Intel wants to challenge Amazon and Google with its device-on-a-stick capable of serious computing. But why wait until Santa Clara green-lights and outs the thumb-sized PC it recently teased? Folks looking to live on the bleeding edge of tech innovation can board the Windows PC-on-a-stick bandwagon early.
An obscure Chinese manufacturer has a teeny-tiny computer up for grabs today, which DealExtreme offers to ship for free. The stick is called MeegoPad T01. It appears that “MeegoPad” is the brand, while T01 is the model name. The company also sells a Windows tablet called the F10.
The T01 lets owners switch between Android 4.4 and Windows 8. If the specifications listed on DX.com are legit, the MeegoPad could well let you surf the web without a hitch, and even play HD video content. Owners could use the Android interface for media content and Windows for productivity.
An Intel Atom Z3735F Bay Trail processor is found under T01’s hood. It’s joined by two gigabytes of RAM and integrated Intel HD graphics. The HDMI connector is the magic portal to easy TV or monitor use, but incredibly enough, the restricted square footage of the stick PC still allows it to accommodate an extra USB 2.0 and micro USB port.
You also get Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and either 16 or 32GB internal storage, with a microSD card slot facilitating up to 64GBs of space. Not enough room to hoard your precious data? You can also hook an external HDD of up to 1TB to the system via USB.
We’ve saved the best for last, as you probably figured already. The 4.33 x 1.54 x 0.39 inches measurements of the MeegoPad T01 make even the newest, smallest Zotac mini PC look like a freakish giant in comparison. An expensive freakish giant too, as the MeegoPad starts at half of Zbox PI320 Pico’s price; $100 with 16GB storage, and $110 in a 32GB configuration. We recommend the larger of the two, as Windows 8 will fill the majority of the 16GB stick’s storage from the factory.
Should you really buy a no-name stick PC? That depends on your tolerance for risk. Digital Trends has tested off-brand Android stick PCs before and found they generally do what they claim but often feel cheap and have software quirks (in Android, at least). You shouldn’t expect the MeegoPad T01 to serve as your primary PC, but it could be fun to experiment with.