One year ago, Intel’s $150 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 adapter.
What you’re getting is most of the same guts that come inside an ultra portable laptop like the 12-inch 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