As expected, Lenovo is entering the PC-on-a-stick business with a new tiny computer called the IdeaCentre Stick 300.

Lenovo’s tiny computer is a lot like the Intel Compute Stick, but cheaper. The Lenovo IdeaCentre Stick 300 goes on sale in July for $129.

stick 300_03

That’s about $20 less than the street price of Intel’s PC stick, but Lenovo’s device has the same basic specs including an Intel Atom Z3735F Bay trail processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. It has an HDMI connector, a micro USB 2.0 port (for power), a full-sized USB port, and an SD card reader.

Lenovo will initially ship its PC stick with Windows 8.1 with Bing software, but it’ll be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 starting July 29th, and the company will sell the stick with Windows 10 pre-instlaled later this year.

The stick also comes with a 3-month free trial of Microsoft Office 365.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre Stick 300 measures 3.9″ x 1.5″ x 0.6″. Like other PC sticks, it’s designed to turn pretty much any display into a full-fledged Windows computer. Just plug it into the HDMI port on your PC, connect a power source, and then connect a USB or Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and you can surf the web, watch internet video, or play casual games from your couch, set up a cheap PC for your kids, set up a digital signage system, or just have a portable PC that you can stick in your pocket and carry with you on the go.

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38 replies on “Lenovo launches $129 Ideacentre Stick 300 mini PC”

  1. I know that my opinion is not a popular one, but unless these PC’s on a Stick drop in price to $50.00 or less they will not catch on with the public. HDMI sticks from Google and Amazon are in that price range and recently a few Window Tablets have dropped down to it as well. At $130.00 the manufaturers are going to have a tough sale.

      1. And run what, exactly?

        Even Windows 10 IoT is only intended to be used to develop IoT products and not to run Windows on a Pi… and there are more powerful ARM based devices available than a Pi…

        I’m not disagreeing that the price should be lower still for a PC stick but it doesn’t help to compare to less capable devices that don’t offer the same features/capabilities and intended for very different markets…

          1. Running a POS (Point Of Sale) is hardly an example of it being useful… the average person isn’t going to limit themselves to applications that can be run on decades old computers…

            And no, there are already plenty more powerful devices than a Pi… It was never intended to be very powerful at all to begin with and was primarily intended as a educational tool and something for hobbyists and developers to play with…

            Never mind the base costs is a bit deceiving as you still need to get accessories to create a complete system out of it… The only thing it really has going for it is an avid user base that provides pretty good support that other solutions generally don’t provide… and it’s pretty cheap for those who want to experiment but it’s not ideal for people who actually want something like a PC stick that actually runs a desktop OS and can run commercial apps… most of whom just want something that works out of the box and not something they have to set up!

          2. Your the one who must be joking if you were serious about the Raspberry Pi suggestion…

            The OP just wants a really cheap PC… Not a developers kit that can barely run a light weight Linux install and is meant more for hobbyists and developers than end users who just want something that works out of the box…

            So don’t confuse enthusiasm with cold hard reality…

          3. You really don’t know, do you…

            I was computerizing restaurants with the 8-bit 6502 and 48k RAM in the Apple II in 1978. And now I have countless thousands of customers worldwide, while my 30-year-old software paradigm is running in tens of millions of restaurants. Not real or useful enough for you, is it? You should feel pretty unique in your viewpoint because I’ve never heard anyone else express such ignorance.

          4. Sorry if you never had to deal with regular people but your comment is utter nonsense to a normal person talking about a PC!

            If this was the 90’s then sure but this is 2015 and when people say they want a PC it means they want a modern PC capable of running apps far more powerful than a POS or Kiosk…

            Such uses as you’re suggesting are now in the realm of what they call Internet of Things (IoT) devices that uses primarily cheap and low end hardware.

            The SoC in the $129 PC stick is actually about the minimum performance most people today would accept for PC usage and it’s well over twice the power of a RPi…

            A RPi doesn’t even come to midway performance for what ARM devices can offer now… So the ignorance is yours!

          5. I’m on a speaking tour of several of India’s Institutes of Technology in September; I’ll be sure to find a way to forge a remark in my speeches about the silly people like you that these aspiring young scientists and entrepreneurs will inevitably run into every once in a while.

          6. Sorry but you’re the silly one if you think you can go into a discussion about a modern day PC and talk about things that only matter to young scientists, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs…

            Those may be the kind of people you’re used to talking to but they are in no way representative of the majority of people!

            The vast majority of your customers, not the business owners, won’t even want to use a Raspberry Pi… Never mind if your intent was serious about a business application then you suggested one of the least economical solutions because there are plenty of more low cost solutions specifically for embedded usages for things like POS for restaurants…

            A Raspberry Pi is more for the individual who just wants something they can use to either experiment or develop with… The creators of the Raspberry Pi specifically marketed it as a educational tool and everything I told you about how it stands in comparison to other devices is true…

            A Nvidia X1 is multiple times more powerful and can still be used in a tablet to not only run a dedicated application like a POS but also a full desktop OS and all that entails…

            Even Intel’s Quark is more powerful than a Raspberry Pi and it’s smaller too…

            The market the PC stick targets is also a niche but it’s for general users who want something that works out of the box and can still run either Windows or GNU/Linux for running desktop applications and not some custom program from, as you put it, 30 years ago…

            Now, if this discussion had been about Arduinos, building bare bone devices from scratch, etc. then your comment would have been appropriate but that wasn’t what this topic was about!

