Intel Compute Stick Review

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TechyInAZ

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Thx for the review Tom's Hardware!

No matter how slow that usb "PC" is, it's still amazing that you can run a computer off a single little thumb drive shaped device and doesn't have problems even overheating.

I think this stick is designed more for demo purposes. Demonstrating that technology is advanced enough now that we can pack PC's in form factors unimaginable a few years ago.
 

americapat

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why a fan? Strange that the networking sooo slow, shouldn't be par with Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T? Price a little high too.
 

mapesdhs

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"... single channel DDR3L running at 1333 GHz ..."

Really? Can they put that in next-gen GPUs? ;)

Overall, I don't see the attraction over a normal HTPC, and in time TVs
are going to become more than quick enough to run general apps. Wouldn't
surprise me if the next move with TVs is to integrate a small PC inside
them somehow, assuming TV makers see a market for it.

Ian.

 

zodiacfml

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Pricey. The Linux version price is more logical yet it could have at least have 5Ghz WiFi.
Only small business can appreciate this for signage/display purpose. For home, you're better off with a Windows based tablet with HDMI output.

 

rcarlton

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To me, the killer feature in something like this is "pure portability." And I don't see it. Too many accessories - like the AC adapter. It's no wall wart but it's still a 3' cord hanging out the back from the Stick to the wall.

The article says that the wall adapter is a USB power host, and the power port looks vaguely like micro USB. Can this iteration of the Compute Stck connect to an onboard USB port on a TV and power itself from there vs an external AC adapter - working like a Chromestick, etc? Or does the power draw of the Compute Stick trump the onboard?

This device, while interesting - feels like a stopgap. USB-C ports, for example - could make a big difference in expanability.
 

Textfield

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I honestly think Windows and Ubuntu are both the wrong OS for this; a Chrome OS version is what's needed. With Windows you get a bloated operating system for what you're actually doing: browsing the web, streaming video, a perhaps a few light office activities. Ubuntu might run a bit better than Windows 8 on limited hardware, but it's still asking a lot, and you don't have proper support for Netflix on Ubuntu. Chrome OS is known to run great on really low-end hardware, and with very little internal storage. For a Chrome OS system they could cut the internal storage back to 8GB and thus lower the price, while actually ending up with something that was generally snappier, and could still stream Netflix and other services.
 

digitalw

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The light Windows 8 would be the answer - windows embedded . I see it like office and HTPC if XBMC works well. Light photo editing (Adobe Express on Win8). The good thing, regardless of the cables around is low power consumption and it is totally quiet. And it is small. this is not for anybody but almost for everybody :) I would go for it just to see how XBMC / KODI works on this :)
 

ThePerfectStorm

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"The Dell uses an Atom Z3775D (2.41 MHz), while the Lenovo and the HP both use the Atom 3795 (2.4 MHz and 1.6 MHz, respectively)."

Don't you mean GHz?
 

mathew7

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The same question I posted on Anandtech: how is the WIFI+Bluetooth interference?
You said one of the keyboards was having issues. Did you try it with Wifi disabled? Think about it: you use a single radio for 2 protocols, so when "hopping" on BT pattern, you can't listen to incoming wifi signal (and the other way round).
I have seen this issue "presented" on gizmodo. I have experienced it with a Logitech mouse on Android HDMI sticks (I have 2 with BT).
So my conclusion: it needs at least 5GHz wifi or another USB port. That's why I wait for the delivery Beelink pocket P2 (aluminium casing and additional OTG port) and not for the compute stick.
PS: there are small wireless integrated keyboards+mouse available, either BT or proprietary 2.4GHz. In either case, you still need what I just said above (5GHz or USB port). My favorite is the Lenovo N5902 because you can use it as a single-handed mouse and still have a KB when needed. Just wish they would make a BT version.
 
I wonder if it's fast enough to run a Linux firewall, or mail server, or the other stuff that the box in the garage usually runs. It would be a little cheaper (assuming that it can be run without a display).
 

MiscoucheGuy

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There have been smart tv boxes out for quite a while now that turn your TV into an android computer or Chrome based computer. Most are far more powerful this this and at that price even come with a wireless remote.
 

MiscoucheGuy

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You can purchase a Hdmi Android Stick with a RK3288 Quad core A17 CPU running at 1.8ghz per core with a Mali-T764 GPU core 2GB Ram and 16GB storage, Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0, OTG usb, Full USB, Micro SD card, and Hdmi out. Just larger that a cigarette lighter for less the $100 and it would also have a wireless remote with standard android buttons built in. Why is this big news
 

RedJaron

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I think the draw is supposed to be the portability and low price of this. It's pretty cheap to carry when traveling and any HDMI display can become a PC in a pinch. I think it might be a decent tool for network admins who need to bounce around an office. Possibly even a thin client for office use.

However, as others have said, at the least you need a keyboard and mouse to use this, so it's still not a "PC in your pocket." Then again, a compute stick + small wireless mouse and keyboard would be as portable as an ultrabook for $200 total. Not a bad alternative for a really low budget.

Personally, I'd rather get something like a Switch or Transformer Book for $300. That way you've got something that can be used without need of an exterior display and has much better wireless. And with Miracast, WiDi, and a $5 mini HDMI cable, you can still connect to any HDMI display.


This thing has nearly identical specs to my Acer Switch 10, assuming it doesn't suffer from CPU thermal throttling. I don't try anything too demanding on my Switch, but Baldur's Gate Enhanced and C&C Gold run fine.
 

mathew7

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You can purchase a Hdmi Android Stick with a RK3288 Quad core A17 CPU running at 1.8ghz per core with a Mali-T764 GPU core 2GB Ram and 16GB storage, Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0, OTG usb, Full USB, Micro SD card, and Hdmi out. Just larger that a cigarette lighter for less the $100 and it would also have a wireless remote with standard android buttons built in. Why is this big news
It's big news because it comes from Intel and runs x86 OS.
I already own 4 android sticks (1 RK3066, 2 RK3166 and 1 RK3288) and I always have problems with the SW. I can't keep up with which SW (stock/custom ROMs) can do fullscreen, which SW will play my MotoGP streams, which has stuttering, etc.
For Windows, everybody expects something and it usually works with the right drivers.
 
Quite true what you write of Windows. However, it reminds me of one of the most interesting things a tech trainer ever said to me. "Design is the art of pushing evil from one place to another." Windows does indeed have marvelous consistency. This comes at a cost, as the OS grows and grows. I remember the days of DLL hell, now solved. The OS now keeps every version of the DLL it ever had, and certain directories grow endlessly as the system is updated and can never be shrunk back.

I'm not saying that Microsoft sucks because of this, just that they pushed the "evil" into a different area than where Linux distros put it. At least you can usually find a compatible driver with Windows for any moderately recent device!
 
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