Bay Trail Atom Z3735F quad-core processor and includes Bluetooth 4.0, 2.4Ghz 802.11n wireless and a single USB port. It also includes a microSD expansion slot for more storage.

The Windows 8.1 version of the Compute Stick has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage built-in. As we said, it’s just $149 — a steal when you consider that a full version of Windows is included.

A Linux version of the Compute Stick is also available for $89. It comes with 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM.

Raspberry Pi and Chromebook influences

If we had to guess, we’d say the massive success of the Raspberry Pi as well as Google Chromebook have helped convince Intel to get into the low-cost computer game.

The Compute Stick could be a great opportunity for businesses or schools who want an inexpensive computer for web access and light office work.

We can’t wait to get our own hands on the Compute Stick once it ships in March.

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