Intel may not be planning to offer a Compute Stick with an Intel Atom Cherry Trail processor. But it looks like Asus is.

Asus is showing off a tiny computer called the Asus Pen Stick this week at Computex. It’s a PC-on-a-stick featuring a Cherry Trail CPU, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and Windows 10 software.

asus pen stick_01

Like other PC sticks, the Asus Pen Stick is a compact computer that’s small enough to hold in one hand or slide into your pocket. In fact, it looks a bit like a large USB flash drive, but there’s an HDMI connector where you’d normally expect to see a USB connector. There’s a power button on the other side of the device.

The computer measures 4.8″x 1.3″ x 0.6″ and features two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card reader, a micro USB 2.0 port for power input, and a combo audio jack for mic input and headphone output. It supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Unlike the Intel Compute Stick, the Asus Pen Stick appears to feature a fanless design… or at least the prototype does. Other manufacturers have had to build small fans into PC sticks to keep the systems from overheating and throttling the CPU speeds. Hopefully Asus has found a way to do without the fan, but it’ll probably be at least a few months before we see the final design for this device.

Asus plans to launch the Pen Stick in the fourth quarter of 2015 for around $150, which is the same price as a current Intel Compute Stick with an Intel Atom Bay Trail processor.

This is actually the second PC stick we’ve seen from Asus. The first was the Asus Chromebit, a $100 device with a Rockchip RK3288 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 802.11ac WiFi, and Google’s Chrome operating system.

Update: Mobile geeks has posted a video. It doesn’t show the Pen Stick actually working, but it provides a closer look at the device’s case.

via PC Watch and Hermitage Akihabara

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15 replies on “Asus Pen Stick is a Windows 10, Cherry Trail PC-on-a-stick”

  1. Chery’s can go up to 8GB of RAM, so I can only assume that Microsoft has a provision in their (scenario design) agreement which dictates RAM capacity like they do with display size in tablets.
    The new GPU in these is supposed to be twice the performance of Bay Trail and that means they need twice the RAM which is 512 or 1024 so you have one Gig left for System RAM ?

    1. You don’t need twice the RAM for twice the performance. In fact, more RAM doesn’t always mean a faster product.

      1. RAM :
        —————————–
        2GB: Normal users
        4GB: Power users
        8GB: Gamers/Specialists

        More than 8GB: Video Production/Designers/Mega Gamers
        —————————–
        Adding extra RAM doesn’t always speed up a PC. True.

        BUT! The MORE RAM you have, the MORE things you can do at once (without slowing down).

        People who do more, need more!

        ONCE you run out of RAM, your PC WILL slow down!
        (A lot!)
        —————————–
        To check if you need more RAM:
        Right-Click taskbar/Task Manager/More Details/Memory
        IF your consistently running 95% (or more) Memory use, you NEED more RAM!

      1. Because it’s 2015 and 802.11n is from 2006 (not to mention absolutely terrible). 802.11ac is faster and has a longer range thanks to beam fowarding.

        1. You’re assuming that a device of this class, if it DID have AC, would be equipped with beamforming.

          Beamforming is an optional feature, regarding vendors manufacturing 802.11ac compliant hardware.

  2. Is Cherrytrail going to be just as slow as Baytrail? Cause the 8″ tablet I bought (mainly to get office) to connect to a spare monitor for playing background videos runs like an absolute dog.

    1. Braswell/Cherry trail offers same CPU perf, higher GPU perf, and all this at lower TDP. So it should help with video playback. Charry Trail is in the new MS Surface so I don’t think it has any performance issues. You know, the thing is with Baytrail is that it has a large performance variation within the platform. If you bought a <$100 tablet with Z3735 don't expect too much. If you buy the $300 Asus T100 with Z3770 your experience would be totally different.

      1. And it’s also important to keep in mind that these are cheap chips aimed at low-power devices with long battery life. Some people expect devices with Atom processors to perform like systems with Core i3 or faster chips… and they don’t.

        But Atom chips have come a long way in the past few years and they should offer good enough performance for most basic tasks… but they’ll choke if you push them too far by running too many CPU-intensive tasks at once or by trying to play games that require higher-performance graphics.

    2. If your Baytrail Tablet came with McAfee, deinstall it and get a more lightweight Antivirus solution, that PoS is even slowing top of the line Atoms to a crawl.

        1. Thanks, had the name since the mid 90s when i found my first Transformers Message Board with – of course – Optimus Prime already taken 😉

      1. Just have to be careful that it’s actually a Cherry Trail… low priced models may use the SoFIA SoC, under x3, and that’s lower end than the Z3735 in terms of performance… they’re mainly using it because devices can be real cheap, like a $50 tablet, and it has 3G support built in with LTE/4G support coming soon…

        Only the x5 and x7 model series are actually Cherry Trail… Specs still vary a bit but mostly will effect GPU performance with 8, 12, or 16 EU’s and different clock ranges… but all should give a noticeable boost in GPU performance over Bay Trail and we should see overall better temps… Though, battery life may depend but some model updates like the T100HA from Asus are reportedly going to get a couple more hours of battery life…

        But we should see more start to offer 4GB RAM options as well as max drive capacities up to 128GB instead of just 64GB… Though, minimum capacities will still include 32GB and 2GB of RAM…

        Unlike Bay Trail, which was primarily just for tablets, we should also see wider adoption of Cherry Trail into devices that previously required Intel’s phone specific SoCs like Merrifield or Moorefield… So we may see, say, a Windows 10 mobile phone with a Cherry Trail for a premium range offering… but there won’t be a big update to the phone range until next year when Broxton/Apollo Lake comes out as Intel is waiting on being able to release the Goldmont architecture before pushing any major updates in that range…

        Meanwhile, also keep a look out for Braswell options… These will primarily replace the Bay Trail M/D models for Celeron/Pentium range but average TDP should be lower, though still higher than Cherry Trail, and should mean we should see some tablet options with Braswell that are still fan-less but can have real SSDs and up to 8GB RAM options with possibly better performance than Cherry Trail as Braswell supports slightly higher clock ranges and higher TDP generally allows a bit better performance…

        Core M will still be better for performance but Core M will still cost significantly more and won’t be able to go into anything smaller than a 10″ tablet…

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