For those of us old enough to remember 1.4 megabyte floppy disks (or their predecessors), the idea that an entire computer operating system could fit onto a four-inch-long dongle is the stuff of science fiction.
But that’s exactly what Intel has done with its new HDMI Compute Stick, which carries a quad-core Atom CPU, 32 GB of storage and 2 GB of RAM, in addition to a USB port, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 support, plus a mini-USB connector to power it.
Arriving in early 2015, the Intel Compute Stick is essentially a miniature computer you carry around with you, offering–as Intel puts it–“everything you love about your desktop computer in a device that fits in the palm of your hand.”
There are both Windows 8.1 ($149) and Linux ($89) versions available, so, provided you’re not a Mac user, you’ll be able to plug the stick into any HDMI display and work on the operating system you’re used to–offering a level of portability that goes way beyond today’s notebooks.
As an enterprise tool, or simply for the person who travels a lot, this is the stuff tech dreams are made of.
Although you’ll have to provide your own mouse and keyboard, of course.