CNET First Look
Intel's Compute Stick crams a full Windows PC in the palm of your handThe Compute Stick offers enough power to stream HD video and tackle the web, and will work anywhere there's an HDMI port.
Hey, I'm Nate Mathina, and today we're checking out the Intel compute stick. Now this is a full Windows 8 PC crammed into a device that fits right in the palm of your hand. And it costs about 150 bucks. Compute stick is only a little bigger than a crumb cast, plugs into your TV or monitor via an HDMI port, and runs on tablet hardware. It's packing a quad-core 1.3GH Intel Atom processor. Two gigs of RAM, and has 32 gigs of storage space. There's also a Micro SD card slot that'll support up to 128 gig cards. This USB port in the side here let's you plug in external storage and wi-fi connectivity is built-in. So is bluetooth, so you can pay your peripherals, too. So the Stick is definitely not a powerhouse, but, streaming HD video or music while you're wandering around the web looks. Looks great and most important, it can run Minecraft and fairly well. That alone just about makes it product of the year for me, but I'm gonna go ahead and reserve judgement til we're finished testing. Now this thing runs Windows 8.1 with Bing. Don't be alarmed. It's a full version of. Windows that Microsoft offers to device manufacturers at a deep discount. Bing is the default search engine system wide when you first run it. But, there's nothing really stopping you from just changing it once you're up and running. You'll need to keep a compute stick plugged in via its microUSB port. There really isn't any way around that but one tug from a curious cat means you are going to lose any files you haven't saved recently. That's not a deal breaker for me but it is something you need to be aware of. And that's the compute stick. It's not gonna be for everyone but if you are looking to roll your own smart tv or just looking to make your hotel stay a little bit more bearable. And don't mind bringing your own bluetooth keyboard and mouse, this could be a good fit, especially for 150 bucks. It'll be available at the end of April. I'm Nate Ralph, thanks for watching. [MUSIC] [NOISE]