Archos is the latest company to introduce a tiny Windows computer-on-a-stick. Plug the Archos PC Stick into the HDMI port on your TV or monitor and you’ve basically got a full-fledged (if low-power) desktop computer. All you need to complete the package is a keyboard, mouse, or wireless control.
So how is the Archos PC Stick different from the Intel Compute Stick or Lenovo IdeaCentre Stick? It’s cheaper.
Archos says its PC stick will sell for about $99.
That makes the Archos PC Stick about $50 cheaper than an Intel Compute Stick with similar specs and $30 cheaper than Lenovo’s PC stick.
Like those devices, the Archos PC Stick features an Intel Atom Z3735F Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a microSD card slot, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a full-sized USB port. There’s an HDMI connector on one end which you can plug directly into your display.
The stick measures about 4.5″ x 1.5″ x 0.6″ and weighs just over 2 ounces.
This isn’t the first Windows PC-on-a-stick to be priced below $100. There are a handful of similarly-priced devices available form Chinese companies. But the Archos PC Stick is one of the first in this price range that’s likely to be sold directly by US retailers (which means you probably won’t need to buy one that ships directly from China).
Archos says the PC Stick will ship with Windows 10 software, which means it probably won’t be available until after July 29th (when Microsoft officially releases the operating system).
This sounds like an interesting hacking device that you can just plug into a Flat screen that not even the cleaning lady touches. I can’t wait to see it happening on a Hollywood film.
Thanks all for the comments to my question. I appreciate that. What I have seen is that it’s not for me and as a gadget fan I can wait for more since the form factor of my current devices are perfect for me now! I see yet another PC on a stick article is up on Liliputing!
$99 for pc add $109 for windows.. 20 years ago we pay same price for windows 98. Now with some additional features we must have to pay again.
Windows is included in the $99 price… OEMs don’t pay retail price for Windows!
Besides, the performance of this PC stick is also higher than a desktop from back when Windows 98 was released and you would have paid a heck of lot more than $99 for it all…
So let’s not compare apples and oranges of clearly different products from very different times!
I have the same question for all these devices….can I replace Windows with a Linux distro?…in my case, Linux Mint 17.1 – 32 bit.
Me too. They would make great little Linux servers.
Depends on the flexibility of the FW settings… but a modern distro that is known to work with UEFI, some even work with Secure Boot enabled, and if you can get all the proper drivers then yes… You can run a Linux distro on these devices…
The Intel PC Stick already list Linux support… and the others are using the same SoC model, so it should be the same for all of them…
I am avibalent (sp) on the PC stick. Why would your average person want it? I mean I can see the probabilities. But right now you can get a chromebook for $50 more with a screen, keyboard and peripheral connections outlets! With a pc stick, you will either have to count on the peripheral devices being available at your destination or somewhere in your route. Sure you can buy sub-par bluetooth devices, but then there are bateries to worry about or cables to charge with. I guess I still do not see the use of it so it’s not for me. I have three tablets, two laptops, different sizes, and two pc connected to my 23in screen! If I travel I can and do take one of my chinese android tabs and my windows rt tab. That along with my Note 3 is all I belive I will ever need anywhere I go!
Sounds like a very cool setup. I have always wanted to read more on alternative setups like that.
Someone would consider one of these for the same reason they may want a Roku stick or Amazon Fire TV stick, which is the convenience of sticking it it in a hdmi port on a TV which may be hanging on a wall, and for the convenience of being able to easily relocate it to another tv.
You’re right… not an average person would. But I think there are cases to be made when these things become more powerful. For example, my office is starting to roll out Chromeboxes in conference rooms to remove the need for laptops. This unfortunately doesn’t account for the fact that ChromeOS does not support a remote desktop system for Linux (that’s not Chrome remote desktop). If i recall part of the marketing was that staff would also not need to carry laptops. They bring this pocket sized device home as opposed to a laptop. This can likely be a security measure to reduce the number of devices an employee carries.
The other appeal (again to niche users) is the fact that it’s intel… and not an ARM device. Before Steam announced the Steam Link (yet to be on the market) this was the smallest product capable of in home streaming. Chromeboxes were still quite big. Also while ARM support is gaining momentum in the linux world, many packages out there are still only packed for intel hardware. Eg, you couldn’t install plex media server on any ARM device.
I can see a lot of people buying something along these lines. I run some ChromeOS and some Android and some Linux. But every once in a while you still need to get some little thing done and this company or that only makes the software for Mac/Windows.
Currently I have an older Windows system in the house too as somebody around here insists on using some software it contains which they’ve used since the Great Flood. So I can always tap that when I just need a Windows machine for five minutes to do something.
Without that old Windows computer (or with it getting older and older and older) I might well consider some cheap quasi-capable Windows device of some kind. This might just fill the bill at this price.
Of course I’ll probably turn it on twice a year and wait 45 minutes for Windows Update to tell me it doesn’t have enough space on the disc to update the device…
these could possibly replace thin clients that are bigger in size, more expensive and often have worse specs. As for the USB port, one could always get a ac-powered usb hub .
I can’t tell you why “your average person” would want a Windows HDMI Stick, i can tell you why i would want one though.
As a Digital Nomad, working in company office space in different locations, I’d much rather use “Windows on a Stick” that brings its own Hardware with a reliable Level of Performance than the USB-bootable Windows on a Thumbdrive you get from Win8.1 Enterprise. Not every PC reliably works with those, and not everywhere you go has a PC to plug into, but almost everywhere you go has Flatcscreen TVs.
Comming into an Office, pulling out your whole PC, literally from your Pants Pocket, and then just start working with all your Applications, Settings and Files present without the need to use painfully slow Remote Sessions could be a Gamechanger.
Sure you can argue that you can achive the same with a personal laptop, but a laptop is less portable because of size and weight, and there are scenarios where you are not allowed to bring any devices with cameras into certain areas, that includes Smartphones and Laptops, because you can hardly find any these days that don’t have webcams in them.
Another Scenario is doing a presentation for a Client on one of their TVs without having to rely on Mobile / stripped Down Versions of Presentation Software with the same advantages as Scenario 1.
Lastly as a Business Traveller, this looks like a perfect litle device. If you’re staying in a Hotelroom with a modern TV. After a hard day, you can just plug one of these into it, get out your folding portable Keyboard+Trackpad/-point Combo, use your phone as a mobile Hotspot and can either relax to media of your choice or still get some more work done without the need to bring your Laptop and with the added bonus of a much lager screen than a laptop can provide and still be called portable.
These are just 3 things off the top of my head that i’d use this for, and for which there didn’t really exist a viable alternative before this type of device.
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