A huge chunk of home PC users overpay for personal computers capable of performance that far exceeds anything they plan to do with their devices. There must be a cheaper option for simple things like web browsing and video streaming, right? Right: Intel’s new “Compute Stick” is a tiny USB dongle that can turn any modern monitor into a full-fledged computer, and it’s finally available for preorder.
We first saw the concept pop up a few years ago, but Intel’s vision of the computer-on-a-USB-stick is finally a reality. For under $200, you can now purchase a nice, capable computer that’s as portable as a USB flash drive and can plug into any monitor or TV with an HDMI port.
Intel’s Compute Stick features a quad-core Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, an HDMI port and a USB 2.0 port. There are two versions of the Stick, one that ships with Windows 8.1 and one that runs Linux.
Now, there may be an early adopter tax if you want to preorder the Compute Stick right away. The $150 Windows model costs as much as $180 plus shipping on Amazon, and the $89 Linux model costs $130 plus shipping. Both versions show an in-stock date of May 6th.
Meanwhile, Newegg is selling the Windows version for $150 with no estimated delivery date.