IntelCompute Stick is a small device, whose size can be compared to that of a pack of gum that can change any HDMI* TV or display into a full computer. It available with a range of Intel processors, it is everything you would love about a desktop computer in a device that will fit in the palm of your hand.
The following article is aimed at giving you the ample knowledge you need to know about Intel Compute Stick including its review. Before getting into more detail about the Intel Compute Stick here is how to control the Intel Compute Stick with your smartphone.
Controlling Intel Compute Stick PC with your Smartphone
Intel Compute Stick provides a revolutionary method of achieving the desired on-the-go computing. It has integrated Bluetooth that one can pair it up with a keyboard and Bluetooth mouse or hook up the more old-style USB keyboard and mouse (through one of the USB hubs) for controlling the stick PC. However, the mouse and the keyboard are not the only way of one can interact with his or her brand new stick PC, it can also be controlled with an Android or iOS smartphone. Here are the basic requirements to set up before getting started with the smartphone:
Installing the Intel Remote Keyboard application on your Android or iOS smartphone.
Installing the Intel Remote Keyboard Host desktop app that can run on the Computer Stick powered PC.
Both the smartphone and the Intel Compute Stick powered PC must be connected to the same Wi-Fi.
Here are the steps to control Intel Compute Stick PC with Your Smartphone
With the Intel Remote Keyboard Host app running in the PC system tray, open the Intel Remote Keyboard application on your iOS or Android smartphone. If the two devices are on the same Wi-Fi, the stick PC’s name shows up in the application. Tap the PC name, which shows up.
After tapping on the PC name, a QR code appears on the display connected to the Intel Compute Stick. Use the Intel Remote Keyboard application on one of your Android smartphones to scan the QR code and pair the two devices.
After the two steps, you’re now set to control your Intel Compute Stick powered PC using your smartphone.
What one can do with the Intel Remote Keyboard application?
The Intel Remote Keyboard application lets you mimic the functionality of a keyboard and mouse through your Android smartphone’s touchscreen and much more. There are some things that you can do with your Intel Remote Keyboard application:
Use the touch screen of your smartphone as the mouse trackpad. One can also rotate your smartphone to landscape if you want to access the complete trackpad and then tweak the sensitivity of the mouse pointer.
You can access the on-screen keyboard and complete with modifier keys and arrow keys (example Alt, Ctrl) to input any text field on the Intel Compute Stick PC.
Use edge swiping gestures to get the Windows 8.1 specific features, for instance, the list of the currently running applications and the Charms Bar.
You can control the media playback (e.g. pause or play) and volume through touch controls on your smartphone’s screen.
Turn your smartphone into a wireless keyboard and mouse
With no doubt, the possibility of controlling your stick with an Android or iOS smartphone is one of the greatest features of Intel Compute Stick. To be precise, it is the most productive or fastest boosting way method of interacting with your computer. For sure, it is very advantageous in cases when you do not want to tow around an extra keyboard and mouse with Intel Compute Stick. You can give it a try, and you will not be disappointed with its outcome.
Intel Compute Stick Review
Intel Compute Stick is not perfect but it is the best one can have.
As technology develops day by day, our computers are shrinking in size and at the same time expanding in power. The initial, bulky desktops have given way to the ultra-light and portable laptops. The “Stick PCs” are the examples of the newest achievement in this continuity of development, packing in the essential hardware of computing in a tiny form factor. One of such Stick PC is the first gen Intel Compute Stick and it probably the most well-known by many.
It is designed to provide perfect on-the-go computing and needs an HDMI-capable display, which can turn out to be a PC. The first gen Intel Compute can serve you well as you wait for the newly announced second generation of Intel Compute Stick. It’s worth buying the first Intel Compute Stick!
What Is In The Box?
The Intel Compute Stick comes in 2 types: a 32 GB Windows version onboard storage, and an 8 GB Linux version onboard storage. The following review based on the Windows version.
The Intel Compute Stick PC comes packed in a good-looking slide-out case, that has many details inscribed on it everywhere. However, without a doubt, you are not going to bother looking out for that. Hence, let us get to what is in the actual packet:
One AC adapter.
One McAfee Antivirus Plus subscription for one year that is redeemable online.
One Intel Compute Stick
One Micro USB to USB type A cable.
One HDMI extension cable.
One Quick Start Guide
Four Plug accessories for electrical wall socket compatibility.