          7. I didn’t say I was running a program from 30 years ago. What I said was that I have been writing and selling software for nearly 40 years. Long ago I learned to write software which could perform to the limits of the hardware and that’s what I am still doing 5 decades later. What you’ve done yet again is ignore what I am telling you and are merely repeating your fixation, and it’s become quite boring to listen to you. As I said early on, you really just don’t get it, and clearly you never will. Anyone who whines that today’s hardware can’t get it done quite obviously prefers whining for its own sake.

          8. Sorry but the fixation is not mine, it’s yours… Again, you’re butting in on a conversation about a user who wants a cheap PC stick and you want to suggest something that doesn’t even fit that category!

            Do you not understand the difference between what you do and what regular people use?

            It’s not whining when you literally can’t run the app you want on a low end device that was never intended to run it!

            You don’t seem to care because you make your own apps but most people don’t!

            We’re talking about consumers, not device makers! People who buy laptops, desktops, Smart Phones, etc… Not developer boards, arduinos, RPi, etc.!

            Sure, I can take apart a computer myself and alter just about any part of it, I’ve been doing similar and providing my own tech support for over 30 years as well, but what I can do doesn’t apply to the general consumer and neither is anything you’ve stated!

            So leave you’re ego at the door and start realizing there’s a real difference from what you’re proposing and what the average consumer will be willing to accept!

            A DIY mentality is admirable but it’s not practical to expect that when applied to the average lay person, which again I have to point out just want something that works out of the box and doesn’t need any special set up by them!

          9. Mystery solved.

            I looked at your history and you’ve spent your 6 years as a Discus member telling everyone else how deluded, wrong, misinformed, ignorant and confused they are. Your comments finally make sense – they’re always the same bummed out whining no matter what the subject, no matter who you’re responding to.

          10. Sorry but telling people the difference between their fantasies and reality may be bothersome to your ego but misinformation is not something to be proud of spreading!

            In your case you’re confusing a DIY attitude with what a general consumer could possible want to get…

            This isn’t whining, it’s telling the plain honest truth of what people expect and what they’re willing to deal with…

            There are people here who complain just because most of these devices don’t yet offer 4GB of RAM, as the minimum they want to accept, and you want to pretend I’m whining?

            You’re offering them a device that can’t even run Windows or any Windows app, period! Unless you can code you can only run a Linux based OS on it and the GNU/Linux community of desktop users represents less than 2% of the PC user base!

            There are more Chromebook users than GNU/Linux desktop users, outside of the server market anyway, mainly because most people just want something that works out of the box and they don’t have to provide any significant amount of their own tech support…

            Most general consumers want to use popular apps that were made for systems with higher specs than the RPi offers… even mobile devices running Android are quickly pushing specs that could just as easily run a full desktop OS and the demand for RAM for even a light weight OS like Android is quickly being pushed to 4GB of RAM as well…

            It may be a shock to you and not something you’re used to thinking about but this is the reality for the majority of PC users!

            I would personally love it if we could go back to the days where most PC users were also DIY types who wouldn’t shy away from modifying their systems and doing at least some of their own coding but that isn’t the norm anymore…

            It’s just how it is, like it or not… So again, if this had been a discussion about DIY project or similar then your comment would have been appropriate but again that wasn’t what was being discussed here… Try to understand that simple fact!

          11. What you said was misinformation… if you want to believe something fictional instead of reality then that’s you’re call, but you’re not fooling anyone but yourself doing so…

            Facts are facts, this is a article on a PC stick that runs full desktop Windows… the OP wants that type of device but cheaper but your alternative can’t fulfill that role…

            Spin it any way you want, it’s plain you imposed your own desires and pretty much ignored what the OP wants in favor of something you would consider using…

            When confronted and pointed out that your solution was impractical to someone seeking a PC device, you fell back on your ego and refused to accept that there was any logical reason to refute your suggestion despite the very facts listed showing your suggestion plainly would not fulfill what was asked!

            Reality is you’re whining about what modern people want, as you clearly stated you think they have no real reason to want more because you think they can use much less… now that’s ego!

