Oh what an age we live in. An entire computer can now be housed in a tiny stick, not much larger than a pen drive. Meet the Intel Compute Stick, one of those good things that come in small packages.
What’s the Intel Compute Stick?
The Compute Stick is a full-fledged Windows 8.1 PC that plugs into any TV to turn it into a computer. It doesn’t matter if it’s a smart TV or not, you now get a proper Windows PC with a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735 processor, 2GB RAM, and 32GB internal storage. Connect it to the internet, plug in a wireless or Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and you’ll have a whole new way of using your TV.
The Compute Stick also has a microSD slot that supports a card of up to 128GB (which you’ll need, since you only get about 14GB of free space by default), a full-size USB port, Bluetooth 4.0, and Wi-Fi. It’s powered by a microUSB port, and it requires so little wattage that you can run it directly off a power bank! In our tests, the Xiaomi, Asus and Huawei power banks successfully powered the Intel Compute Stick without issues.
Basically, you actually have a PC you can carry in your pocket and connect to any screen with an HDMI port.
What It Can Do
The Intel Compute Stick is obviously not as powerful as a regular PC, but it’s still good for a few things:
1. Playing 1080p videos is fine, just don’t have too many other processes running.
2. You can use Microsoft Office without any issue. That’s a big plus!
3. For web browsing, the Compute Stick is actually better than any smart TV, since you get proper Chrome or Firefox with their many extensions.
4. You can install any Windows software, of course, so it’s like using a PC.
5. It can work off a power bank.
What It Can’t Do
There were bound to be a few compromises with the small size:
1. The Wi-Fi strength is weaker than most PCs, which is natural considering the size.
2. Multi-tasking is a pain. Opening 20 tabs in Chrome, or switching between Office, Chrome and iTunes will invariably lead to the PC hanging or one of the programs crashing.
3. Don’t even think about gaming. Seriously. None of the modern PC games run smoothly.
4. It can’t mirror your smartphone, like Chromecast can.
5. Don’t use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth at the same time. It ends up malfunctioning often.
It Stinks as a Pocket PC
The Intel Compute Stick seems like a great idea for a PC you can carry around with you, but well, it doesn’t make much sense in actual usage. For starters, you’ll need either a power cable and socket or a power bank. You’ll also need a TV with an HDMI input. And then you’ll need a wireless keyboard and mouse.
The Compute Stick doesn’t make much sense as a portable computer in an age when you can buy an 8-inch Windows tablet for roughly the same price. After all, you get a screen there, a built-in battery, and no need for a keyboard and mouse.
So Who Is It For?
In the end, it’s pretty clear what the Compute Stick should be used for: to turn any TV into a full-fledged PC.
The Intel Compute Stick costs Rs. 10,499. If you already have a TV that you’re happy with, but just want to make it a smart TV, then buy the Intel Compute Stick instead of upgrading your TV. It’s a better deal, when compared with the operating systems that run on most smart TVs.
If you’re buying a new TV, see if you can get a non-smart TV with a bigger screen for a cheaper price. It makes more sense to buy that and the Intel Compute Stick, since the Windows OS here actually lets you get a lot done, while smart TV OSes don’t really do anything.
That said, the Rs. 10,499 cost will go up slightly once you get all the add-ons you need to use the Intel Compute Stick.
– See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-reviews/express-review-intel-compute-stick-turns-any-tv-into-a-windows-pc/#sthash.mSv8k3Bw.dpuf