The standard dimensions are 103 mm x 37 mm x 12 mm
The RAM is 2 GB
The processor is Intel Atom Z3735F 1.33 GHz Quad Core
32 GB eMMC Onboard storage
Operating System is Windows 8.1 with Bing
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 and the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Ports: one HDMI 1.4 port, 1 Power port, one USB 2.0 port
Intel HD Audio through HDMI
Expansion slot(s): one MicroSD card slot
Other features include Security notch for a lanyard, Power button, Configuration,
Grasping Intel Compute Stick does not require much work. All you need is an HDMI compatible computer monitor or TV, basic input devices (keyboard and mouse) and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Web Browsing Via Google Chrome
For the wide part, surfing the web using Intel Compute Stick works well. Websites load as they should and the speeds for loading are pretty good. But, problems pop up when one opens several browser tabs. You should know, working with the many opened tabs eats up nearly all the free memory the Intel Compute Stick has, this can result in unresponsive or crashed browser. To add on that, Chrome more often suspends the inactive tabs to make a great browsing experience. Importantly, the Intel Compute Stick works best for casual browsing. Hence one should not expect to be a multi-tasker while using it.
When you decide to buy one, always keep in mind that Intel Compute Stick is not suited for multi-tasking it works best when not overloaded. To increase your working speed, perform one task at a time.
Video Playback (streaming and offline).
Intel Compute Stick’s video playback is no slouch. One can play various high-definition movies and videos through VLC media player with no issues arising. To add on that, high-definition video streaming on YouTube works just perfectly. However, do not even attempt to stream or play 4K video content on the Intel Compute Stick. If you are one of those people who endlessly wait for one to two seconds of video buffing, then you can try playing the 4K videos.
Editing or Creating documents using Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
Using Microsoft Office on singular open system partition won’t let you down. This is because the Microsoft Office core apps (PowerPoint, Excel, and Word) works pretty good. One can create or edit a document with no problems arising. Thus, Intel Compute Stick works well as a handy solution for working with presentations, spreadsheets, and other documents. But, the performance can slow down a bit when you are trying to edit documents with other programs such as the Google Chrome that may result in a little slowdown now and then. Hence, as long as you do not have too many resource heavy programs opened at the same time, Intel Compute Stick will serve you well.
Here is the performance summary
As seen in the task manager, Intel Compute Stick works pretty well.
In consideration of the above conversation, we can wind up that while the Intel Compute Stick can simply tackle the basics of regular computing, it should never be used for working with heavy programs. That is because it is meant to be a bare-bones PC for document editing and occasional browsing, and not a substitution for your powerhouse desktop workstation.
The advantages and disadvantages of Intel Compute Stick
Compact and lightweight hence its portability should not be a problem.
It is comparatively simple to set it up.
It comes with many plug attachments for the compatibility of the world electrical socket.
It performs well for light computing jobs.
Extra hardware such as a mouse, USB hub, and keyboard are usually required to get things up and running.
The Operating System takes too much space of the total onboard storage.
Single chip for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth degrades the performance of the system.
Slows down at even the slightest of multi-tasking.
Heavy resource applications slow down its performance.
Some use cases of Intel Compute Stick
Home entertainment such as using Home Theatre applications like Plex or Kodi.
Kiosks, a good example is using Windows’ kioskmode
Thin Clients for working with files stored online or in the cloud.
What Competition Has To Offer
Intel Compute Stick being an innovative product particularly given its tiny size, it is not the only one of its kind out there. If you are willing to search for an alternative, there are also other interesting options available. A good example is the ASUS Chromebit that is a stick PC running Google’s Chrome Operating System. MeegoPad T02 is also another stick PC that is almost similar to the Compute Stick while it comes to hardware, however it adds in a 3.5 mm audio jack.
Intel Compute Stick Is Headed The Right Way, But It Is Not There Yet
Undoubtedly, the Intel Compute Stick solidly shows how bright the future of computing is. I mean, a few years back, who would have thought that you would be able to carry a computer whose size is like a chocolate-bar with you anywhere you want. However, as awesome a product it is, the Intel Compute Stick has some way to go. It is good for regular computing tasks, but if you want a more overall advanced product, it is better for you to wait for the second generation, which is coming soon.
After getting to know all about Intel Compute Stick, the decision is yours to make on whether you would love to buy it or not. Although, it does not hurt to try it out.
General Review overview
Ease of setup – 8
Bundled accessories – 7.5
Performance – 6
Value for money – 6.5
The Intel Compute Stick has a lot of promise, and most importantly it shows that on-the-go computing is directed in the right direction. Although, underpowered hardware limits its use cases quite a bit. It is suitable for those who do not need to handle heavy tasks. Why should one go for other alternatives while the only thing they thing they do with their PC is streaming movies and videos? Consider using the Intel Compute Stick to stream or play your videos and movies.