large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

New Intel Compute Stick adds Core M power

Intel has announced the second generation of its Compute Stick HDMI port computer.

The first Intel Compute Stick launched this time last year, offering to provide a compact plug-in PC that could turn any modern monitor or TV into a computer. That was the concept at least. Unfortunately, a critical lack of power and ports made it a less-than-practical product.

Now, at CES 2016, Intel has unveiled a follow-up. It looks to be much-improved.

While the new entry-level Intel Compute Stick packs an underwhelming Atom x5-z8400 CPU backed by 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, there are now also a couple of much more potent options.

It will be possible to spec out your PC-on-a-stick with sixth-generation Core M3 and M5 processors with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

This should prove far more capable for general PC tasks. For example, Intel says that the mid-range M3 model will be able to output 4K video at 30Hz.

What’s more, while there’s still only one USB port on the second-generation Compute Stick, Intel has managed to squeeze two more onto the power charger. You’ll be able to plug in a keyboard, mouse, and one other device without resorting to Bluetooth, should you wish.

All models come with improved dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which addresses another criticism of the original.

Related: Guide to PC sticks

The M3 and M5 Intel Compute Sticks are expected to be in production in February, while the Atom model is said to be in production now.

The Atom model with Windows 10 will cost $149 (like the original), the M3 with Windows 10 will cost $399, and the M5 will cost $499 with no OS installed. That’s quite a price jump for the Core M models, but the advantages should be clear.


Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.