Computers as small as a memory stick could replace desktop and laptop computers, not to mention they can be used with your TV too.

Sometimes your laptop is too slow, sometimes your desktop is too big, sometimes you wish you didn’t have to menuvore everything just to connect your computer to your super-sized 4K television. Well, if this sounds like you, you’re in luck!

Earlier this year, Intel – one of the world’s largest semiconductor chip makers, popular for their i3, i5 and i7 processors – announced their ‘Intel Compute Stick’, which is essentially a Windows computer that is small enough to fit inside of your back pocket. It was reported that the Compute Stick would feature an Intel Atom Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage as well as Windows 8.1 with Bing. Despite the idea not being original, what with Android and Linux already having their TV sticks out on the market, Intel’s Compute stick seems to be the better choice.

Although the quad-core 1.33GHz processor might not seem powerful to the hardcore gamer, the Compute stick does have its benefits, such as having Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability, as well as having a USB port and a microSD card slot in case you want to expand. Then again, what can you expect from a little dongle-type stick?

It is believed that the Intel Compute Stick will go on sale for about $150, which is the equivalent to around £101. While Chinese-own versions are already out on the market, if you’re wanting to play it safe, just wait for Intel to actually release their version.

In the right corner, Google

Of course, once someone starts something, everyone else follows. Google, the American multinational corporation, well known for their search engine, recently announced their own computer-on-a-stick called ‘Chromebit’. Following the same memory stick/dongle-type design, the Chromebit will also connect to your TV via HDMI and turn it into a Chromebook.

The Chromebit, which is reported to be made by the Taiwanese manufacturer – Asus – is to be priced at less than $100, approximately £67, and will go on sale towards the end of the year.

According to the market research firm, Gartner, more than five million Chromebooks and Chromebase desktops were sold worldwide last year, which makes the Chromebit already appeal to a large proportion of the market. To follow that, Google have already had a huge success with their media streaming dongle, the Chromecast.

What are the requirements?

Well, as this device sticks into your TV via HDMI, you would need a TV that has a HDMI port, which shouldn’t be an issue with modern day television sets. As this is a computer, you would also need your own keyboard, mouse, and any other peripherals that you would usually use when working on a computer.

Aside from that, everything is good to go!

What about the Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi is a small circuit board that acts as a computer. It allows users to customize what they want displayed and controlled by self-programming the instructions through different languages such as Python, C, Java, Ruby and more.

One of the many appealing factors about this board is the price. Depending on the model you decide to get, you could be looking at a small investment of anywhere from $25, approximately £16. In fact, if you’d like to more detail about the newest version of the Raspberry Pi, you should look at this article written by Sam Harwin.

While the Raspberry Pi might appeal to people who want the challenge of programming their own applications, it is certainly a turn off for those who don’t, especially if they have no idea on what they’re doing. Many people would prefer to have something that has everything they need installed, and all they would have to do it plug it in and start using it.

The Compute stick and Chromebit are quite similar, but at the end of the day, it’s down to the consumer and what they would use it for. Is it time to move away from the clunky desktops and use something more compact? Well, that’s for you to decide!

Would you be purchasing one of these sticks when they come out later this year? If so, why? Tweet @TechFlyOfficial with your thoughts, we’d love to hear them!

 

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Dominic Joseph McLaughlin - Web Developer & Editorial Administrator.

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