Intel Compute Stick: HDMI dongle to run full Windows 8.1 OS

Intel plans to launch a pocket-sized HDMI dongle, which will come pre-loaded with either Windows 8.1 or Linux, as the firm looks to capitalise on the popularity of plug-and-play portable devices.

The Intel Compute Stick will be 4ins in size and has a quad-core Atom processor (Bay Trail Z3735F) built-into it. A Windows 8.1 model will include 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage and will be priced at $149.

Meanwhile, the Linux version is expected to be shipped with Ubuntu, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. This will retail at $89.

Intel is targeting consumers and businesses with the Compute Stick. Users will be able to plug the device into HD TVs or monitors to use as a thin client and the firm says they would ideally be used to power digital kiosks.

Connections on the Compute Stick include a full-sized USB port and users will be able to expand storage with the microSD card slot. The first generation device will also have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Due to the components on-board, the device will need to be powered by the micro USB port.

The Compute Stick might appear considerably more than dongles such as the ChromeCast (30) and Roku (45) but those devices are primarily used for multimedia consumption, whereas the Intel dongle is a full computing platform, giving users much more usability.

Both versions of the Compute Stick are expected to start shipping in March.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.