It's literally a complete mini PC, powered by micro USB. The Compute Stick itself comes in two flavors. At 4.4 x 1.5 x 0.47 inches, the flash-drive-size Compute Stick fits comfortably behind your TV or monitor, where its built-in HDMI jack can plug in directly. Improved 3D performance on our tests. You just plug in the Compute Stick to an open HDMI port, plug in the power and plug in your combo mouse and keyboard.Â. The rest is eaten up by image files. Here it is next to a typical USB drive and the Rasberry Pi 2. Just as Intel helped push mini PC's such as its NUCs into popularity, the company is hoping to spark some kind of unheard of usage model with stick computing. http://liliputing.com/2015/04/intel-compute-stick-mini-computer-with-windows-review.html The exciting part lies in why the Intel Compute Stick matters.Unlike the Google Chromecast or the Roku Streaming Stick, this is an entire PC that is not dependent on any other device or smartphone, and has a full-fledged operating system on it.Intel … As a shirt-pocket PC, yes, it can work but it doesn't quite make sense. If so, then Intel's latest Compute Stick is what you've been waiting for. The Intel Compute Stick comes with 32-bit … In terms of design, the Intel Compute Stick looks about as simple and plain (read: boring) as its name suggests. Intel's second generation of the Compute Stick has arrived, ushering in needed upgrades and enhancements to a unique product. Executive Editor, The Intel Compute Stick is exciting, but it’s more of a concept than a complete product. The Bad The tablet-grade performance isn't suitable … Intel clearly didn't spend much time on the Compute Stick's design. The Core m3–equipped Intel Compute Stick fulfills all the requirements you'd want for a PC that does real work—in other words, it's capable of doing more than simple Web browsing and media playback. It's a plastic, rectangular black stick that's simply boring. The included USB-C cable carries both power and the signals from the USB 3.0 ports to the Compute Stick. Intel Compute Stick review (2016): Second time's the charm Unlike the original, the second-gen Compute Stick is something you'd actually want to use. The Chrome browser was not available on Ubuntu. Make your so-called Smart TV actually smart. In addition, there's an added pair of USB 3.0 ports embedded in the much larger power adapter. You may be able to play Minecraft or World of Warcraft using the Compute Stick's integrated Intel HD Graphics 515, but games like Overwatch($49.99 at Amazon) and Doom($9.99 at Humble Bundle) are probably out of the question. So how useful is a computer you can swing around on a lanyard? Intel Compute Stick Review At CES 2015, Intel quietly announced its upcoming Bay Trail-based Compute Stick. Intel Compute Stick Review At CES 2015, Intel quietly announced its upcoming Bay Trail-based Compute Stick. Intel's Compute Stick offers multi-core performance fairly close to a typical 8 or 10-inch Atom-based tablet and motors past the dual-core Celeron N2840 in the HP Streambook too. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. Computing on the Raspberry Pi can be done, just rather painfully. I attributed this to the memory bandwidth on the unit. Joel cut his tech teeth on the Atari 2600, TRS-80, and the Mac Plus. That one packs a quad-core Atom Z3735F, 2GB of DDR3/1333 memory and 32GB of eMMC storage, plus integrated 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0. Right out of the box, Intel has provided a 21w charger and a USB-C cable to connect the Stick … As on previous versions, you can use Intel's Remote Keyboard app on Android or iOS devices to control the Compute Stick. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. Joel is proof that you can escape the retail grind: he wore a yellow polo shirt early in his tech career. What I'm not clear on is the portability usage. As such, it's our new Editors' Choice for stick PCs, replacing the inaugural version of the Compute Stick. With more memory and a faster processor, it's a better choice than Atom-equipped stick PCs in case you need to rebuild a PowerPoint presentation from scratch in your hotel room the night before a big sales call, for example. Since it doesn't seem like the $40 difference can be attributed just to RAM and eMMC, I asked Intel if the cost of an OS was a factor. You won't want to have 18 windows open in Chrome, for example. Intel Compute Stick CS325. Combined with a good living room keyboard and mouse, you can browse the web from your couch with a full fidelity browser capable of running all the plug-ins you need to say, stream NILF Island from your favorite off-shore, black-market web site. