While there are many intangibles in computing, one fact remains: they will continue to be made smaller. That happens at the chip level, with the individual die sizes dropping a few nanometres each year, as well as at the device level. Where once the Raspberry Pi was an astoundingly powerful yet tiny machine, today we have even smaller all-in-one systems on sticks, and Lenovo is set to launch into that market very soon.
Lenovo’s offering in this space is called the IdeaCentre Stick 300, and it’s designed to do what other stick-PCs do: provide a full system’s functionality in the same space that a 256MB pen drive took up a decade ago. We’re told by Liliputing, that the device comes fitted with a Windows operating system (though the version isn’t specified), 32GB of onboard storage space, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a micro-SD slot for memory expansion and an HDMI connector to hook it up to your TV or monitor.
While there has been no confirmation on what the processing capabilities of the device will be, it’s thought likely to come fitted with an Intel Atom Z3735 Bay Trail CPU, which is finding its way into lots of small form factor devices at the moment. There is also the possibility that future versions may include more powerful hardware from the Intel Core M range of chips, but that won’t be revealed until later this year.
For now, Lenovo claims that full HD video is fully supported, allowing the device to act as a versatile media centre. It does however require direct power via a micro-USB cable in order to operate.
Lenovo is one of the world’s biggest PC retailers, so it makes sense that it wants to compete in the stick-sphere too — but is it too much of a niche market to permit Lenovo to make much of an impact?