It seems Zotac is taking on Intel itself with its forthcoming Cherry Trail-equipped PC Stick. The PC-on-a-stick, which appears to be challenging Intel’s less-than-stellar Compute Stick of yesteryear, is Zotac’s most compact desktop computer yet.
That’s because it’s small enough to fit in your pocket, and while it’s not yet fully clear just how big, or small, it’s going to be, images published by Liliputing indicate a design similar in dimensions to the 3.9 x 1.5 x 0.4-inch Compute Stick.
Unlike Intel’s Compute Stick, however, Zotac’s tiny PC is going to feature a much faster Intel Atom z5-Z8300 Cherry Trail processor, though the remaining specs are quite similar. The shrunken computer will bear 2GB of RAM, 32GB of eMMC storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and a 10/100 Ethernet jack.
The device is powered by micro USB, for which a port is located to the left of the Ethernet jack, along with a single USB 2.0 port. On the opposite side, there’s a microSD card reader and, adjacent to that, an HDMI connector for outputting the device to a TV or monitor.
While sources have neglected to mention release or pricing information for the Zotac PC Stick, it’s clear that the device will be much more competent than Intel’s first-party attempt at miniature computing — but at what cost?
Sure, Zotac is bringing forth a more compelling offering than Intel did last spring, but as we noted in our review last year, even $150 is likely too high a price for such limited hardware.
Also elusive is information on the operating system being used here. Cherry Trail processors can support Windows, Linux, and even Android, and though it’s safe to assume the PC Stick will ship with Windows 10 pre-installed, there’s no official rhetoric to confirm this is true.
All in all, Zotac’s forthcoming PC Stick could make for an interesting alternative to the Intel Compute Stick, but we first need to know more about it. Hopefully, Zotac will share more details with us at CES this week.