The Intel Compute Stick is ready for the masses starting later this April.
Intel introduced the Compute Stick several months back at CES with little to zero buzz to go along with it. That’s not to say that there’s nothing to look forward to as far as viability goes. The reasonably priced PC on a stick comes with decent specs depending on the model and configuration.
Newegg has the device up for pre-order for $150, which comes with Windows 8.1, 2GB of RAM, 32GB SDD storage, and a quad-core Atom chip. The Linux version comes with the same specs if you get it from Newegg, but elsewhere you’ll have to settle for 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.
A few Chinese manufacturers have already launched their own Intel-based PC sticks, and they’re a bit cheaper if you know where to look (read: eBay).
So while there are PC sticks featuring ARM-based chips flooding the marketplace, there is an advantage to using an x86-based chip over ARM. People that remain reliant on software designed for x86 can rely on the Compute Stick for just that, and a $100-150 Intel stick isn’t at all a bad deal. Take into account that fact that it comes with Windows 8.1 and a free upgrade to Windows 10, and you’ve gotten yourself a nice little bargain.
Of course people won’t be using the Compute Stick for resource intensive tasks, but for every day productivity it’s better than lugging around and setting up a tower (or even something like the NUC).