Chromebit and Compute Stick Dig the Grave of the PC?
Stick computers are not a new invention – there are several models available with a variety of hardware under their hood, and usually running Android operating systems (except for some Chinese solutions which sometimes come with Windows 8 and activation issues). But Google and Intel plan to change the game on this front, planning to release two new products this year with the potential to eliminate the bulky desktop computers from offices and schools: the Chromebit and the Compute Stick.
Intel has unveiled the Compute Stick, its small size (apparently it will have the size of a pack of gum) computer running a fully fledged Windows 8 operating system, at the CES 2015 in Las Vegas. The device’s specifications will be convincing for such a small size (and price): a 64bit quad-core Intel Atom system-on-a-chip, 2 GB of RAM, 32GB of SSD storage on board, WiFi and Bluetooth – and all this for a price of $149,99, according to Newegg (where the device can be pre-ordered with a shipping date on May 1st). The device will have a Linux version as well, with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and an even lower price: $109.99.
Chrome has unveiled its own take on the “PC on a stick” just a few days ago. The device is called Chromebit, and it is built by the search giant in collaboration with the Taiwanese hardware manufacturer Asus. The Chromebit – which will be shipped with Chrome OS, of course – will reportedly have a Rockchip 3288 system-on-a-chip under its hood, with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, WiFi, Bluetooth and USB, and will have a price somewhere under $100.
The only downside of this device is the lack of apps – while we all know that royal vegas casino the best slots online – but Google will solve this issue, too, with the latest beta version of its App Run-time for Chrome (ARC) and ARC Welder software, that will allow developers to easily deploy their Android apps on Chrome, meaning that they will run on any platform the Chrome browser (version 41 or above) runs on: Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS.
Now let’s see how these two product releases can dent desktop PC sales, possibly even making them disappear in the long run. The biggest consumers of workstations are businesses – they rely on desktop computers to do anything from accounting to customer relations. Many of these services are already running in the cloud, and the workstation only serves as a means to connect to the information superhighway to access them.
A workstation can cost a lot (the cheapest Dell workstation I was able to dig up in the manufacturer’s online outlet costs $229), and its hardware is an overkill for a task as simple as launching a browser to access a service in the cloud. Plus it consumes a lot of energy – “computers on a stick” can save a lot there, too.