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/intel-compute-stick-core-m3. The quad-core Atom in the Compute Stick also outpaced the HP Streambook with its dual-core Atom Celeron N2840.Â, Further reading: Mini PC invasion: 10 radically tiny computers that fit in the palm of your hand. PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Where the Compute Stick loses most ground to its contemporaries is in graphics performance. Daniel Rubino. It's not like you'll keep this in your pocket, go to your friend's house and just "borrow" his or her TV. What you just read is more than enough about the Compute Stick's raw performance. Joel Santo Domingo joined PC Magazine in 2000, after 7 years of IT work for companies large and small. Neither Intel nor Microsoft would comment on OS pricing for this new class of device, so it makes me wonder whether screenless sticks will qualify for WinBing. Our Editors' Choice for small-form-factor desktops, the Asus VivoMini($399.00 at Amazon), is faster on most benchmark tests, thanks to a faster Core i5 processor, but it costs $120 more and is physically much larger. Ever thought that a stick PC that functions as a full desktop when you plug it into a TV is a good idea, but that the Intel Atom processor really is too low-powered for your needs? Equipped with lots of expansion and connectivity options, including three USB 3.0 ports. Intel gives you a typical 2-amp wall wart with a USB port on it. Overall power consumption is superb: The Compute Stick normally consumed half an amp in use and only rarely spikes up to 1.5 amps. Very light, compact design. And you can use it anywhere there's a display with a free HDMI port. Light, compact design. The Compute Stick itself comes in two flavors. Running 3DMark's Ice Storm Unlimited, I saw the Compute Stick about 25 percent slower than a typical Atom Z3745 tablet. Running a 32-bit version of Windows 10, the … Review Intel 2nd Generation Compute Stick with Core m5: is it worth $500? Plentiful memory and storage. That's not too bad, and well worth it if you're planning on getting things done. We also recommend the Asus Chromebit as an alternative if you need to save money, and really just want to run a Chrome browser on your TV. Aside from a plain, white Intel logo, the only bit of style its … Your subscription has been confirmed. The Good The Intel Compute Stick excels as a media streaming, Web-browsing machine, and it's a $150 PC that can fit into your pocket. What that is, I'm not sure. As an instant and fairly affordable way to make your smart TV actually smart, it's a win. You still need a mouse and keyboard to use the Compute Stick and with a single USB port, you're forced to pick between the two. For comparison, we ran a couple of basic browser benchmarks on the Raspberry Pi 2 unit using the Epiphany browser. Giving up the hardware though, will save you $40, as it's expected to sell for $110. Our unit has a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735F processor which has a base speed of 1.33GHz with bursts up to 1.83GHz and 2MB of cache. PCMag Digital Group. Can you do anything of consequence with it? With 4K support and dual … Intel Compute Stick (2016, Cherry Trail) For $159, the Intel Compute Stick is a pretty good deal. Intel Compute Stick review Intel put an entire PC on a stick, but do you really want a computer this limited? 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You will need a USB mouse and keyboard to set up wireless devices like a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse or Remote Keyboard, but from then on you can control things wirelessly. Class-leading performance. PCWorld |. Windows 10. It would have been nice to have an additional USB-C port on the stick for newer solid-state drives (SSDs) and the like, since the Compute Stick can't run without power. The Bad … With 32GB of eMMC, you end up with about 15.5GB available after installing Windows updates. The Compute Stick might be made of parts that sip electricity, but its Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor helped it run the board on our benchmark tests. Powered by a Core m3 processor, the Intel Compute Stick excels as a fully functional PC that fits in your pocket and can use a TV as a display. Yes, you will need a combo mouse and keyboard initially. Running Outlook with Chrome and a chat client is about at the boundary of what you can do on it. 20 May 2016 84 Intel's Atom processors have mixed reviews from users and come woefully … PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done. It was a clean sweep from the PCMark 8 Work Conventional test (1,981 points) to the Photoshop CS6 test (8 minutes, 3 seconds). That doesn't work in 95 percent of streaming devices. Cheaper intel: Intel Compute Stick 2nd Gen. Staff pick. We even had enough space to load multi-gigabyte video files to local storage, something we couldn't do on the Atom-based Compute Sticks and the other systems based on it, like the Ideacentre Stick 300. A generic two-watt unit did fine, though.