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Highlights

Intel Compute Stick Quick Review




Officially unveiled back in January, the Intel Compute Stick is tiny Windows-powered device that can fit right inside your pocket. It features an Intel Atom processor, 2GB RAM, and runs Windows 8.1 OS out of the box. It’s a portable and affordable solution for those who want to turn any HDMI-equipped display into a full-fledged PC. Is the Intel Compute Stick worth getting? Find out by reading our quick review.

Design and Construction

The Intel Compute Stick is a candy bar-shaped device that comes in a plastic body. The size reminds us of a small remote rather than a thumb drive. The front houses the LED, a couple of vents, and the Intel inside logo.

On the left we have the security notch, regular-sized USB 2.0 port, microUSB power port, another vent, and the power button. While on the right side is the microSD card slot and another vent. At the bottom we have the full-sized HDMI allowing you to connect it to a TV or monitor.

On hand, the Compute Stick is surprisingly light, however, it makes us wonder if its sturdy enough to withstand accidental drops or when not securely stored around with other gadgets.

Setup and OS

Setting up is easy and straight-forward. Just connect the Compute Stick to the HDMI-equipped TV or monitor, then connect the device to its power adapter via the microUSB port then switch it on. Of course, to use the Compute Stick as a regular PC, you will need a keyboard and a mouse. But since the Stick only has one USB port you will need a special type of wireless keyboard and pointer that can be used via a single USB receiver. In our case, we used the Logitech k400r wireless touch keyboard. But if you have multi-port USB hub you can use that as well to connect more USB devices.

Once you have that configured, you can now setup and use Windows 8.1 OS which you can then upgrade to Windows 10. The OS doesn’t come with a lot of pre-installed apps which is good considering you only have a limited amount of internal storage.

The Compute Stick has 32GB internal storage but out of the box we have 17.6GB free. It feels very limited but pretty understandable considering that it’s just a pocket PC. Considering its hardware configuration we don’t expect you to do heavy tasks on it other than Office docs and web surfing. Speaking of Office, the Compute Stick doesn’t come with free Office programs so you will have to install it yourself.

Performance

The Compute Stick is powered by a 1.83GHz Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor, Intel HD Graphics, and 2GB RAM. It boots up fast and has no problems running programs like Chrome and media players of our choice. The microSD card slot is handy if we want to view media files from our smartphone. However, don’t expect it to be portable gaming PC though as the hardware is not powerful enough. As mentioned earlier, it’s good for office work and web browsing.

Conclusion

The Intel Compute Stick is a great portable productivity PC as it is light, pocket-friendly, and easy to set up. There are limitations though like the limited USB port and internal storage. It’s good in certain scenarios though like turning your spare HDMI-equipped monitor into a fully functional PC, or attach it to your hotel room’s TV and use it as a PC as well. And one of the best part is it only costs Php7,999 so it’s not going to burn holes in your pockets.

Intel Compute Stick (STCK1A32WFC) specs:
1.83GHz Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor
Intel VT-x support
2MB L2 Cache | Up to 1.83GHz boost clock
Intel HD Graphics (311MHz Base / 646MHz Burst frequency)
2GB DDR3L 1333MHz RAM
32GB eMMC internal storage
Support for 128GB MIcroSD card
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
1x USB 2.0 port
1x HDMI 1.4a
Windows 8.1 32-bit
Dimension: 103.4 x 37.6 x 12.5 mm

What we liked about it:
* Portable and light
* Full Windows functionality
* Powerful enough for office productivity

What we didn’t like:
* Small internal storage
* Single USB port
* No MS Office pre-installed



This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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17 Responses

  1. joe says:

    pwede po palitan ng Linux?

  2. DynamyK says:

    Sir how can we install office dto?

    • Andre says:

      This is a regular Intel x86-based PC with full Windows 8.1 32-bit so you can definitely install MS Office or LibreOffice (or use Google Docs via web browser). I just recently upgraded mine to Windows 10, ok naman ang performance pang document editing, web browsing at movie watching.

  3. Solidad says:

    Its kinda there for a regular PC. You still need to buy a powered USB Hub, at least 32GB micro SD and if your screen doesn’t have a HDMI port, a DVI/VGA to HDMI dongle.

  4. tsukimoto says:

    This overprice device sucks compared to MINIX Z64 Windows 8.1
    search muna kayo bago bumili nyan

  5. Uhh says:

    Sinubukan sana ninyo e hulog para manalaman namin.hahahaha.

    D naman yata disadvantage yung 1 usb port to its size. Kaya nga portable. ano silbe nun kung mag dadala ka rin ng maraming usb devices para e sasak mo sa port.

    • andre says:

      Good point … sa liit ng device isang USB port lang talaga magkakasya. At sa price point, no use complaining bakit walang pre-installed Microsoft Office…otherwise hindi ibebenta ng 7k+ ito

  6. yeehaw says:

    I don’t really see the point in buying this device. The selling point is portablity but In order to use this you still need to lug around a keyboard and a mouse. UNLESS you have a readly available monitor+keyboard+mouse in your workplace AND your home and any place you might use this device.

    With such limited specs, why not just use a netbook? no need for keyboard and mouse and monitor.

    The size of the keyboard alone is pretty much the same as a netbook.

    • andre says:

      It has its use cases. Personally I use it as my media player…it has replaced my old Android MK808B device. One time I also had to present some slides, and I just brought this and made use of a pointer device (acting as mouse). No need to use keyboard, since I use the (lame) built-in Windows onscreen keyboard. I plugged it into the TV at the venue, and it just worked. I didn’t have to worry about the slides being rendered incorrectly or animations looking differently because I essentially brought the entire computer with me.

      Your mileage may vary. As with any device, it may not appeal to everyone. And surely there are newer devices out there that are similar but may be cheaper.

    • mongoload says:

      This will be better used as a thin client device for business. imagine they would just buy monitor with HDMI and this 8k device multiplied by 100 employees instead of 30k-60k PC’s. Thin clients are now becoming common in offices and i think this is the future!

  7. IS says:

    Too underpowered and the USB limitation is a big hurdle. The ECS Liva or any of the Celeron NUCs are a better buy. Cheaper in the case of the Liva with more ports (and can be powerbank-powered) or slightly more expensive for the NUCs but you can actually stick a 1 TB HDD in.

  8. nliszac says:

    Can this play HEVC?

  9. andre says:

    Some helpful links:

    How to install Ubuntu Linux on the Windows model (I doubt if the Linux 1GB RAM/8GB flash model is being sold in PH): http://liliputing.com/2015/07/install-ubuntu-14-04-lts-on-the-2gb-intel-compute-stick.html

    Playing HEVC/H.265 video on this compute stick: https://communities.intel.com/thread/67246

    More extensive review: http://liliputing.com/2015/04/intel-compute-stick-mini-computer-with-windows-review.html

  10. Ronald says:

    Pwede kaya mag-laro dito ng flash games? Parang much better buy ito since di naman kami big gamers, flash games are enough for the kids. Space and Power saver pa.

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