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Intel Compute Stick Is a PC The Size Of A Thumb Drive

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The Intel Compute Stick is a PC that measures only 4.06″ x 1.46″ x 0.47″.  This is a full fledged PC that you can fit in your pocket.

The idea is that the HDMI adapter is built directly into the unit so you plug the Compute Stick into the HDMI port on your Display, you then connect a keyboard and mouse using Bluetooth, and connect to the network using wireless.  If you need another peripheral it does have 1 USB 2.0 port. With a price between $109-$149 this would appear to be the wave of the future, and it is depending on what you plan to use it for.

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What should be realized before you order a Compute Stick is that this is a very slow PC.  It uses a a Quad Core Atom processor, only has between 1-2GB of RAM, and between 8-32GB of soldered down storage. Intel is producing both a Windows and a Linux version but oddly has decided to make the Linux version the one with only 1GB of RAM and 8GB of Storage.

The Compute Stick is in no way a replacement for a standard PC or laptop and the reviews so far make this clear, but this could be a very useful system for task specific purposes. The reality is that many people use systems at work now for relatively primitive tasks.  If you have a system that is only used to access a web portal, or open a terminal session to a server this could be an amazing product.  Many desktop PC’s are used in hot, dirty environments where power supplies and CPU fans are destroyed on a regular basis and the Compute Stick may be a system that would both be less prone to being damaged, and far cheaper to replace. Beyond this they can easily be used for Kiosk type solutions where resources will not be a major issue.

The final benefit of a Compute Stick is the ability to be able to fit it in your pocket and take it with you wherever you go.  In environments where Active Directory Roaming Profiles are used currently this may be easier to manage and a less resource intensive option.

Intel Compute Sticks should not be used to replace your current primary system, but in an age where computing is becoming more ubiquitous, and cloud based servers are providing more of the actual compute cycles a tiny, cheap, under powered PC could be the solution for a lot of problems.

You can check out Engadget’s review here:

Intel’s Page on the Compute Stick:


Eli Etherton

I am Eli "the Computer Guy" and have been in the tech industry for approx. 20 years doing all kinds of odd projects. I started as an electronics tech in the US Army, worked in corporate IT during the IT Boom, was an individual consultant and grew my tech shop to have numerous full time employees and supported small business clients with computer repair/ server maintenance/ web development/ surveillance systems/ telephone systems until the great recession. After that I started creating video training on all the topics I know and now have a YouTube Channel with over 500K subscribers. I am the founder of and my plan is to create a tech "news" site that I would actually find useful if I was still in the server room.

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