Intel’s pocketable Compute Stick now has a release date and price

intel silently intros compute stick at ces 2015
Originally teased as “coming soon” back in November, the Windows 8.1 stick computer is now official, fully detailed, and slapped with a March release date. Intel isn’t the world’s first company to sell a thumb-sized PC with full Windows pre-installed. But it’s by far the biggest name involved in the fledgling market niche.

The Compute Stick looks and feels like a plus-sized thumb-drive. While not as small as that form of portable storage, the device is able to easily disappear behind an HDTV or even most monitors. There’s no Windows device on the market today that’s smaller except, of course, for the CTL Compute Stick, a very similar device that’s already on sale.

We spoke to Intel about CTL’s product, and other imitators and China, and the company’s spokespeople confirmed those products are very similar to Intel’s own device. The main difference is cooling. Intel’s model is actively cooled by a small fan, which in theory means it can be equipped with more powerful Core processors. CTL’s version, on the other hand, is passively cooled, so it can only run an Intel Atom.

Intel’s stick pairs the processor with two gigabytes of RAM, and the 32GB internal drive can be expanded with microSD cards. The Compute Stick doesn’t shine in the connectivity department, carrying merely the basics: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and micro-USB in addition to HDMI. This version will sell for $149 with an Atom processor. Potential pricing of more powerful versions, and their availability, remains unannounced.

A stripped-down Linux version with half the RAM and only eight gigabytes of on-board storage will also be available for $89.

The Compute Stick is likely the least powerful computer we saw at CES, but its small size and affordable price make it an exciting alternative to traditional desktops. We’re eager to see how it stacks up when it hits stores in March.

Product Review

How does the sleek MateBook X Pro hold up to the modern day competition?

Huawei impressed us with the MateBook X, a solid competitor to the 12-inch MacBook that beat Apple at its own game. Now, Huawei is taking a shot at premium 14-inchers with the MateBook X Pro, but it’s not without oddities – like a…
Gaming

Xbox One S vs. PlayStation 4 Slim: Which console is worth your money?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Computing

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX331UA -- will get the job done without digging too deeply into your pockets.
Computing

Having enough RAM is important, but stick to these guidelines to save some money

Although not quite as exciting as processors and graphics cards, RAM is one of the most important parts of your PC. Not having enough can hurt performance. So, how much RAM do you need?
Computing

Is your PC slow? Here's how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings

Computers rarely work as well after they accumulate files and misconfigure settings. Thankfully, with this guide, you'll be able to restore your PC to its original state by learning how to factory reset Windows.
Computing

The Titan RTX graphics card is nearly here. Here's what you need to know

The Nvidia Titan RTX is arguably the most powerful consumer graphics card ever made, even if it's not really aimed at consumers. It bridges the 2080 Ti and RTX Quadro cards with boat loads of power.
Computing

Leak reveals that Nvidia’s RTX 2060 gaming chipsets will be headed to laptops

The latest leaks of Nvidia's upcoming RTX 2060 have given performance benchmarks and further detail about the future chipset and its capabilities, while a RTX 2060 Max-Q variant has also been discovered for thin and light gaming machines.
Computing

Looking for an Apple MacBook below $900? Woot has you covered

If you're looking for a great deal on an Apple MacBook, then Amazon's Woot may just have what you have been seeking. It has Macbooks available for only $810 with Intel M3 CPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSDs.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Computing

You could spend $1,000 on an iPhone, or buy one of these awesome laptops instead

Finding a decent laptop is easy, but finding one under $1,000 is a bit tricky. Luckily, we've taken some of the guesswork out of picking out a budget laptop. Here are some of our favorites, the best laptops under $1,000.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Computing

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…