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Intel Compute Stick Reportedly Ready for Preorder

Intel introduced the mini-PC at CES in January and now it's making its way into online shopping sites, though some are saying they're out of stock.

Intel Compute Stick

Intel at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year unveiled the Compute Stick, a PC-on-a-stick device that is about the size of a normal USB drive and essentially lets people take their PC wherever they go. Now the device reportedly is landing on a number of online shopping sites, including Amazon and Newegg.

There must have been a run on the devices for preorder because both sites have the device listed, but both also say that they are out of stock. Newegg is indicating that more will be available May 1. Amazon says it's unclear whether the Compute Stick will be back in stock.

Intel's Compute Stick is one of a growing number of devices that are designed to enable users to plug them into a display—such as a TV or monitor—with a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port and turn them into a complete PC, with a full user experience. Both Google (with its Chromecast dongle) and Amazon (Fire Stick) have similar devices, and others from various vendors are hitting the market.

Intel's mini-PC is powered by a quad-core Atom "Bay Trail" system-on-a-chip (SoC) and comes with 2GB of memory, 32GB of storage, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity for a mouse and keyboard. Also, there's a full-sized USB port and a Micro USB slot for power.

The device can support Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system or Linux. The Microsoft model is expected to cost about $150, while the Linux version—reportedly running Ubuntu 14.04—comes in at $110. The Linux version reportedly supports 1GB of memory and 8GB of storage.

Intel officials have been talking about the Compute Stick since late last year, and said in January that device can be used for such tasks as social networking, Web browsing, media streaming and light productivity work. Though the Compute Stick is primarily a consumer device, the officials also said businesses can take advantage of the device, for example using it with thin client solutions. It includes Windows Remote Desktop Access support.