Over the past year we’ve seen a number of PC-on-a-stick computers, including models from Chinese companies like MeegoPad and Mele and bigger names like Intel and Lenovo.

Now Asus is launching its first Windows PC-on-a-stick, and it’s one of the most interesting models I’ve seen so far.

The Asus VivoStick PC features an Intel Atom Cherry Trail processor and more ports than you get with most devices in this category.

vivostick_03

The VivoStick PC measures 5.4″ x 1.3″ x 0.6″, making it small enough to hold in one hand or slide into your pocket. But plug the VivoStick PC into the HDMI port of your TV and it becomes a full-fledged (albeit low-power) Windows desktop computer.

This model features an HDMI connector, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, a micro USB port (for power) and a mic/headphone headset jack.

One thing that this model doesn’t have? A microSD card slot.

Asus says the VivoStick PC will be priced at $129, but no release date has been announced yet.

This isn’t the first PC-on-a-stick Asus has revealed. In March the company unveiled the Asus Chromebit, a $100 Chrome OS computer-on-a-stick. But that model’s still not available for purchase yet.

Update: Asus originally told us the VivoStick would have one USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port, but that spec has since been changed to reflect the fact that the PC stick will feature two USB 2.0 ports. 

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37 replies on “Asus VivoStick is a $129 Cherry Trail PC stick”

  1. 32 GB is not enough nowadays. If I want to watch a Blu-Ray iso, it can be 40 Gb, 60 Gb…
    And WiFi may not be fast enough to send such a large file without stopping the movie from playing.
    And its dimensions… I thought it would be smaller. Oversized usb stick, that is.

  2. I think there is some debate here about whether there is in fact a USB 3.0 port on this at all. If anyone can see a USB 3.0 from the official photos, do tell. Some spec releases have stated 2 x USB 2.0. As Grant mentioned, the interference issue with mice and keyboard is fact, no fiction. To that point, thanks Grant because that clarifies some issues I’ve been having with a mouse and keyboard and lag. I can see the culprit now!

        1. Go check Asus.com for the USB ports. IT DOESN’T HAVE USB 3.0. Nothing like pumping out incorrect specs sheet which Asus has done many times in the past. https://www.asus.com/Stick-PCs/VivoStick-PC-TS10/specifications/ Beyond that, I don’t see USB 3.0 port in the product photo which clearly shows the USB ports. Blue, I don’t see blue unless USB 3.0 now shows in non blue color also. Asus have to tighten things up. Jesus. (I think it’s called flubbing it and this goes beyond this media press release you’ve shown above). Who says Asus.com is right? Perhaps it’s going to come with 2 x 3.0 USB ports. Anything is possible and honestly, I support Asus but I could list a fair number of pretty major flubs in the past few months.

          1. Well, Asus is also known to change specs before final release… both ports being USB 2.0 is what was originally reported but it’s possible they changed their minds and simply haven’t updated the product page yet…

            They do have the disclaimer on there…

            All specifications are subject to change without notice. Please check with your supplier for exact offers. Products may not be available in all markets.

            Specs, for Asus, are also known to change depending on which region/market they are selling the product… So the US may be getting a different version from the original design…

            But, yeah, barring any new revelation it’s likely they’ll stick to the original released specs and Asus recent track record hasn’t been good… though, that new router they’re showing off at IFA looks interesting…

          2. Thanks for the link. I just emailed my contact to see if I can get clarification.

            Sometimes things are a bit fuzzy when they’re announced months before launch. It’s possible they haven’t finalized the design yet.

  3. A really nice positive for it is the headphone jack. That makes it really useful for music playback. Alot of people buy the Airport Express, and set it up as a remote iTunes client, for streaming music to their stereo. This is a pretty cost effective alternative that adds ALOT more functionality.

  4. I don’t think the card reader is too big a deal since it has a USB 3 and USB 2 ports. The 2 gets a wireless mouse/keyboard dongle and the 3 gets a thumb drive or external hard drive.
    Or for $130 all in it might be a nice HTPC paired with some kind of local server.

    1. Expect to see some nice keyboard/trackpad combo devices. Either that or the Asus app might suffice.

    2. Logitech K400 is a pretty good keyboard mouse combo.

      My only concern is the radio interference caused by USB 3.0. Its going to affect the range of any wireless accessories, and 2.4ghz Wifi too.

      1. I have a k400 and it’s a great little combo keyboard – especially for the price. I have thought about upgrading for a back-light though.
        I’m not too worried about usb 3 interference. Something to keep an eye out for though. Will be very curious to see reviews when they come.

    3. If it’s will be powered via micro USB it can affect the performance and output current of the USB 3.0? Probably it will be limited, right?

  5. It’s good to see Cherry Trail devices around $100, makes me hopeful for $150-ish tablets coming soon. Because so far everything seems to be in the $300 neighborhood.

