Rewind 10 years and tell yourself that it will be possible in the future to have an entire Windows computer in the palm of your hand that you can close your grip around. You’d slap yourself around and assume some crazy stuff was going on. But it’s real. I bought one.
Unless all you do is surf the web and read emails, this is not a daily-driver, but for many that’s the kind of computing power you need and what the Intel PC on a Stick does is turn almost any “screen” into a computer.
The thing is tiny, really. And poking out one end is a HDMI connection. That goes into the TV or Monitor and with some USB power it’s on and running.
My use-case was simple. In my office/studio I have a screen which shows real-time Google Analytics data for this website. It’s running off a high-end laptop plugged into a Monitor. What a complete waste of a laptop. So I looked online, found one of these at a store able to ship fast for a total price of $218.28 (Just checked, and it’s $20 cheaper now!) – a computer for less than $220. Wow.
When it arrived I had to take a bit of time to understand that it really needed full power, not just any USB socket from the monitor. There are only a few ports on the machine too. A full-sized USB, MicroUSB, MicroSD and a MicroUSB for power.
I plugged the power into MicroUSB, My keyboard into the USB and used the enclosed USB to MicroUSB adaptor to plug-in the dongle for my wireless mouse.
If I was in need of more ports I would switch to a wireless Keyboard and Mouse that either used one USB dongle or could natively connect via Bluetooth 4.0.
Inside this tiny beast is an Intel Atom Processor, 2GB of RAM, 32 GB on-board storage (Expandable with MicroUSB), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a full version of Windows 10.
Look, it’s not for gaming. Not great for serious photo and video editing, but it is good for web, email, and cloud applications. You can throw some movies on MicroSD and watch them on your TV or a TV while you are on holidays perhaps. The possibilities are endless.
In a business environment you might use it to run digital signage, but at home, as a media player it’s at home plugged in behind your TV.
Impressed to say the least.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.