Compute Stickby Intel

  • Compute Stick
  • Compute Stick
  • Compute Stick
  • Compute Stick
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
Not recommended. This product is super problematic.
66%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • You can run a full version of Windows or Ubuntu on the tiny Compute Stick.
  • The device performs well enough to surf the Web and stream media.
  • Storage can be expanded using its micro SDXC card slot.

CONS

  • Performance from the tablet-grade Atom processor is barely acceptable. It's likely that your smartphone's processor has better performance.
  • Bluetooth connectivity on the Compute Stick is spotty and requires a USB mouse to set up.
  • User-available storage on the Compute Stick is just 19GB.
The Intel Compute Stick is a miniature computer that’s designed like a media streaming stick--think Chromecast or Amazon Fire Stick. Available in a Windows version or Ubuntu Linux, the Compute Stick is powered by an Atom Z3735F processor. The Windows version has 2GB of memory and 32GB of storage. The Ubuntu version comes with 1GB of RAM and just 8GB of storage. Both units come with a micro SDXC card slot, an HDMI port, and a single USB 2.0 port. The Compute Stick includes 802.11bgn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
NameCompute StickChromebox CB1-014CubiRevo OneChromebox M004U
ManufacturerIntelHPMSIAcerAsus
Techwalla Score
66%
83%
82%
81%
78%
List Price$124$179$149$250$180
80%

Setting up the Compute Stick on a 1080p, HDMI-equipped monitor was a cinch.

Setting up the Compute Stick on a 1080p, HDMI-equipped monitor was a cinch.

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80%

Intel includes the 32-bit version of Windows 8.1 on the Compute Stick. While that blocks out 64-bit programs (more on that later), the major…

Intel includes the 32-bit version of Windows 8.1 on the Compute Stick. While that blocks out 64-bit programs (more on that later), the majority of Windows programs will load successfully.

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70%

The biggest problem on the Compute Stick will be storage. With 32GB of eMMC, you end up with about 15.5GB available after installing Windows…

The biggest problem on the Compute Stick will be storage. With 32GB of eMMC, you end up with about 15.5GB available after installing Windows updates.

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70%

Internet connectivity is handled by 802.11bgn. Unfortunately, no 802.11ac support is integrated, and the onboard Wi-Fi is only single channe…

Internet connectivity is handled by 802.11bgn. Unfortunately, no 802.11ac support is integrated, and the onboard Wi-Fi is only single channel 2.5GHz with no 5GHz support.

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70%

The Compute Stick's Flash memory storage performs more like a mechanical hard drive than solid-state storage.

The Compute Stick's Flash memory storage performs more like a mechanical hard drive than solid-state storage.

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68%

If you're paying close attention, you'd realize by now that there's one major flaw with the Compute Stick's design: It only has one USB port…

If you're paying close attention, you'd realize by now that there's one major flaw with the Compute Stick's design: It only has one USB port!

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60%

We had to switch the Stick on and off again several times before it finally took. We’re not entirely sure why this happened, but it left us …

We had to switch the Stick on and off again several times before it finally took. We’re not entirely sure why this happened, but it left us scratching our heads for a little while.

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60%

The Stick houses a lightweight Atom processor that's usually found in Intel-based tablets, so don't expect to do any heavy image editing or …

The Stick houses a lightweight Atom processor that's usually found in Intel-based tablets, so don't expect to do any heavy image editing or high-end gaming.

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60%

The Compute Stick copes with most tasks fairly well, such as browsing the web or playing Full HD video, but try opening a web page in anothe…

The Compute Stick copes with most tasks fairly well, such as browsing the web or playing Full HD video, but try opening a web page in another tab while one is still rendering and everything will grind to a halt.

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60%

Futuremark's PCMark 8 and 3DMark 2013 proved that the Compute Stick is only adequate for very light usage scenarios as the device struggled …

Futuremark's PCMark 8 and 3DMark 2013 proved that the Compute Stick is only adequate for very light usage scenarios as the device struggled during benchmark tests.

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50%

If the Compute Stick’s performance in the above benchmarks were poor, then its scores in 3DMark were a disaster.

If the Compute Stick’s performance in the above benchmarks were poor, then its scores in 3DMark were a disaster.

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Every device I connected suffered from high input latency and a flighty connection, translating to laggy mouse input and an infuriating keyb…

Every device I connected suffered from high input latency and a flighty connection, translating to laggy mouse input and an infuriating keyboard delay.

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I found that the Stick provided enough processing power for working with mainstream applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoin…

I found that the Stick provided enough processing power for working with mainstream applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint (which I installed separately with no problem) as well as online programs like Gmail and Skype.

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The biggest potential downside to the Compute Stick for people who just want to buy it and play with it is that it has those operating syste…

The biggest potential downside to the Compute Stick for people who just want to buy it and play with it is that it has those operating system limitations—it has a 64-bit CPU, but 64-bit Windows won’t install.

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Getting started isn't quite the plug-and-play experience that Intel makes it out to be.

Getting started isn't quite the plug-and-play experience that Intel makes it out to be.

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The CPU performance is not as bad as we feared it would be - Windows loads in a smooth manner and the system is as responsive as what one ca…

The CPU performance is not as bad as we feared it would be - Windows loads in a smooth manner and the system is as responsive as what one can expect from a Bay Trail-based mini-PC.

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Most people would consider these extremely poor WiFi speeds, so we are a bit disappointed by the results.

Most people would consider these extremely poor WiFi speeds, so we are a bit disappointed by the results.

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