This article introduces readers to the future of personal computing devices aimed at replacing at least some of the desktop market space.
The Micro Technology Paradigm shift…
Recent advancements in micro technology have introduced us to new devices over the past few years that have changed the way we perceive using cell phones and the concept of mobile computing. Technology hungry consumers have been introduced to Netbooks, Tablets and Smart phones, but it doesn’t stop there.
Media streaming devices such as Google’s Chrome Cast plugs into your HDTV’s HDMI port and allows you to send media from your cell phone to your computer. Third party devices the size of USB memory sticks also connect to your HD TV’s HDMI port and run Google Android on them.
The Intel Atom processor has been powering Windows Netbooks, Tablets and Smartphones for sometime now. Intel has now developed a Windows 8.1 computer that literately fits in your pocket!
Introducing the Intel Compute Stick
Intel has recently unveiled their next innovation in Windows Computing called the “Intel Compute Stick”. It allows you to transform any HDMI monitor or TV into a computer by simply plugging the tiny device into the HDMI port!
The Intel® Compute Stick has a quad-core Intel® Atom™ processor, Intel® HD Graphics, integrated Wi-Fi* and Bluetooth* technologies, 32 GB storage, 2 GB memory, a USB 2.0 port, and a Micro SD card reader all built-in, and it draws its power from the HDMI port so there is no external power supply needed.
It also sends sound across the HDMI port as with most HDMI devices, so there is not extra audio cabling required. It can connect to your home network wirelessly via the built Wi-Fi, and if your HDTV does not happen to have a touch screen, the built in Bluetooth or full sized USB port will allow for the connection of a keyboard and mouse, or other capable devices. The 32GB internal memory is more than enough to get anyone started right away, and the expandable Micro SD slots allow for added storage without having to carry around an external hard drive.
Intel is offering two models, one that comes with Windows 8.1 with Bing 32bit, that is currently upgradable to Windows 10 for Free, and a second model which ships with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64bit Linux which only has 1GB of system memory and 8GB of internal storage. (Linux does not require as much overhead to operate as Windows does.) and which may make this a lower cost alternative to the commercial licensed windows version.
The price point of this micro phenomenon is around $150, which is far less than a new entry level computer. The built-in displays on Smartphones and Tablets are what cause the prices to be much higher.
In my opinion, it is basically like a Smartphone without the Touch screen display and the battery, with everything else intact, but has the potential to be so much more…and as Intel says “The Possibilities are Endless”.
With all new technologies, the challenges of securing your system against infiltration will be a challenge to be dealt with as these devices become more prevalent. After all, who would notice a USB device plugged into the back of a receptionist’s computer or into a TV display connected to the internal network? This could bring hacking to a whole new level!
What are your thoughts on the new Intel Compute Stick?
Paul Comtois is a Client Support Specialist at Triella, a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium sized firms. Paul can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, go to www.triella.com/publications. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Kaspersky Reseller.
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