Intel unveiled the Intel Compute Stick at the 2015 Computer Electronics Show (CES) and drew some attention. It’s supposed to go on sale in March and I expect other computer companies to tackle similar types of stick computers before the year is over. Is this another attempt to replace the venerable desktop computer? I don’t think so. I think it’s just another option to consider when you need to have a computer in the house, especially when you don’t have much room for one.
I read the specifications from several sources. It comes with either Windows 8.1 (priced at $149) or Linux (priced at $89). Here’s what’s included:
Perhaps inspired by the Google Chromecast, stick computers will need a different kind of setup. You’ll need bluetooth enabled keyboards and mice (or whatever your preferred pointer happens to be) for one thing. You’ll also need an HDMI slot to plug it into. The latest televisions will work but most computer monitors won’t.
Personally, I’d like to take one for a test drive. I’d have to buy another keyboard and mouse, of course. The Intel Compute Stick is supposed to be like a low-end laptop, so I’d feel right at home.
Stick computers won’t replace portable devices like mobile phones, tablets or laptop computers. I have no doubt they can replace desktop computers, including the keyboard computers and the all-in-one computers. When they get beefier, they may become first choices for a lot of people.
Most people won’t do serious computer work on mobile phones or tablets, but they’ll use the heck out of them for entertainment purposes. Stick computers can be used for both, just like desktop and laptop computers.
If you want to get extremely technical, this isn’t the first “stick” computer. USB flash drives have been used as something like this for a few years now and other stick computers (featuring Android) have been around since the latter half of 2012. This is the first one, however, with the muscle to effectively replace other PCs.
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