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IT is always changing, and there are new innovations almost daily. Whether it is a new app, piece of software or device, everyone
is trying to outdo everyone else.

But one new innovation that stands out as a game changer in the IT world is the Intel Compute Stick. With demand for efficiency in the workplace at an all-time high, Intel’s Compute Stick delivers.

There have been a few microcomputers, a little larger than a thumb drive, that have come out in the past, but this one will run a full version of Windows OS. Previously, we’ve seen products such as PCTV’s mini stick and Android’s Mini PC TV that were essentially devices that just helped you display content from another operating system and were not completely self-operating computer systems. The Intel Compute Stick is much more compatible and capable of meeting the basic needs consumers look for when purchasing a computer. Since its release, the reviews have been great. PC Magazine and Computer Shopper both awarded the Intel Compute Stick Editors’ Choice, and PC Magazine says, “It’s $150, easy to set up and is the most portable computer you can buy.”

 

The features

The Intel Compute Stick has built-in Bluetooth, a USB port, wireless, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB storage and micro SD slot and plugs directly into any display’s HDMI port. This can easily be used as a thin client (a computer without a hard-disk drive) to turn any TV into a computer or as a way to take your computer on the go. And you get all of this for about $150.

Today we’re seeing businesses continually looking to increase efficiency by decreasing the amount of space they take up with their workstations. The Intel Compute Stick not only decreases space but also cuts costs. I see a big use for this in the local marketplace for any office or building with any advertising or informational screens. In the past a larger, more expensive all-in-one computer or computer-and-screen combination was needed, which could range anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500. This option will save some money for sure. I personally will be testing it out in some local libraries for self-checkout machines.

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The drawbacks

Of course, with any innovation there are bound to be some drawbacks. With the Intel Compute Stick, it’s important to know the additional items that will be needed for full functionality. First, you’ll need a power adapter to plug into the Compute Stick to give it the proper charge. Second, a keyboard and mouse will be needed (after all we are working with a computer). As with any technology, advancements will happen rapidly. Already there are rumors of Intel working on a way to power the Compute Stick via USB in combination with HDMI, which means there might be no need for a power adapter in the future.

 

Even though other microcomputers are available on the market, Intel’s approach in developing a microcomputer that is small and efficient has really put them at the forefront of the mini PC movement.

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