Competition to turn any screen into a computer is heating up with announcements from both Google and Intel about each company’s own USB-sized mini PC.
Hot on the heels of Google’s announcement of the Chromebit, which runs Chrome OS, Intel made its Compute Stick available for preorder on certain online retailers including Newegg, with one running Windows 8.1, and a cheaper version reportedly running Ubuntu 14.04.
At a quick glance, with a price tag of “less than $100” it seems that Google’s pricing strategy will continue with the Chromebit and may drive further adoption of its Chrome OS devices.
However, the Compute Stick’s Windows option could be an easier transition for customers already familiar with the OS, and there are also conflicting reports on whether the Ubuntu version will be roughly $110 or cheaper at $89 but with only 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM.
Here are the specs:
|Google Chromebit||Intel Compute Stick|
|Processor||Rockchip RK3288 quad-core processor||Intel Atom 64 bit Quad-Core Processor|
|RAM||2 GB||2 GB|
|Storage||16 GB||32 GB or 64 GB|
|Price||Less than $100||$149.99 with Windows 8.1Ubuntu version for $89 to $109.99|
|Form factor||While the exact dimensions have been witheld by google, the Chromebit is significantly larger than the Compute Stick and more akin to a candy bar.It compensates by featuring a head that swivels.||The Compute Stick comes in at 110.9mm x 38mm x 9.8 mm including the HDMI connector, and is more akin to a pack of gum.|
It remains to be seen what applications these devices will have. For now, media streaming devices with similar form factors are cheap and increasingly available, and include Google’s Chromecast, the Firefox OS-based MatchStick, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and the Roku Stick.