Intel is chatting up a new, faster Compute Stick at CES this week, the new units replacing slower versions announced last year.
The next generation of the PCs on a stick are billed as being twice as fast as the first versions, with more USB ports and better WiFi. There’s an entry-level version for $159 USD that has an Atom x5-z8400, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage with Windows 10, but there are also pricier versions with Core M3 and M5 chips with more RAM and storage.
Intel says the Core M3 model will do 4K video, but it will cost $400.
The units – unlike most HDMI sticks – has a teeny fan, with Intel making the argument that passively cooled sticks won’t last.
The Atom version is in production and the faster versions are being built starting next month.
The little devices attract some signage network operators based on cost, minimal footprint and staying on Windows. They compete with other Windows sticks like a new one from Zotac, as well as Chromebits and no end of low-cost Android devices.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.