Stick PCS are not new, but they have become very popular over the last few years as manufacturers have managed to expand the memory and storage capacity of their devices. In addition, HDMI ports seem to be on every TV and monitor available nowadays. Since more companies have opted for offering these type of products, there are many options available at the moment. That being said, stick PCs still have their limitations. They are only able to run simple applications and an office suite, but that is all. They are a great option for streaming media, but they can be slightly slow and may come with some connectivity issues. This is why, they may not be the most reliable choice for work when you are on the go. Still, the technology keeps evolving and the portability of stick PCs make them a convenient solution in many cases. If you only need to complete basic tasks, a stick PC is worth considering. Here are the best options available at the moment.
Intel Compute Stick
The Compute Stick has become a synonym of stick PC and it has set the standard in the industry. It works with Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and Ubuntu 14, which gives you flexibility to run the apps that you normally use, even the most recent version of Microsoft Office 2016. The Windows version offers 2GB of memory, 32 GB of onboard storage, support for WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, quad-core processor and a microSD card slot. This gives you all the power and storage needed to edit files, stream media and display presentations. It comes with Intel HD graphics and audio capabilities. Thanks to the included Intel Remote app, you can use your smartphone as keyboard and mouse. Although it comes with some flaws, such as the limited power and some Bluetooth issues, if you are looking for a pocket-size computer for less than $200, thsi may be it.
For just under $100, you can get the Asus Chromebit, a device that is part of the line of Chrome products such as Chromecast and Chromebooks. With the Chromebit you can transform a TV or monitor into the equivalent of a computers that relies on web based Chrome OS. As expected, it supports a wide range of Chrome apps and it comes with 16 GB Flash memory storage with easily accessible USB 2.0 slot for expanded storage or wired peripherals. It also offers support for WiFi and Bluetooth and it has a USB port. If you have tried Chrome OS before and are familiar with Google Drive’s apps, the Chromebit can be an ideal solution. However, if you have not tried them before, you may struglle at first getting used to a different option than Microsoft Office. However, Chrome OS offers all the features that you need and it is available in a practical size that makes it perfect for use on the go.
If you are a loyal Windows user and don’t want to move too far from Microsoft’s platform, you can opt for the Asus VivoStick. It uses standard Windows 10 and it offers 16 GB of onboard storage, 100 GB of free online storage for the first year of purchase. The VivoStick also supports WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as three USB ports, one of which is for power. It comes with Intel HD graphics and an audio jack, which makes it a very comprehensive solution overall. Although there is no microSD card slot, there is online storage system available, which could be a better solution to prevent loss of data and ensure that you can access it whenever needed.
The Quantum Access features Windows 8, 32 GB of onboard storage, 2 GB of memory, a USB port and mini-USB port, as well as microSD card. Although these are pretty much the same features that you can get from other Stick PCs, what makes the Quantum Access stand out from other options is its amazing fanless design, which makes it less noisy than other devices available. This makes it a great choice if you need to use the device in a public place or when other people are around as they won’t have to deal with the annoying fan sound. The Quantum Access also looks well and it comes with an HDMI adapter that allows you to use an HDMI cord to log in your Access, even if you don’t have enough space behind the TV or monitor. You will still need your own HDMI cord, but still, it is a practical solution.
iView Cyber PC
If you love gaming, you should keep the iView Cyber PC in mind as it is known as a Gamer Ultra Desktop. Like other options in the list, it offers 2 GB memory, 32 GB storage, microSD card slot, Windows 8 and Android platforms, as well as quad-core processor. What makes the iView Cyber special is the fact that it offers great value since it comes with a wireless keyboard, without additional cost. It is available for between $150 and $169 USD and since it supports both Windows and Android, it is a fantastic solution for users who want a versatile solution. The downside is that in spite claiming to be a gaming desktop, it only offers 2GB of memory, which would only allow you to run basic games with low-quality graphics. Still, beyond its shortcomings, the iView Cyber PC is another good choice when it comes to stick PCs and the inclusion of the keyboard makes it very appealing.