For the past few years Chinese companies have been cranking out tiny sticks that you can plug into a TV to run Android apps. They look sort of like USB flash drives, but they have an HDMI connector where you’d normally find the USB connector, and they’re a bit chunky for a flash drive.

Under the hood, these little guys have the guts of an Android phone or tablet which means they typically have ARM-based processors. But now at least one company is manufacturing a version with an Intel Atom Bay Trail processor.

That means it should be able to support Windows 8.1 as well as Android, Ubuntu, or other operating systems.

meego-t01

A vendor on Chinese eCommerce site Alibaba is selling the Meegopad Intel Quad Core dongle for $70 per piece or less… but you need to order at least 500 units to place an order.

Update: There are now several options for purchasing the MeegoPad T01 and similar devices, but note that at least some models seem to ship with an unactivated version of Windows 8.1, which means you’ll need to either supply your own operating system or pay to continue using Windows after 30 days:

I thought the Zotac ZBOX PI320 pico I’m testing this week was tiny for a desktop Windows computer (because it is), but these new sticks could change what we think of as a Windows PC.

This model features either an Intel Atom Z3735F processor with 1GB of RAM and 32-bit software support or an Atom Z3735G processor with 2GB of RAM and support for 64-bit software.

Each version should be available with 16GB to 32GB of eMMC storage, a microSD card slot, 2 micro USB 2.0 ports, a full-sized USB 2.0 port, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and an HDMI connector.

It measures 3.9″ x 1.5″ x 0.4″ and weighs about 1.6 ounces.

Update: There are some more details at the website of the Shenzhen Apec Electronics company, which may be one of the manufacturers of this device.

Update 2: Padnews has a few real-world photos of the Meegopad stick.

Update 3: Intel plans to launch its own stick-sized computer in 2015.

It’s called the Intel Compute Stick and a Linux model with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage will sell for $89, while a Windows model with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage will run $149.

via CNX Software and +DroidMote and Andrei Maniu!

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36 replies on “Windows-compatible HDMI TV stick with an Intel Bay Trail CPU”

  1. The article mentions that the Windows 8.1 version would be about $15 more. Is that consistent with pricing for device manufacturers? If so, I think I’ll be waiting. I can’t find Windows 8.1 for less than $60.

  2. If this is true, why couldn’t they just put this technology right in a large screen tv, and have the ability to save to an sd card slot or usb slot. Wow, I just blew my own mind —-large screen computer tv’s!!!!!!

  3. Ok, so if I’m right, what this is, is a computer that you can use on any large screen tv, and whatever work you do can be saved to the microsd card installed on the stick. Is that right? Someone tell me if I am right about that.

    1. It can either be saved to a MicroSD card or the internal memory. This is pretty much a cheap Windows 8.1 tablet, without a screen, but with a HDMI connector. The Minix Neo Z64 is pretty much the same thing in a slightly larger package and additional built in ports.

  4. Thanks for updating this article again! Bookmarked it since this is something I really really want so I hope you’ll keep us updated onwards.

    It is bigger than a Chromecast but still ridiculously small.

    It also seems like the AliExpress page now sells the 2gb version.

  5. If you get your hands on this, can you test it with an external blu ray drive (for video playback)?

  6. Anyone gearing up to a career coding for ARM, needs to see things, like the “jump ship moment” The beginning of the end is near, and Microsoft and Intel are coming to eat ARM’s family :))

  7. How does that tiny thing get powered? I would expect a separate USB for drawing power from the TV

    1. Unit comes with a AC to 5V/2A USB charger… So, one of the two microUSB ports is how it’s powered but unless the TV has a powered USB that provides more power than a standard USB then likely you’ll need the AC adapter charger regardless…

  8. Um this technology and form factor already exists with our smartphones! The ARM and Intel mobile chips in smartphones are also found in tablets, Chromebooks, laptops, and desktops. But the market is not ready to give up $ale$ and profit by showing consumers that one chip can power all our devices…

    Geez, the consumer electronics industry is too slow…

  9. i still dont get this form factor
    i mean… with storage to carry some videos around and show at an instant, ok.
    but those thingies most often need external power supply and storage is the thing they don’t have.
    further that’s a really tiny usecase.

    size isn’t my problem when it comes to media-thingies. Looks are more important for my media-center-stuff.
    so i prefer set top boxes in nice cases, they can even include blueray/dvd and multiple harddrives.

    1. It’s niche, for sure, but there are user cases it could be good for… Like with either Android or Ubuntu, you can basically use it like a very basic PC you can take with you anywhere… Add wireless keyboard and someone who travels can then use any TV (in a hotel, etc) and quickly setup for web browsing and other basic uses… but you don’t have to worry about needing to disconnect it every time you go out to eat, etc. as you would with a regular mobile device…

      Techs can use it as something they can take with them that’s small enough to keep in a pocket but can still give them access to a few key software tools they need on the go and is still more flexible than say a Windows To Go USB drive that still requires a PC to plug into…

      Among other similar niches, like anyone who wants a really low powered device they don’t have to worry about leaving on all the time… Markets don’t have to be for everyone to still find a reason for the product to exist…

      1. I may use one of these to run ispyconnect to constantly monitor the ip cameras of my house. I may shove it in-between the brick-work. That way any thieves will ransack the whole place trying to find the “computer” that recorded them and they just won’t find it.

        With your surveillance software I believe I can also get it to upload to YouTube upon detecting movement. Yeah… definitely lots of use cases for this little one.

        – Surveillance monitor
        – Downloading station
        – File server

        Very nice form factor. I was just getting used to having android sticks in that form factor for streaming movies etc for the kids.

  10. Now we are talking. Microsoft would be smart to make a version of Windows designed for media watching, and even recording TV, like a chopped down version of Windows with Media Center designed for these Intel CPUs

    1. Well Microsoft does sell a media streaming dongle like the ChromeCast that can stream to your TV from Windows. But that’s probably Windows 8 and up which doesn’t have media center…. But Windows does have apps like Netflix and Hulu etc…

      1. Yea all that is, is a Miracast device, just a screencasting device. it requires you have a larger computer or tablet. I am thinking something more standalone, a full OS, but MS has really dropped the ball when it comes to TVs, when they could have owned it with Media Center.

        1. I miss media center too. It was a fantastic product. But to be fair MS didn’t stop offering it for the hell of it. Motorola was charging the heck out of them for the codecs it used. That’s why it’s a paid product now.

        2. No i agree about the cost, the issue really is they did not bother to upgrade it or add any new features. They did the right thing when it comes to breaking it off into it own product. Now they have to make it better and open the door for apps.

        3. I’m all for that

          Subject: Re: New comment posted on Windows-compatible HDMI TV stick with an Intel Bay Trail CPU

    1. If the demand is high enough, I am sure they will release higher specs one for around $100

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