One year ago, Intel's $US150 ($214) Windows PC dongle launched amid much happiness and optimism about easy living-room computing. Then we tried it, and it sucked. But with new years come new processors, and possibly a gadget you might want to buy. A quick recap: Intel's Compute Stick is a HDMI dongle that packs all the guts of a Windows PC into something the size of a Chromecast. Last year's version suffered badly from an underpowered processor and spotty Wi-Fi, which is why it failed to disrupt living rooms forever.
With the new version, the basic concept hasn't changed, but the innards have: you now get a more powerful Core M processor rather than Atom, 4GB of RAM on the top-end model, an improved 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip and two extra USB ports on the USB power adaptor.
What you're getting is most of the same guts that come inside an ultra portable laptop like the 12" MacBook, but they come in a much smaller form-factor, one that should fit nicely behind your TV. It's not quite that simple, of course. Good specs do not a good PC make. But if a crucial component doesn't shit the bed this time around, you might be seeing a lot more Windows on your TV.
Image via Intel
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