Apparently 2015 is now going to be the year of “micro PC sticks”; computers on a flash drive style HDMI connected stick. It’s the new battle on the computing fields. Now we can add Taipei-based Hannspree to the fray with the latest PC on a stick, a 10cm-long dongle that turns any HDMI-equiped TV or monitor into a Windows 8.1 PC. Yes a 10cm long dongle with a windows 8.1 PC inside.
It’s powered by a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735F CPU, which is based on Intel’s new Silvermont architecture. According to Hanspree delivers a decent peformance boost compared to previous chips. On-board storage comes in the form of 32GB eMMC (Embedded Multimedia Card) internal memory, which can be expanded using a USB port on the rear and a microSD slot that supports up to 128GB cards. Connectivity includes Bluetooth and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. That’s a hell of a lot of stuff to cram into a tiny platform, let’s hope they didn’t skimp on the cooling.
The PC on a Stick, yes it is being called that, can be yours now for a mere £169 which considering its functionality is actually a great deal, especially when certain online retailers are actually selling it for as little as £120.
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The PC on a Stick joins a growing list of smaller PCs that includes Intel’s Compute Stick, Zotac’s ZBOX and The Hive’s subscription-based Amplicity, all of which boast similar features but really the Intel Compute Stick is the only one that compares in size and functionality. I’d imagine the market will soon be flooded by similar devices, as well as all the streaming sticks popping up.
It’s a nice idea for a media center device and I should wait until I’ve had one to play with but I worry that having it run windows 8.1 may make controlling the device unnecessarily difficult.