Stick PCs have been around for some time, but they have really taken off in the last few years with businesses becoming increasingly able to pack more memory and storage interior of each device, and the ubiquity of HDMI interfaces on TVs and monitors, they have become a lot more versatile. And with an increasing number of manufacturers getting in the game, you now have a great deal of choices.
They have sufficient power to run simple programs, and generally an office suite, but that is about it. They’re amazing for streaming media, but they have a propensity to be a bit slow and also to have any trouble with connectivity. Because of this, if you are going to have to get work done while you are on the move on a regular basis, you should look at a Chromebook before you purchase a stick PC.
That having been said, this technology is advancing all of the time, and several individuals absolutely love the portability they get from their stick PCs. Provided that you do not need them for computing that is thick, they are definitely worth a look!
5 Best Stick PCs to Choose From
1. Intel Compute Stick
There is a reason why”calculate stick” has come to mean any stick PC–this is the current industry standard. It is accessible with Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Ubuntu 14, which means that you can run the majority of the apps that you are used to using, such as the most recent version of Microsoft Office 2016. The Windows version comes with 2 GB of memory, 32 GB of onboard storage, a quad-core processor, wifi and Bluetooth connectivity, a USB interface, and a microSD card slot, so you will have all the power and storage you want to edit files, run presentations, and flow media. Built-in Intel HD images and sound broaden the possibilities for what you can use the stick for, and the added Intel Remote program allows you to use your smartphone as a mouse and keyboard.
Alas, the Compute Stick has numerous sticky issues: limited power throughput makes it hard to use power-hungry peripherals, Bluetooth is notoriously spotty because of the usage of a single chip for both wifi and Bluetooth, and slow performance make this a fantastic backup device at best. However, if you would like a computer that fits in your pocketand acts like a pocket-sized pc –it will get the job done.
The Chromebit is not out yet, but it has generated plenty of excitement already. The Chrome household is already a large one, with the Chrome browser, Chromebooks, Chrome OS, and Chromecast–but it is going to get bigger very soon with the inclusion of the stick PC. Since Asus has not yet published the Chromebit, we do not know the specific product specs, but it is very likely to package 2 GB of memory, 16 GB of storage, a USB port, and, of course, both wifi and Bluetooth connectivity.
The price and prospective specs are excellent –but if not the Chromebit is for you comes down mostly to the way you feel about Chrome OS. Lots of men and women who have attempted Chromebooks won’t return to Windows or Mac laptops, but if you’ve never used Google’s Drive programs before, you may be somewhat worried about how you are going to have work done without Microsoft Office. Nonetheless, Chrome OS does provide nearly all you need out of an extremely small, highly mobile computer, so the Chromebit will probably be a terrific selection for the majority of individuals in the market for a stick PC.
3. Asus VivoStick
Asus is also catering to Windows users with its VivoStick, a forthcoming stick PC that comes standard with Windows 10. 2 GB of memory, 16 GB of onboard storage, 100 GB of free online storage for the first year, Bluetooth and wifi, three USB ports (one for power), Intel HD graphics, and an audio jack make this a well-rounded option for anyone looking for a stick PC.
Interestingly, there’s no microSD card slot, making it look like Asus is trying hard to push people to its online storage system, which, presumably, is a solid moneymaker for the company. As with the Chromebit, we’ll have to wait a bit longer to get performance reports. However, for a stick with Windows 10 on it, this does seem like a good deal.
4. iView Cyber PC
Pitched as a “Gamer Ultra Desktop,” the iView has very similar stats to other sticks; 2 GB memory, 32 GB storage, microSD card slot, quad-core processor, and both Windows 8 and Android OSes. The Cyber PC doesn’t stand out until you realize that you don’t just get the stick for the price: you also get a wireless keyboard to help you run it. Which is a big bonus if you don’t already have one.
The ability to use both Windows 8 and Android out of the box could be a big advantage to users who are looking for a flexible stick PC, though iView’s promise of this being a gaming desktop is belied by the fact that the Cyber PC still only has 2 GB of memory, which isn’t enough to run more than the most basic games (at least without choosing a very low-quality graphics options). If you’re not gaming, though, and you don’t need Windows 10, the inclusion of a wireless keyboard could make this a great option.
Most stick PCs are underpowered compared to full-size laptops. MagicStick aims to change that. With a quad-core processor, 12- or 16-core GPU, up to 8 GB memory, and up to 256 GB onboard storage, this stick PC could be a serious contender to replace a work laptop. It’s still in the funding phase, and deliveries won’t take place until December 2015, but everything that’s been announced so far looks very promising. The stick will come with a trial version of Windows 10 and Android, and also supports all variants of Linux.
Although the projected retail price is $400, you can preorder the Wave model of the MagicStick through Indiegogo for $250 right now (plus $49 to unlock the full version of Windows 10), so if you’re in the market for a stick PC, you may want to take advantage. Of course, with no performance reviews, it’s tough to put down that much money.