Intel Windows HDMI Compute Stick Review

Introduction


There is a portable “USB-powered-HDMI-displayed-AIO-device” war going on since the arrival of low-cost Android boxes which in turn brought us Windows boxes of the same form factor. The next generation of these devices came and shrunk the form factor even more, bringing the full-fat Windows experience to the System on a Chip (SoC) device while maintaining the size of a large memory stick.

Amongst the-the many rebranded Chinese Android sticks to make it to Europe has been an official offering by Intel in the form of their “Compute Stick”, which serves as proof that they are aiming to claim a slice of this emerging market in both Linux and Windows flavours. Intel were kind enough to send us a Windows Compute Stick to put through its paces, and no sooner had they confirmed we would be getting one had it arrived.

Anyway enough of the backstory, let’s get the shrink wrap off and get this fired up!

Specifications
  • Name: Intel Compute Stick (Windows Variant)
  • CPU: Intel Atom Z3735F (Quad Core 1.3Ghz with 1.8GHz burst)
  • RAM: 2GB 1333MHz DDR3
  • SSD: eMMC 32GB
  • GPU:Intel Integrated Graphics (64mb)
  • LAN: None
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 1x USB 2.0 , 1x HDMI 1.4
  • OS: Windows 8.1 32bit
  • Dimensions: 103 x 12 x 37 mm (WxHxD)
  • Warranty: 2 Year
  • Price: £119.98

The box is very nicely packed, no bigger than you would get with a phablet sized phone. There is a small black tab which when pulled slides the inner box out from the cover

With the box slid out, the first thing you are presented with is the compute stick itself

Removing the lining reveals multiple accessories underneath

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

Arion Bluetooth Mini Keyboard with Speakerphone Review

Introduction


Touch screen devices can be a pain to type on, although admittedly the issue isn’t as bad as it used to be as many of us have had a good few years practice now and screens, as well as keyboard applications, have improved greatly over the years. Then you’ve got PlayStation, where entering data to the on-screen keyboard via the controller can be a very tedious process. To solve any issues, or at least mitigate the issues a little, you can invest in a separate keyboard, such as the Arion KB100B-BK which I have with me today.

This little keyboard isn’t nothing too fancy, but for a small keyboard, it does pack an interesting feature set into such a small device. You’ve got a QWERTY keyboard, all the major functions you would expect to need on your mobile device, desktop OS or console and even a built-in speaker phone. It uses Bluetooth to connect to iPads, Android devices, smart TVs, consoles and pretty much everything with Bluetooth support.

The keyboard comes bundled with a mini-USB to USB charging cable, as the device has an internal rechargeable battery.

It’s pretty simple in terms of design, with a durable yet lightweight plastic body and rubberised keys that are clearly labeled with all their major functions. To cram as many features in as possible, almost every key has an Fn-Shift function.

On the underside of the keyboard, you’ll find a small microphone and speaker setup, which can be used to hands-free calls. Not much use to smartphones which already have this function, but it could be useful for some tablets, smart TVs and consoles for services such as Skype.

The super slim design means it’s a very manageable device; it’ll fit in your pocket or bag easy enough.

Around the back, you’ll find the mini-USB charging port, as well as a master power switch to help conserve the battery.

It is quite small, so touch typing with all of your fingers isn’t going to be possible, but you can still type fairly confidently if you’re writing a quick email, although perhaps not suitable for writing your dissertation.

When powered up, there’s a small blue LED in the top right, which blinks red when the battery is running low.

As you can see, it’s really not too big, clocking in a little smaller than my Xperia Z3.

Here it is next to an iPad Air, although admittedly the unit is better designed to type using your thumbs while holding it in your hands, it wouldn’t be impossible to use it while sat at a table.

Silverstone’s Latest NAS, HTPC & SteamBox-Style Chassis On Display At CeBIT 2014

Here we are once again at CeBIT 2014 with more great coverage from some of the top manufactures from around the world. Silverstone are already highly regarded for their attention to detail and innovation and the new cases on display at the show are no exception. First up we have the lovely new SG08-Lite (top left) which features an bold exterior design, extensive ventilation for keeping your GPU and other components cool, a slot loading optical drive bay, ATX PSU support and room for a mini-ITX motherboard.

Next to that we have on of the coolest cases on the market today, the RVZ01 gaming chassis (2nd from left) which features room for a large GPU and plenty of storage thanks to its innovative design. We actually reviewed this case recently, so if you would like to know more you can check out the full review here (spoiler: It’s awesome).

Next in line we have the DS260 mini-ITX chassis (below), easily our favourite Silverstone product at CeBIT 2014. It features a thick aluminium construction and despite only being a mock-up it’s already looking superb. It features a hybrid design that makes it ideal for a mini-ITX style system, but it’s real purpose in life is as a NAS box.

Aside from feature a sturdy chassis which features carry handle style side panels, you’ll also find tabbed hard drive bays which can be lifted out right from the top of the case. If you’re in need of a case that allows quick and easy hard drive swaps then you’re going to love this. If you need to do mass backups, file transfers, or need very flexible storage then the DS260 may very well be one of the best choices on the market for a self-build NAS system.

The new GD09 is a serious power house for those wanting to build a mighty HTPC style build, although I guess there is no reason why you couldn’t use it for a desktop based system dependant on your requirements and preferences. It is compatible with ATX motherboards, ATX PSU’s, multiple large graphics cards (just like any other ATX sized chassis), features plenty of air filters, fan mounts and everything else you would expect from a high-end Silverstone product.

If your space requirements are a little more limited, the ML06 features support for mini-ITX motherboards, but still features plenty of ventilation, dust filters and side inputs for USB 3.0 and HD Audio that make it an ideal compact solution for a HTPC or space-saving desktop system.

ML06 not small enough for you? Then check out their gorgeous new range of PT14 NUC style cases, which feature passive CPU cooling designs that range from eSATA storage compatibility in the smaller ones, to full 3.5″ hard drive support of the larger models, making them great for digital advertising, HTPC, media streaming, or just a powerful, yet compact system that you can take with you with ease.

We’ve got plenty more to share with you from CeBIT 2014 and even more from the Silverstone booth, we will be back shortly with coverage of some of their larger chassis products, as well as other accessories.