Intel Compute Stick

Honey, I shrunk the computer: Hello, Intel Compute Stick

Intel today officially launched the thumbdrive-sized next generation of computing --- the Intel Compute Stick --- at the Intelligent Generations showcase in PG 12, Intel Penang. Wholly designed and developed at Intel's Malaysia Design Centre, the Compute Stick is powered by an Intel Atom processor.

Intel Compute Stick

Measuring just 4 inches long, the plug-and-play stick conveniently and effortlessly transforms any HDMI display into a working computer. The intriguing minute device impressed me when I previewed it last year and fantastic to see its official debut here.

The Intel Compute Stick is a brainchild of local engineers at Intel Malaysia, and is expected to open up a whole new world of computing for consumers.

"What we're unveiling today is a culmination of the work we've built on a foundation laid down by 50 years of Moore's Law," said Sumner Lemon, Country Manager, Intel Malaysia and Singapore.

"Moore's Law" is an observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel which states that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits will double approximately every two years. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future.

Intel Compute Stick

The Intel Compute Stick may be tiny, but packs the compute power of an entry-level PC, powered by the quad-core Intel Atom Z3735F processor with Intel HD graphics, up to 2GB of soldered DDR3L memory and up to 32GB eMMC storage. The stick will run Windows 8.1 out of the box.

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Alternatively, there's an Ubuntu version with 1GB RAM and 8GB eMMC storage. Both variants have WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, HDMI output and microSD expansion. Additionally it also supports Intel HD Audio.

Intel's Christopher Kelly quipped that this is the first version of the platform and we will definitely see improvements as the platform grows. Manufacturers will likely jump on the bandwagon moving forward.

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Intel reckons the tiny computer will be perfect for the living room as an entertainment device, in schools and in the education environment, in standalone retail kiosks or as networked thin clients. Intel was quick to add that ultimately consumers and manufacturers will define its use, and it will be interesting to see what transpires in the coming months.

The Intel Compute Stick is expected in the Malaysian markets in "the coming weeks" at a suggested retail price of approximately RM599 for the Windows version and RM499 for the Ubuntu variant.

I'm keenly watching this space. How about you?

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