    1. Except that PC sticks don’t need an IPS touch sceen display, Gorilla Glass protection, a long lasting lithium ion battery, WiFi, GPS, etc. etc.

      1. The Bay Trail sticks cost just about the same, and that was from Chinese manufacturers not name brand companies, and the equivalently powered tablets were equal in price to the HDMI sticks.
        So it’s not unreasonable to think that the low end Cherry Trail tablets will come in at about the same as the sticks, just like the Bay Trails did.
        And just for reference, 8″ 720p IPS displays are $12, $20-$25 for 1920×1200 and prismatic Li-Po cells are $1 per watt.

  6. This seems really interesting, compared to the Intel Compute Stick.

    The lack of MicroSD is a major flaw. I really don’t mind buying a 1TB hdd, mounting it in my server, and simply sharing it over the network. However, that only is good for media, and individual files. It doesn’t work for installing software. And it still isn’t a portable solution.

    1. ACTUALLY… You can use it for apps.
      One of the most under-utilized aspects of Terminal Services in the windows Platform is RemoteApps. Everyone knows what Remote Desktop is, but whenever I explain Remote Apps they look at me like I have a third head.
      https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/Cc755055.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

      Granted this would not work too well for HC Gaming, but thats not what this stick is for anyway.
      Ive used it in the past for apps like Photoshop and it does work pretty damn well. Apps in the Office Suite work without a hitch or hickup.

      BTW you dont actually need Windows Server to get this going. It can all run from a Windows Client, with a few tweaks to act as a server.

      1. @Bill, interesting link, but I’m wondering if you could explain in more simpler terms? It sounds interesting to me, and I’ve been a big fan of remote desktop. This remoteapp is a bit of a head scratcher to me. What is HC gaming? I’m all ears if you have any info regarding a home user and setting something like this up and what I might be able to make use of. Thanks!

        1. So basically Remote APP is a feature of terminal services, its basically RemoteDesktop but instead of loading up an entirely separate desktop from the remote host, it loads only a single APP. You can also look into Azure, which is Microsofts Cloud hosted version of this.

          HC Gaming was short for HardCore gaming, ie an FPS or any other game wear reaction time matters a great deal.

          If you want to look into this, have a look at https://geekswithblogs.net/twickers/archive/2009/12/18/137048.aspx

      2. I’ve read about this, but it wouldn’t work for some software I use.

        Even if it works for a particular app, it also isnt a very portable solution. You can probably make it work outside of your LAN, but it would require setting up a Windows Server domain.

        1. No it would simply require a VPN. You can go balls out and do OpenVPN or your can go the simple route with something like hamachi.

          If you dont mind me asking, what kind of apps would be an issue.

      3. This is almost certainly not a Pro version of Windows though. Don’t the basic versions lack Remote Desktop support? If so would they still support Remote Apps?

        1. Yes thats correct, this likely does come with Home.
          With that said there is always the Pro upgrade, though not sure its worth it just for RDP access.
          With that also said, there have always been ways to get RDP working on Home versions. Ive yet to see one for 10 yet, but considering there were options for 8.1, it likely still works or will work soon.

        2. Not exactly, Windows 10 Home has Remote Desktop for connecting to other computers but you can’t remote desktop to Windows 10 Home itself… That requires Windows 10 Pro… So it basically just lacks the ability to be the host…

          But nothing stops you from using a 3rd party solution, if you need to host… and some of them are free and may even be better than the MS utility…

    2. Another concern I have is regarding USB 3.0. Its a nice feature, and I’m happy to see it present. But USB 3.0 is known to emit alot of radio interference over the 2.4ghz band. Intel has a white paper on the subject. https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/universal-serial-bus/usb3-frequency-interference-paper.html

      The range of interference is centered around the USB port. With a device this small, you can be assured the Wifi antenna is pretty close to that USB 3.0 port. Also if you plan on using a wireless keyboard and mouse, range will be affected.

      I’m thinking that if I use a USB 3.0 memory stick, I will have to have a USB 2.0 extension cable to keep my wireless mouse dongle a few feet away from the USB 3.0 port.

    1. You have 2 usb ports, so I figure you can put an SDcard reader there or an external HD. 32GB internal flash memory in it. Not too bad actually, it’s a good tradeoff.

      1. @Bill, hell ya! I’m getting more impressed with the adapters and attachments that are coming out. You can piece things together and limitations are going out the door. That is a sweet looking storage solution there!

      2. Yo dawg we heard you like USB sticks so we plugged a USB stick into your USB stick.

        1. Would have worked if the main device was a USB stick or if you had worded it as follows…

          Yo dawg we heard you like USB sticks so we plugged a USB stick into your PCstick

          Alas you did not!

          1. Well, it’s a stick, and it’s got USB ports on it… Call it artistic license. The meme requires one to a into your .

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