    1. Problem is you’re comparing devices that either are much cheaper to make and offer a lot less or have subsidies that lower the cost more than this device can be lowered without those subsidies…
      So you may be right, but it’s not like the OEM can do much about it… They’re intended for a niche market anyway… So only people who fit that niche are going to be really interested and it’s up to them as to whether the price is right or not…

        1. I wouldn’t call that getting ripped, but despite that you’re not alone in thinking these devices may be still too high priced… I’m just pointing out you’re not comparing them to equivalent products and niche products don’t necessarily have to follow the more mainstream status quo…

          There is also the chicken or the egg, which comes first argument… as many times products like these are higher priced because they’re not going to be sold in large quantities and until they do it’s hard to lower the price but it’s also harder to sell because of the higher price… thus hard for it to change…

          1. I doubt Microcenter makes a single $1 on Winbook tablets. They’re meant to have customers come in and buy other things, like the cases, keyboard for the 10.1, MicroSD cards and impulse buys from the store.

            So I would really look more at the offerings from Dell, HP etc. A 7″ or 8″ at $100 is likely making a little something for the manuf. Remove the screen and the device should run $15-$20 cheaper so I would say the perfect price point for one of these sticks is $70-$80. The sub $100 price point is def. a sweet spot, but all these manuf. know that offering it at sub $200 is still pretty attractive since they are, after all, full computers on a hdmi stick.

          2. If only it could work that way but it doesn’t… Tablets get subsidized, which means it’s actually cheaper to make a tablet than a PC Stick, which doesn’t get subsidized…

            Intel is working on even cheaper SoCs that won’t need subsidies to compete but it’ll be another year before we see them come to market…

            Right now, the cheapest option is the SoFIA (x3) SoCs but those are primarily for mobile device usage… specifically phones and tablets that’ll be running a mobile OS like Android, etc. but not a desktop OS…

            While Cherry Trail reduces the need for subsidies but it’ll still lean on them until next year’s Goldmont based updates come out…

            We’ll likely also have to wait for LP-DDR4 to start replacing LP-DDR3 before we see higher RAM capacities offered more regularly and it won’t be until the Goldmont based updates until the eMMC 5.0 specification will get adopted and we can see faster eMMC drives used in these devices…

            Though, we’ll likely see a more expensive Core M based PC stick offered before then but don’t expect it to be as small and compact as these Bay Trail based versions…

  2. So this one is the cheap version of Intel’s Compute Stick with the same specs (but comes with Microsoft 365 free trial)?

    1. 3 month free trial instead of a year, just to be specific, but otherwise correct…

  3. I can’t help but wonder how big the market really is for these computer-on-a-stick devices. While it is cool to be able to turn any HDMI equipped display into a computer, these devices are limited. Slow processors, small amounts of RAM and storage, no real expansion capabilities, etc. limit their usefulness. “Real” computers are available in fairly small form factors (Intel NUC for example) that have much greater capabilities. Most can be attached to a VESA mount to take up 0 space on a desktop or HDTV stand.

    1. Can’t agree. For 80% of users a full browser (Edge, Chrome, Firefox) is all they’ll need. The issue as such is the lack of (built-in) ports for standard USB keyboards and mice.

      1. Part of my point was limited expansion. Printers, scanners, external speakers, web cams, additional storage, etc. could all be attached via a powered hub but I have yet to see one of these with USB 3 and would not want to run a full setup with only USB 2. I agree most people don’t need a lot of computing power but I also think 2 GB of RAM is not enough.

        1. I view it as an alternative to a Roku stick, that gives someone a little more flexibility than a Roku. If the tv is hanging on a wall, it is convenient to stick in a hdmi port.

        2. There really isn’t a lot of USB 3 devices I’d need. Hard drive maybe, that’s it. And that’s not a deal breaker to me. Plugging 4x USB 2.0 devices into a USB 3.0 port is no faster then a USB 2.0 port. Just how USB works.

        3. More than 2GB is only needed to run more powerful productivity apps… it’s fine for Office and other basic needs… or if you need to use more than light multitasking…

          Mind, running modern Windows isn’t like running… say Vista… when running a desktop OS involved a lot of bloat and inefficient use of resources…

          While a lot of RAM won’t change the performance of the SoC… It really only makes sense to want more RAM on a more powerful device that can make real use of it…

          The limiting bottleneck of the eMMC is more a limiting factor than anything else for this device but there’s not much they can do about that until Goldmont architecture takes over and they advance the eMMC to the 5.0 specification…

          Anyway, we shouldn’t expect a device intended for a niche range of usages to offer everything we may want from a PC… it would be nice but I think we’re still a year away before they can start offering something better… unless the Core M version comes out sooner of course…

        4. can agree 🙂 … 4Gb should be the minimum for these devices even if they’re ‘only’ being used as web terminals.

      2. use a usb hub with these and you are in the game. one at work, one at home. you also might want to use these as remotely controlled tiny workstations eg in a lab environment. there are a lot of practical uses.

    2. Well if a person only needs one computer, then the market will be small. But Apple proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that people want more than one computer, as millions lined up to buy a pocket computer to use as a “phone”.

      For me personally, if my HTPC ever died, I would buy some sort of compute stick to replace it. As long as it can do h.264 @1080p, I can use it for streaming (Steam home streaming or video streaming).

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