At CES there were multiple announcements from Intel, and one that caught my eye was the Intel Compute Stick because it reminded me of the Google Chromecast device by plugging into a TV set.
This consumer electronics area is filled with devices from many manufacturers that connect to a TV, and Intel wants to offer us Windows 8.1 apps on a TV with this new Compute Stick. Convergence between the Internet and TV has been quite the rage for years now. It’s hard to compete with Chromecast because it is priced at $35.00 and I got it on sale at Best Buy for just $29.00, and then Google sweetens the offer by giving out a $20.00 Google Play credit, so in reality I paid only $9.00 for my Chromecast device.
Here’s what’s inside of the Intel Compute Stick:
- Quad-core Atom Processor
- 2 GB of RAM
- 32 GB of storage
- MicroSD support
- Bluetooth 4.0
- USB connector
- Mini-USB for power
- Windows 8.1 or Linux
With such a device connected to a TV you could:
- Browse the web with Bing
- Social networking
- Stream content: Netflix, Hulu
- Play games
- Run Windows Remote Desktop
Details are still sparse from Intel at the moment, but the retail price is set at $149 and actual product release later this year. I can see that geeks will be interested in using Linux more than Windows 8.1, while most consumers will opt for the Windows version because it is most familiar. On the Linux side the Intel device will cost just $89 and comes with 8 GB of storage and 1 GB of RAM. The Compute Stick even reminds me of the popular Raspberry Pi computer aimed at hobbyists and DIY makers as they both run Linux and have an HDMI connector.
To really use Windows 8.1 on a TV would require a bluetooth mouse and keyboard combination, so I look forward to the first shipment of the Intel Compute Stick and I plan to try one out at my local Best Buy store.