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Intel Compute Stick Unboxing: A PC In Your Pocket

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We unbox Intel’s Compute Stick!

PCs are getting smaller and smaller nowadays, and Intel’s looking to make them even smaller with their newest product, the Compute Stick. The Compute Stick is, for all intents and purposes, a PC that’s been stuffed inside a (chunky) USB stick that runs Windows 8.1 and is upgradable to Windows 10. Today we’ll take a closer look at just how small the Compute Stick is, and how easy it is to setup.

Intel Compute Stick Specs:

  • 1.3GHz Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD slot
  • WiFi, Bluetooth

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Packaging and contents

Intel’s Compute Stick comes in a box that’s roughly the same size as the boxes most smartphones come in. The logo and the big, bold letters on the front will clue you in that the box does, in fact, contain Intel’s Compute Stick.

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Inside the box, you’ll see the Compute Stick, a USB cable, power adapter and an HDMI extension cord. You’re also getting complimentary anti-virus protection via a voucher code from McAfee.

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Initial Impressions: the smallest PC we’ve seen, plus it can run off a powerbank!

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While Intel’s Compute Stick isn’t tiny in USB thumbdrive standards (it’s almost the same size as first generation 3G dongles), we’d wager there are few devices (aside from Google’s Chromecast) that can deliver the same performance in a small package. The spec sheet for the Compute Stick isn’t too shabby either – 1.3GHz quad-core Atom Z3735F processor paired with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. It’s on par with a few tablets out in the market today, minus the display and battery, of course.

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There’s space for a microSD card to expand storage and a single USB port and…that’s it. If you’re planning to attach accessories to the Compute Stick, it’d be easier to use the Bluetooth connection or use a two-in-one keyboard/mouse wireless solution that companies like Logitech sell. The Compute Stick attaches via HDMI and is powered via the small, micro USB slot on the body. Since the processor that’s been bodged inside the Compute Stick is aimed at mobile applications, it’s not surprising that it can run off of a powerbank.

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Once you plug it into a monitor or a TV, you can use the Compute Stick pretty much as a normal PC. There are obvious limitations to what you can do – basic office applications are okay, browsing is good as well, but we’re not sure if Intel’s Compute Stick can handle gaming – if the limited power of the Atom processor doesn’t get you, the 32GB of storage will.

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So it if it can’t do games, what can it do? Well, you can connect it to a dumb TV that has an HDMI connection and use it as a streamer. Connect it to a hard drive, and you now have a machine that can download movies that don’t use a lot of power. Schools and colleges can also deploy it as a low-cost, easy to setup machine for their students, and people looking for a secondary PC for their kids at home that they can use as workstations may also find the Php 6995 cost of the Compute Stick more palatable compared to buying full-fledged PCs or notebooks. What’s nice is that the Compute Stick is running full Windows 8.1 (not RT) and is eligible for an upgrade to Windows 10, though our unit has not gotten the notification to upgrade just yet.

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John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

10 Comments

    1. Just plug it in a monitor or TV that has HDMI, plug in the adapter and turn it on. You’ll need a bluetooth keyboard and mouse or a keyboard/mouse combo that we have to be able to use it.

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