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Computers

Intel's PC-on-a-stick dongle now available for preorder

The Compute Stick is not designed to be a desktop or laptop replacement, but rather an alternative for people who want to do some quick computing.

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The Intel Compute Stick is now available for preorder. Intel

The Intel Compute Stick, a dongle that plugs into an HDMI port to deliver full computing capability, is now available for preorder.

Newegg is offering preorders of the Compute Stick with a release date of April 24. (Update at 11:11 a.m. PT: now showing out of stock on both with estimated arrival on May 1). The Windows version costs $150 and the Linux version costs $110. Amazon also shows listings for the Windows and Linux versions, but with no pricing or availability information.

Intel unveiled details on the Compute Stick at the Consumer Electronics Show in January . The device is a slim HDMI dongle that connects to a monitor via HDMI. It has an Intel Atom quad-core processor, 2GB of onboard RAM, and 32GB of storage.

When Intel showed off the Compute Stick at CES, the company said the Windows 8.1 model would retail for $149. The Linux flavor would retail for $89, it said.

Getting the Compute Stick up and running won't take much. The device is simply plugged into a monitor's HDMI port and turned on. Once it boots up, the owner's operating system of choice is running and with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, the device can provide a full computing experience. The Compute Stick is by no means a competitor to a desktop or laptop, but rather an option for people who are on the move and want a quick way to get some work done.

The Compute Stick is also a competitor to the Asus Chromebit announced last week . Like the Compute Stick, the Asus Chromebit connects to an HDMI monitor and with help from Bluetooth, provides a full computing experience. However, the Chromebit is running on Google's Chrome operating system, rather than the Windows and Linux options available on the Compute Stick. Chromebit is slated to launch this summer for under $100.

Intel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.