Lenovo is hitting a new PC market in a small way.
On Tuesday, the popular PC vendor announced its latest creation -- a PC on a stick. Starting at $130, the new Ideacentre Stick 300 is designed to deliver the performance of a Windows PC but in a bite-sized portion. The mini-PC is only 3.94 inches wide, 1.5 inches deep and .59 inches high, so it's not much larger than your average USB stick.
Why a PC on a stick? Portability is the main draw. You can carry the Ideacentre Stick 300 with you on the go and plug it into any TV or PC monitor with an HDMI port to run its onboard applications and access your files. Beyond that, the idea is to offer consumers a device with enough computing power to let you play games, surf the Web and chat with friends via video without having to purchase a pricey tablet or laptop.
This is also a new market for Lenovo, which is already No. 1 in the worldwide PC market and No. 3 in the smartphone market. The mini PC represents a new challenge in which the company will compete with other PC-on-a-stick makers, such as Microsoft.and
Powered by an Intel Atom processor, the Ideacentre Stick 300 carries up to 2 gigabytes of memory and up to 32GB of onboard storage. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 are also included for wireless connectivity. One HDMI port, one MicroUSB 2.0 port and one SD card reader come along for the ride, along with a small speaker.
The stick comes with Windows 8.1, but will be eligible to upgrade to Windows 10 when Microsoft releases its new operating system on July 29. A three-month trial of Microsoft Office is also part of the package. The only items you'll need to add to use the stick are a wireless keyboard and mouse.
"We've looked at the computing needs of travelers, business people and families, and realized that a truly portable and affordable solution would be a significant benefit to users of all kinds," Jun Ouyang, Lenovo's general manager for Worldwide Desktop and Visuals, said in a press release. "Our goal with the Ideacentre Stick 300 is to give those users a sense of freedom and enhanced mobility, while packing a serious punch in a small device."
Starting in July, the Ideacentre Stick 300 will be up for sale on Lenovo's website as well as at various retail stores.