I Stick review

I Stick review

I Stick review 436 319 Maye

Although I had high hopes for Intel’s first Compute Stick, I was extremely disappointed with it. The fact that it was the size of a few thumb drives and had full functionality was really cool. There was a lot of slowness, and the USB port was limited quite bafflingly (one that Intel’s second-generation Compute Stick ($159) is out, it is a completely different story. Even though it may look similar, it packs enough upgrades — including a faster processor, better networking, and more USB ports — to actually be a useful


When Intel’s first Compute Stick was released, it felt like a prototype destined for the trash bin before designers even laid On the other hand, this new model feels and looks like a solid addition to the consumer market. As opposed to a monotonous rectangular design, it has smooth curves and perforated openings for its tiny fans (previously they resembled plastic grilles molded into a plastic package). As a device that will mostly live behind a monitor, it must also be portable. Being attractive will be of benefit to its sales as it is likely to be displayed. has a tasteful balance of matte and glossy plastic, which makes it feel much more solid in your hand. Hell, even the placement of the Intel Inside logo seems better (it’s now lower rather than in the center, and is also less garish in color). In addition to the two USB ports from this time around (one of which is USB 3.0), the Intel Core P75 has also been equipped with a USB hub connection that enables you to use a keyboard and mouse without the need for This is why, if you were one of the readers who thought I was being unfair by complaining about the single USB port in the first model. Intel could have squeezed in another port the first time around, and a USB hub defeats the purpose of such a small device!) Since I tested the Compute Stick with a wireless keyboard and mouse, I only needed to use the one available USB port to connect I was able to transfer files and update the BIOS without having to remove my input devices thanks to the extra port. As with the Compute Stick, it offers a microSD card slot for support of an additional 128GB of storage (on top of the internal 32GB In addition to the micro USB port, the power adapter also has a USB port. A representative for Intel confirmed it is working on the SuperMHL standards, which could enable future models to be powered entirely over HDMI. However, you still need to plug it into an AC adapter, so it isn’t as mobile as it seems. The Compute Stick’s side is home to a small power button, and this time around, the HDMI connector is protected by a small cap. By doing so, it will be safer to throw it away or throw it in your Unless your TV or monitor has a lot of HDMI ports, Intel has come up with a “compute stick” extension cord, so you can give the Compute Stick a bit of space to breathe.

Set up and performance

It was a breeze to set up the Compute Stick My TV was plugged into this unit, and I connected the power adapter and my mouse and keyboard were connected to the wireless dongle. Incredibly, it booted up immediately, and then I ran through the Windows 10 setup process within a few minutes. It took another five minutes to plug in my Windows login details and wait for my user account to be created. Although this may seem a little lengthy, it is comparable to what is involved in setting up other Atom-based computers. Once on the desktop, I immediately opened up Microsoft Edge and then YouTube to see how well the Compute Stick performs in terms of media. I was able to watch 1080p streams far more quickly than I could on my previous model, though switching between full-screen and windowed views was a bit slow. I also played a few 4K streams and was pleasantly surprised to see that the Compute Stick managed them just fine. It occasionally got stuck on a frame and would then catch up, but it was impressive that it could load and play 4K without any buffering or noticeable slowdown. In fact, the 1.44GHz Atom x5-z8300 processor on the Compute Stick was pretty much maxed out during a 4K gaming session, but that’s not It was a pleasant surprise to find that the new Compute Stick does not have any issues bringing down large 4K files after experiencing slow download speeds with the original model. Improvements in networking hardware are largely responsible for this As a consequence of its better YouTube performance, I began using the Compute Stick like a regular PC. The first Compute Stick had only one WiFi antenna, which limited its overall speed and made it difficult to both download and upload data at once. There were several tabs open in several browsers A variety of programs are running in the background, among them It was time for me to get back to work. It turned out to be a good experience after all. When I quickly switched from one program to another or streamed Spotify music while downloading large files, the Compute Stick slowed down This model is simply more comfortable than the first one, which felt too slow for comfort. Though its 2GB of RAM didn’t long ago begin to limit my experience, I soon realized it was too small. It used to be all you needed to get by on a computer, but web browsers and most web pages take up a lot of memory nowadays. Intel should be able to offer 4GB of RAM in its standard Compute Stick next year. This year’s upcoming fast models all come with 4GB of RAM. Based on the benchmarks, this Compute Stick has a significant advantage when it comes to 3D graphics. The PCMark 7 score is only marginally faster for it, but that shouldn’t concern you too much. My primary concern is real-world performance. The Compute Stick felt noticeably faster than the last version, and doing just about everything on it was more responsive as well. Even some simple games, such as Hotline Miami 2 and Undertale, could be played on the new model, which the original model couldn’t even reach. An issue that may arise for some is Despite the fact that I was about 12 feet away from it in my living room, the Compute Stick’s tiny fan made itself known while I ran benchmarks. Fortunately, I didn’t hear it very often during normal use. It’s not the sort of device I would leave overnight in my bedroom, as it can’t handle high loads very well (at least not as high as you can push it). The main reason I think the new Compute Stick is so versatile is that it is so customizable. The system is both powerful enough for kiosks and computer labs, but it can also function as a superb home theater computer on a budget. On my desktop, I was able to access network shares, as well as play HD video files without any problems.

Configuration options and the competition

While Intel won’t offer a cheaper model of the Compute Stick this year (last year, there was a Linux-focused model for $110 with 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM), the move makes sense. Instead, they will go with a higher-end model. Core M3 and Core M5 processors will be included in upcoming Compute Stick models, priced at $399 and $499. Additionally, the laptop has 4GB of RAM and three USB ports (two on the power adapter), so we should be able to expect performance similar to slower Ultrabooks. It is said that both models will be able to output 4K video at 30Hz and that Intel’s Core M5 version (which does not come with an OS) will have its vPro hardware-based security feature. It’s true that they do not offer the same amount of value as the less expensive $159 model, but I am still intrigued to see how much power Intel can cram into such a small When they are ready, you can be sure we will put them to the test. The Compute Stick from last year is still on sale for the same price or the (practically identical) Lenovo Ideacentre Stick is on sale for around $100, but I would advise against it, unless you enjoy being tortured. Some PC sticks use slower CPUs, and the new Compute Stick provides a slightly faster CPU than most of the other PC sticks. The $85 ASUS Chromebit lets you add Chrome OS to any monitor if you just want a simple stick to browse the web. Although I did not include this in the benchmark table, the new Compute Stick clocked in at 550ms during the SunSpider browser test with Microsoft Edge, while the Chromebit did not realize its 550ms score until after it responded to the test. If you like, you can do whatever you like with it.)

wrap up

Actually, Intel was the one who With the Compute Stick, you’ll have a basic computer with just about everything you’ll need. It’s inexpensive, compact, and, unlike its predecessor, it works as intended. The fact that we named it one of our Best of CES finalists this year is no surprise. The monitor can be easily turned into a machine for your kids or a household kiosk if you have one lying around. No matter how you use it, one thing is certain it will change the way you think about