Due to go on sale this spring, the new Intel Compute Stick is a tiny computer -- no larger than a USB memory drive -- that plugs into the HDMI outlet of a TV or monitor.
The new dongle provides access to everything from work applications to games and VOD platforms, effectively acting as an out-of-the-box PC.
Two versions will be offered, both based on the Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor. The first, priced at $149, comes with Windows 8.1, 32GB of storage and 2GB of RAM. The second, to sell for $99, has Linux, 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. Both will have WiFi (802.11 b/n/g) and Bluetooth (4.0) connectivity, as well as a microSD slot for additional storage.
Due to ship in the US in March, the Intel Compute Stick will roll out worldwide over the following months.
With access to a real operating system and apps for work as well as entertainment, Intel's new product offers a far more complete solution than Google's Chromecast, for example, which is based on a similar idea.
Launched in the US in July 2013, the Chromecast allows users to view content (streaming platforms, video, music, photos, games) from a computer, smartphone or tablet, regardless of the OS, on a TV.