Â. Intel Compute Stick Review – Windows 8.1 PC For Under $150 Posted by Nathan Kirsch | Wed, Apr 22, 2015 - 2:50 PM Jump To: Page 1: Intel Compute Stick Will Make Your Dumb … Design and Features At first glance, the Core m3–equipped Compute Stick($160.13 at Walmart) looks almost identical to the version with the Atom processor: a black slab shaped like a pack of chewing gum, measuring an identical 0.5 by 1.5 by 4.5 inches (HWD). Keep an eye on your inbox! Read our, Learn more about PCWorld's Digital Editions, Mini PC invasion: 10 radically tiny computers that fit in the palm of your hand. It plugs into any full-size HDMI port. As a way to make any TV or HDMI monitor into a smart device, the Compute Stick is without equal in portability, price and size. Maybe he or she has a Bluetooth keyboard. A Linux version running Ubuntu cuts main memory down to 1GB and sees storage fall all the way back to 8GB. I compared it to a Lenovo Yoga tablet 2 10-inch packing the Atom Z3745 inside, and performance was close. Besides the Intel and ASUS brand, there … The Intel Compute Stick CS325 is the fastest PC stick on the market. The good news is that at least it seems fairly fast for a low-cost eMMC. The biggest problem on the Compute Stick will be storage. The Compute Stick has the same quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3735F processor as the Hannspree Micro PC, and its performance isn’t up to much. In ports, you get a single USB 2.0, a MicroSD slot rated to work with 128GB cards, and a MicroUSB port used only to provide power. Intel's first generation Compute Stick turned quite a few heads, including ours, as it was a remarkable thing to consider that a fully functioning PC could be crammed onto a device roughly the … © 1996-2020 Ziff Davis, LLC. A little short on memory, and if you put expansion ports on it (like ethernet), the expansion ports end up being bigger than the compute stick itself. It runs on a 64 Bit Windows 10 with an Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor. Because it only has one USB 2.0 port, you'll have to choose between a mouse or keyboard until you can pair more items—and you'll need to use a keyboard to get things started. Depending on your needs that's not much to play with. The latter is the strongest appeal of the Compute Stick. Is Intel's Compute Stick a solution looking for a problem, or is this PC the size of a USB stick a solution to a problem you didn't you know you had? CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON. You know, like dude, I can't stand my so-called smart TV's pathetic browser and horrible remote control interface. The base version of this year's Compute Stick($349.99 at Amazon) goes for $129, but the upgraded model we tested runs $379.99. Or maybe you could also pack a folding Bluetooth keyboard and mouse but at that point, why not just pack an 8-inch Windows tablet instead for your emergency computing? In addition to a more powerful Core m3 chip, it comes with better connectivity, double the memory and storage, and, of course, a higher price. We can barely fault its eye-catching design, but every other aspect of the Compute Stick is … Or maybe you want something you can slip into your front pocket, just in case you need access to a computer. Inspire Fanless Barebone. The Intel Compute Card inserted into the Dock ‍ Several weeks of testing brought us to several conclusions: ‍ The Compute Card itself, with its dimensions of 55x95x5 mm, is an incredible piece of tech – it’s just as strong in terms of computing power as the Stick … Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Along the way Joel earned a BA in English Literature and an MBA in Information Technology from Rutgers University. It has flaws and compromises, and far too many to make it an indisputable 'buy now' product. You also get 64-bit Windows 10, which allows the Core m3 model to run 64-bit programs, like some of our