Intel's $150 Stick That Turns a TV Into a Windows Desktop Is Now on Sale

The Intel Compute Stick, a snazzy $150 dongle that can turn anything with an HDMI port into a full-fledged Windows computer, made a bit of a splash when it touched down at CES 2015. And now it's landing for real, preorders have started at Amazon and Newegg.

The slight catch is that the retailer on Amazon seems to be listing the good version of the stick (Quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of solid state storage) for $180 right now, with a 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, Linux version for $130. Meanwhile Newegg's got the good one for $150 plus shipping.

And then it's also worth noting that between January and now, the playing field has changed juuuust a touch. Google's dongle that turns any TV into a ChromeOS machine has been announced—and for cheaper—but if you have designs on running Windows applications on your TV, the pricier Intel stick is still the way to go.

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How does it hold up under pressure? We don't know just yet but you can bet we'll put it through its paces as soon as we get our grubby little paws on one. It looks like the stick actually touches down on May 6th, and we can't wait to mess with one. [Liliputing]

Intel's $150 HDMI Stick Turns Any TV Into a Windows Desktop

Got an HDMI port handy? Sure, you could plug in a Chromecast, Fire TV Stick or Roku Streaming Stick to get your Netflix fix. Or you could pay $150 to get a full Windows 8.1 PC in the same form factor.

This is the Intel Compute Stick, a humble HDMI dongle that houses a full desktop computer experience. It's not a particularly powerful one—you get a quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of solid state storage—but it does have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and both a full-size USB port and a microSD card slot for expandability. As long as you're not gaming and find yourself a decent couch controller, you could probably do quite a bit from this tiny PC! Here's the spec sheet.

More likely, it'll find a home in small businesses, schools, and the like who want to roll out super cheap computers to their employees, since all you need is this stick, an HDMI monitor and a couple peripherals to get things cranking. Remember when the tiniest PC was a nettop that hooked onto the back of your monitor? Now they come in dongle-form.

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If you're feeling brave, you can actually already buy one of these tiny dongle-PCs from Chinese resellers, but it probably won't come with Windows on board. I'd wait for the official Intel version to arrive. The Wall Street Journal says it'll hit by the end of Q1, with a Linux version also available for $90. [Intel via WSJ]


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