7 Reasons Why You Should Buy a PC Compute Stick

Stick PCs have been slowly gaining in popularity, and if you're wondering what all the fuss is about, here are several excellent reasons you should consider picking one up.

1. The ultimate portable PC

Laptops and tablets have long been touted as the best portable computing option on the market, but Stick PCs take portability to a whole new level.

Most Stick PCs are not much bigger than your generic USB flash drive, and you only need a few things to set them up. You'll need a screen with HDMI port, a keyboard, a mouse, and of course a power source. The good news is because of its size a Stick PC so you can fit them anywhere. You can carry it in our pocket, purse, briefcase, or even on your keychain; you'll never be without a fully functioning PC again as long as you have all the necessary peripherals.

2. It's a much better media player than a Smart TV

Stick PCs have full versions of the Windows operating system onboard, which means you have more options for how you view or listen your favorite media. Whether you are a VLC Player person or a Windows Home Cinema fan, you'll be able to play pretty much any type of media. Plus, all streaming services are supported, because you can go directly to them. Not all Smart TVs have the same apps available, so this way you don't have to miss out on your favorite shows or movies.

3. The smallest media server you will ever own

You can have your very own media server! With a Stick PC plugged into your wireless router by running a program like Plex, you can have all your media stored and accessible all in something that doesn't weigh more than 300 grams; talk about convenience.

4. A great low-cost family PC

If you're looking for something that your children can use, monitor easily, and won't hurt your wallet, Stick PCs are a great choice. Some of the cheaper versions can cost only about $100, and since it's a full version of Windows, you can set up Microsoft Family Safety. Plus, since you need a screen with a HDMI port, you can always have it set up in plain sight, so your kids are never surfing the web without supervision.

5. Perfect for webcam calls

If you have a webcam and often make Skype or Google Hangout calls, there is no way around it: having your meeting on your 80-inch living room TV is pretty fun. Not too mention, it makes conference calls with large groups of people or sitting down with the family to talk to far away loved ones much easier to manage.

6. USB power supply

Depending on what model of Stick PC you have, you may not even need to power it with a wall outlet, sometimes you can power them with the USB port already on your RV. This makes Stick PCs even more travel-friendly. A lot of TVs and other monitors have USB ports, which means you can save space on your power bar and just plug the Stick PC right into the screen you intend on using.

One top of that, some of the Stick PCs that can be powered through a USB port can even draw from a power bank. The power bank has to be able to put out a minimum of 2.1A charging speeds, and will need a decent capacity to get you anywhere, so make sure you know the power requirements of your Stick PC and the specifications of your power bank before you attempt it.

7. Great low-cost IFTTT server.

If you're the type of person who uses a lot of home automation products, having a Stick PC around with an "If this, then that" program — like IFTTT Maker for Windows 10 — can make your life easier without breaking the bank.

Like what you've read?

Do you think you might want a Stick PC after all? Head over to our roundup of the Best PC Compute Sticks to learn more about what's on the market.

Luke Filipowicz