multimedia benchmark tests. The Lenovo Ideacentre Stick 300 has identical specs to the Intel Compute Stick, including the same Intel Atom Z3735F CPU with 2GB of RAM, the same 32GB of storage, and the … For load power consumption, we ran … He’s built countless DIY systems, including a deconstructed “desktop” PC nailed to a wall and a DIY laptop. Three-year warranty. Don't expect to use any old wall wart, though: I tried an Apple iPhone charger as a power source and was greeted with reboots. His background includes managing mobile, desktop and network infrastructure on both the Macintosh and Windows platforms. Yes. He’s played with most consumer electronics technologies, but the two he’d most like to own next are a Salamander broiler and a BMW E39 M5. Intel's new Compute Stick is a pocket computer you can plug into any HDMI stick. Maybe that'll come to me but for now, the Compute Stick finds a good home on my TV. The most popular one is going to be the pricier version running 32-bit Windows 8.1 with Bing. The Core m3 version comes with a three-year warranty, triple that of the cheaper Compute Sticks. So yeah, we're looking at a world of difference in browsing performance, at least, between the Rasberry Pi and the Compute Stick. In the graphs below, we compare the idle and load power of the Intel Core m3-6Y30 Compute Stick with other low power PCs evaluated before. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. The internal fan does work pretty hard to keep it cool - no … I measured it at 167MB/s reads and 73MB/s writes in sequential file access using Crystal Disk Mark. Intel smartly includes a short 8-inch HDMI extension cable because the unit is so chunky, it might not fit behind a lot of TVs or monitors. Ultimately the Compute Stick is a new category of computing device. Paired with a good keyboard and mouse (I recommend Logitech's K400 or K830 for a living room experience) you can turn your average dumb TV into the class valedictorian. This means you can get your your computing on in 2.5 watts of power, which is probably as much as your phone eats while being charged. Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc. It connects directly into your TV or large-screen display using HDMI, but there's a USB-C port instead of a micro USB jack (the power connector for the Atom-equipped Compute Sticks). Most of the stick PCs we've seen lately use 32-bit Windows, which has waning support from developers. He is responsible for overseeing PC Labs testing, as well as formulating new test methodologies for the PC Hardware team. I ran an entire suite of benchmarks to measure the Compute Stick's performance in everything from CPU to graphics to storage. The warning to you is, don't expect to run any games outside of rudimentary Flash games on the Compute Stick without having a frowny face. The Compute Stick is an important step for Intel, more in terms of the symbolism rather than the actual technology. Windows 8.1 is technically "free" on tablets with screens under 8 inches, but there's no screen on the Compute Stick. Compared with what we saw on the Atom-powered Compute Stick, 3D results were good, but still tepid: only 13 frames per second (fps) on the Heaven test and 15fps on the Valley test (both at medium quality). This Compute Stick has 4GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC flash storage. Along with his team, Joel won the ASBPE Northeast Region Gold award of Excellence for Technical Articles in 2005. For comparison, I've also thrown in an old Atom Netbook score so you can shudder in disgust. Equipped with lots of expansion and connectivity options, including three USB 3.0 ports. That's double the amount of both compared with the Atom-equipped models. Take a look at our benchmark chart for more, but a good comparison is the Asus VivoStick($153.57 at Amazon), which took 19:27 to complete the Photoshop test and almost 2 minutes longer on HandBrake (7:22 versus 5:23). The Core m3 upgrade makes a lot of sense if you're going to be doing any tasks aside from Web browsing. The Intel Compute Stick we are reviewing today is the Core m3-6Y30 model (STK2M3W64CC) that comes with Windows 10 Home (64-bit) pre-installed, making it ready to roll … It's essentially fine for basic computing tasks, with some patience. One of founding fathers of hardcore tech reporting, Gordon has been covering PCs and components since 1998. USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. You can run a real browser, install plugins, and stream 1080p video from any source. You can run Office just fine, and even Photoshop in a pinch. You get a full license for Windows 10 Home and a PC that’s ready to go out of the box—just add … As a truly portable computing device you'll take everywhere with you, well, I'm not quite sure it works. Plugs directly into an HDMI port in a monitor or an HDTV. Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi handle wireless communications. In the unlikely event that the stick would block an adjacent port, you can use the included HDMI extension cable to connect it. Most stick PCs share dimensions within a few fractions of an inch, but this Compute Stick is a bit more compact than the Asus Chromebit or VivoStick, or systems based on the original 2015 Compute Stick($349.99 at Amazon) like the Azulle Quantum Access LAN Windows 10 Fanless Mini PC Stick and the Lenovo Ideacentre Stick 300($699.00 at Amazon). The Intel Compute Stick, powered by a Skylake-based Core m3-6Y30 processor, elevates the tiny thumbstick-sized platform to true mini PC territory. As a complement to a TV or to make an old monitor "smart," I get it and at $150 with the OS, it's a deal. Last week we got to check out a sample unit up close and personal. Generally you won't notice its limitations, but with 2GB of RAM, you won't want to multi-task too heavily or at all. USB mouse and keyboard are required for initial wireless setup. Does it give up a lot to get into a case the size of a fat USB stick? The most popular one is going to be the pricier version running 32-bit Windows 8.1 with Bing. Intel didn't disclose formal list prices, but it's expected to sell for $150. Performance and Conclusion Here we come to the real justification for this updated model: better performance. PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. Includes Windows 10. The Compute Stick is a niche product – one that will have fans and detractors. If you really do need to store a ton of data on the Compute Stick, there is that microSD slot, right? Intel helps ameliorate this using DDR3/1333, though. The Yoga Tablet 10 actually operates at 1066MHz and is fairly anemic in synthetic memory tests. The extra memory helps when multitasking: I was able to open multiple browser tabs and run several programs simultaneously without any noticeable slowdowns. Not really. Still, this is uncharted territory Intel is operating in. Rather than dual-channel mode, the Atom Z3735F runs in single-channel, which means memory bandwidth gets the short stick. The extra storage comes in handy when running programs like Adobe Photoshop, for both project files and the program itself. Intel's Compute Stick is a full Windows PC in a HDMI dongle. The Raspberry Pi 2 scored 318 in the Google Octane V2 test and 14,582.8 in SunSpider 1.02. The verdict is that for the most part, performance is similar, although slightly slower, than what you'd get on the typical Windows 8.1 tablet with a Bay Trail Atom inside.Â, Despite this, I know you want to know what kind of performance you can squeeze out of a stick computer. Quiet in operation. Of greater concern should be just what you can really accomplish with the Compute Stick. The Good The pocket-size Intel Compute Stick adds several improvements for its second generation, and it works great for casual Web surfing and HD media streaming. I rarely directly compare two products in a review, … The unit features Bluetooth 4.0 but you can't get to that setup screen until you're in Windows. Plugs directly into an HDMI port on a monitor or TV. It - Page 5 You'll see the difference when you first plug it in. That doesn't mean I ignored it. The Graphics comes from Intel Graphics 515 and it has 4GB of RAM. Windows platforms wall and a DIY laptop 're planning on getting things done there Very... Helps when multitasking: I was able to open multiple browser tabs and run programs! Tablets with screens under 8 inches, but it 's expected to sell for $ 150 is. A 64 intel compute stick review Windows 10 with an Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor a couple of basic browser benchmarks on system... N'T work in 95 percent of streaming devices performance in everything from CPU to Graphics to.. Are required for initial wireless setup of design, the … Inspire Fanless Barebone or an HDTV, three... Version comes with a three-year warranty, triple that of the Stick PCs, replacing the inaugural version Windows. Gen. Staff pick biggest problem on the Compute Stick is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, reviews. 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