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Intel Unveils Tiny PC-on-a-Stick at CES

The chip company's Compute Stick looks like Google's Chromecast and Amazon's Fire Stick, but it does more than stream video.

Compute Stick

Intel has made its share of news at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, from new 14-nanometer Broadwell chips and demonstrations of its RealSense 3D technology to a tiny module for wearable devices and spending $300 million to bring more women and minorities into the fold.

Flying under the radar was the introduction of the company's upcoming Compute Stick, a thumb-drive-sized PC-on-a-stick device that comes preinstalled with either Microsoft's Windows 8.1 or Linux operating systems and armed with a quad-core Atom Z3735F "Bay Trail" chip. It looks much like Google's Chromecast or Amazon's Fire Stick, but it reportedly does more than stream video onto a display.

The Intel Compute Stick is designed to offer users a complete PC experience in a 4-inches-long device that plugs into an HDMI port. It includes built-in 802.11b/g/n WiFi connectivity and Bluetooth 4.0, and reportedly the Windows model includes 2GB of memory and 32GB of on-board storage. The Linux version offers 1GB of memory and 8GB of storage. The device also comes with a microSD card slot for more storage.

"It's everything you love about your desktop computer in a device that fits in the palm of your hand," Intel says on its Website.

The chip maker says customers can use the device, which will be released, for such tasks as social networking, Web browsing, media streaming and light productivity work. In businesses, the Compute Stick can be used with thin client solutions for SMBs, and includes Windows Remote Desktop Access support.

The Windows version will start at $149, while the Linux model will come in at $89.