Intel Compute Stick Review: The Little PC That Almost Could
When it comes to portable computing, most of us think about laptops or maybe even smartphones and tablets for on-the-go productivity. However, Intel has introduced a unique product that aims to revolutionize the idea of portable computing: the Intel Compute Stick. In this review, we will dive into the pros and cons of this little device and find out if it delivers on its promises.
Design and Portability
The Intel Compute Stick is an ultra-compact PC that comes in a form factor slightly larger than a typical USB flash drive. It has an HDMI connector at one end, which you plug directly into any HDMI-compatible display (such as TVs or monitors). This makes it incredibly portable and easy to carry around, even in your pocket.
Equipped with an Intel Atom processor, this mini-computer is capable of handling most day-to-day tasks for basic users. While you shouldn’t expect lightning speeds or the ability to multitask extensively, it can easily handle web browsing, streaming videos and music, word processing, and other light tasks. However, if you’re planning on using it for heavy applications or gaming, you might want to skip it.
Connectivity-wise, the Intel Compute Stick has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 support. This enables wireless internet access and compatibility with various peripherals such as keyboards and mice. Additionally, there’s a microSD card slot for extra storage, as well as a USB port for other devices.
Setting up the Intel Compute Stick is fairly straightforward – all you need is an HDMI-compatible display and an external input device such as a wireless keyboard or mouse.
Running Windows 10 Home edition out of the box (a Linux Ubuntu version is also available), you get a familiar environment with access to Microsoft’s suite of applications. The user experience is smooth overall but can become sluggish when multiple applications are running simultaneously.
Limitations and Drawbacks
Of course, the Intel Compute Stick isn’t without its limitations. As mentioned earlier,
performance is adequate for everyday use, but it may falter when pushed to its limits. It also gets quite hot under heavy usage, which can cause it to throttle performance to maintain safe temperatures.
Another downside is the limited number of ports for peripherals. There is only one USB port available – this means that if you need more wired connections, you’ll have to invest in a separate USB hub.
In conclusion, the Intel Compute Stick is a fascinating little device that tries to redefine portable computing. While it certainly achieves portability and ease of use, its performance might not be sufficient for everyone’s needs – particularly those looking for more high-performance systems.
For basic users who need an ultra-portable PC for light tasks and media consumption, the Compute Stick is a solid option. However, if you require more powerful capabilities or multiple ports for peripherals, you may want to explore other alternatives in the market.