Skip to main content

Intel introduces three new Compute Sticks that can run Windows 10 in a tiny PC

Intel launched its first Compute Stick in 2015, which was a full Windows 8.1 PC inside a tiny HDMI dongle. Today, as part of CES 2016, Intel introduced three new Compute Stick models that can all run Windows 10. All three models will go on sale sometime in the first quarter of 2016.

The cheapest of the three new models has an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and two USB ports. It will sell for $159 with Windows 10 pre-installed. The other two versions use the faster Intel Core M chips. Both will have 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and three USB ports. The version with the Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor will sell for $399 with Windows 10 pre-installed. The Compute Stick with the faster Intel Core m5-6Y57 vPro processor will sell for $499 but will not come with an OS.

Source: Intel

  • At some of those prices, wouldn't a barebones mini HTPC (like GIGABYTE's GB-BXi3H-4010) be a more powerful option? Granted there are size differences, they're both quite compact and easy to move around.
  • Yes and no. I have an htpc but would strongly prefer this option for my projector in my theater room. Quick plug and play unless there no Bluetooth, that can be an issue.
  • Heck almost every base nuc they've released cost that or less then it. Sure you have to pickup a few components eg. Power brick, ram, hdd, os but worth it
  • You are paying for the form factor.  As you get smaller the price get's larger.
  • Yeah, these things are expensive for the level of performance you get. That $99 Kangaroo mini PC is a much better deal than the $159 Compute Stick.
  • This^
    The Kangaroo is an absolute deal, I still find it hard to figure out how they make any profit on the device!
  • I plan to buy the kangaroo. But one question. How I can get audio from that device ? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  •   HDMI or Bluetooth are your only built-in options. You could also plug in a USB sound card. 
  • Im running mine through hdmi to my tv, sounds work flawlessly through my surround sound
  • Wow $499 for a Core M that has no screen and no OS. That's a steep price when you can get tablets and laptops near that performance for that price with a screen. Better yet you can build a NUC that will outperform it, is upgradable, has more storage, has more RAM, is not much bigger, and is near the same price.
  • But putting the price aside having such a high performance cpu in this small size is still amazing Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Definitely. I thought about buying one just for a second to say I had one. Then I realized I already have a NUC that I could just upgrade that is still pretty cool.
  • Different use for this type of device. Can't just plug a tablet into a mounted projector.
  • Why can't you?
  • may not fit, may not be reacheable, may not be practical. who knows. Yes this is a niche market and you pay for the size.
  • Ordeith. The projector is mounted so a tablet would be impractical. I would have to install a separate mount for a tablet or run a 20ft hdmi to the projector.
  • Why can't you accept that there's a use case for everything?
  • Not with a tablet but a NUC comes with a VESA mount.
  • naaah... and what about heat throttling? its not worth 499USD too much
  • I'm better off with a 14" laptop that costs less than $400.00
  • So this product isn't for you, thanks for sharing
  • Exactly, well said. This isn't to replace a laptop.
  • Jiminy crickets, a dongle PC with no OS... sounds like I'd have fun figuring out how to install anything on it. Now for some help from by buddy Rufus 2.05 to flash an external drive...
  • Is reading the article that hard ? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Actually, he's got a point. How do you put an OS onto something that has no drivers for a USB CD rom?
  • I'm sure the drivers for USB are there... Should still have a BIOS like any other computer. Plug in a keyboard and mouse, and the thumb drive OS, enter BIOS set boot order to USB, wah lah...
  • Voilà
  • So how have system builders been doing it for 20+ years? I build a new computer it doesn't have an OS, how do I install from CD if there is no OS and therefore no drivers? It has been done for many years, and is not something specific to this device. Most hardware can perform basic functions without drivers. Video cards can do VGA, audio can do basic beeps, CD/DVD/USB drives can be read from all without drivers. It is when you want to do 4K video, 5.1 surround sound, burn disks, etc. that you need drivers.
  • Well id assume this time around the more powerful dongle is meant for Linux(kodi/openelec to be specific)
  • I think that's the idea.  Why would someone want to pay for an OS if there are no intentions of using it?  I wished the cheaper versions didn't come with an OS either as I have extra copies of Windows 7, 8 and 10 lying around.
  • Actually if your using a sata dvd burner os'es like 7 dont seem to support it requiring external
  • When you purchase Windows 10 now it comes on a flash drive.
  • It's about time!
  • It's no different than installing Windows on anything else. The real mystery is why, at those prices, they're not giving you Windows 10 Pro.
  • I recently bought their Compute Stick version 2. I wonder if they would let me trade it in towards getting a new model.  I highly doubt it. Early obsolescence is annoying.
  • That's a bit of a rip off... Well then again its Intel. So what else should I expect? Compare to other manufacturers of small PCs, $99 can get you the same Intel Atom powered PC the size of a hard drive
  • Form factor.
  • I tried last years model with the Atom chip to stream movies with more flexibility. It was slow as expected, but the extremely weak WiFi made it useless.  I returned it, but I would buy the new one if reports are favorable. $399 for a Core m3 is steep. $499 for a Core m5 with no OS has to be some sort of would hope.
  • "Waht, how dare you, that $499 one with Linux would be able to run games better than your inferior windows gaming PC"/s
  • Out of the world prices, hole they ll drop 50% if they want to sell some.
  • Expensivo!
  • The future, NOW!!
  • Do these support power over HDMI yet so I don't need a usb cable to power it?
  • This will be a major factor in whether I go this route.  I hate wires!
  • Can't decide between something like this or a Roku. Any feedback from someone that uses both?
  • I use a Roku and a small form factor PC. I mainly use the PC for free Hulu. Otherwise, it's simpler using the Roku.
  • Roku movies, light games, entertainment/ Web browsing,movies,entertainment,OneDrive
  • I am going compute stick so I can get free Hulu and other sites that don't have apps. We have a roku but I am not a fan of it.
  • There are private channel sites that you can find more useful then whats offered publicly
  • $499....hahaha.. xD
  • I am going to use compute sticks for my HTPC's in my house. However we only need the $160 one, don't need that much power for the more expensive ones.
  • For what is this stick PC?. There are laptops, tablet, mobiles, so who and what use there's for this stick?. I'm lost here...
  • HTPC, Signage, POS stations, Car PC's, House internet stations, Survellance heads, etc.  I can see a lot of good uses for this depending on how it draws power.
  • Its like Continuum, but better since has full Windows 10 not the mobile version, so you can use this for almost any idea you have: education, art, engineering, gaming, etc.
  • Wow, the version with Intel Core m5-6Y57 vPro looks amazing, you get better performance than 90% of the laptops out there that sell with crappy Intel Pentium or Celeron CPU's which can't get more than 9000 points on Octane benchmarks.  This is like getting the power of the MacBook of 2015 but much more portable, all you need is a decent 4K monitor and a nice keyboard/mouse combo.
  • Are you allowed to plug in the atom compute stick or others to a screen > 9 inches or will it stop working? In other words, full W10, or "free" version?
  • Great that they released 4 GB versions.
  • $499 without OS is it for mac developers or Pentesters..