|Wireless Type||802.11 a/b/g/n|
|Number of USB 2.0 Ports||1|
Intel Compute Stick CS125 Computer with Intel Atom x5 Processor and Windows 10 (BOXSTK1AW32SC)
|Price:||$126.99 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Quad-Core Intel Atom x5-Z8300 Processor
- Windows 10 (32-bit)
- Intel HD graphics
- 2 GB DDR3L 1600 MHz soldered down single-channel memory
- Integrated Wireless 802.11ac (Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265)
- One USB 3.0 and One USB 2.0
- Bluetooth 4.0
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From the manufacturer
We are all different, everyone likes things to be their way. Add more storage, connect peripherals, chose content provider, play, learn, tweet, surf, create. It’s a PC - you get to decide what you want. No strings attached.
Want to bring all your favorite TV shows, music, and more to the big screen? Don’t want to fight with slow and clunky smart TV apps or be limited by the select apps a media streaming stick can offer? The Intel Compute Stick brings the familiar PC experience you know and love to your TV. The Intel Compute Stick is a single device that can access your content across any platform: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, iTunes, and more!
The Intel Compute Stick is about the size of a pack of gum. Slip it in your pocket and simply plug and play wherever you go. Hide the Intel Compute Stick behind your classroom monitor or tuck behind your hotel room’s TV. Don’t have room to pack a keyboard? Use one of the many apps on Google Play or the Apple store, like Intel Remote Keyboard, and turn your smartphone or tablet into a remote.
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A new way to plug into home entertainment, the Intel Compute Stick lets you transform any HDMI display into a full computer. Loaded with Windows 10 and ready to go out-of-the-box, the newly redesigned Intel Compute Stick has a quad-core Intel Atom x5 processor for the performance, quality, and value you expect from Intel.
Top customer reviews
I plugged it into my TV and turned it on and .... Nothing, it didn't boot into Windows. It looked like it was going to but the screen just went black and stayed that way. I turned it off and back on and it showed the boot screen and went black and again just stayed that way. I thought well it doesn't have a lot of power maybe it will just take a minute to get going, I gave it ten minutes....but no windows. I tried this a few more times and then I said screw it and was going to pack it up and send it back, but decided to see if I could get get it to run through a factory reset first. I turned it on again and pushed F11 and got into the recovery and ran a complete factory reset.
Now the Positive.
That did the trick, it booted into Windows and set up quickly and is running smoothly now. I am using it to replace my WDlive hub that recently bit the dust. I just use it to stream media online (Amazon prime, YouTube....) or over plex with my main house computer. It holds the wifi connection fine (most of the time) had a little bit of trouble so I have decided to get a usb to Ethernet port / USB HUB to hard wire the internet contention and give me three usb3 ports for extras...to power my Bluetooth speaker, and connect an external hard drive for more space, 32 gigs minus the 10+ used by the operating system just fills up too fast. This has two USB ports one usb2 and one usb3. I have a wireless keyboard hooked up to the USB2 port and will hook the Ethernet / USB HUB to the USB3 PORT. This also has a micro SD card slot that will take up to 128 gigs. Might get one if the external hard drive lags.
Bottom line, I'm glad I kept it. I would have given it five stars if it had worked properly out of the box.
As for every day users.. if you need to just watch netflix, look at pictures, do some minor editing of documents/spreadsheets, or just surf the web. Don't waste your money on a full blown desktop, or even a NUC. This has all the performance you need.
**** BE WARNED **** This comes with 32bit windows 10. Even though it's a 64 bit chip, the OS is the 32-bit edition. The asus vivostick with a similar chip comes with the 64bit version.
--USB 3.0. Using this port poses real problems. Many USB 3.0 devices when directly connected cause the WiFi system to completely stop working, as if some WiFi on/off switch had been switched to off. The system does recognize the USB 3.0 device that is plugged in to the port, there's just no WiFi. When the device is removed from the port, WiFi returns automatically and functions as well as before. I should add that it is not a matter of WiFi signal strength. My laptop, phone, and tablet all continue to report strong signals and continue to work well when the Compute Stick WiFi is down. See below for my work-arounds.
--Display Set Up. For my older Sony HDMI 50" digital TV the Intel graphics setup control panel window calls for a default native resolution of 1920 x 1080. However, the video image that is displayed over fills the physical screen, as if the driver thinks I have a 55" TV, not 50". After some trial and error I found that a 1600 x 900 alternate resolution is the best compromise. Essentially I now have a 44" display on my 50" TV. I should note that the video from my cable box and dvd player both automatically fit to the screen exactly without any adjustment on my part. Intel support responded, "We have heard that some TV models don’t communicate well with the compute stick. In this case you need to contact the TV manufacturer to get assistance." My feeling is if Intel knows there is a problem, Intel should solve the problem.
--The 'C' Drive. The 'C' drive is hard wired into the Compute Stick. By itself that's not a problem for me. My problem is that it's only 32GB. Memory chips are tiny. Why there isn't something like 128GB is very puzzling. If it had raised the price a few dollars, I would pay it. I have installed the maximum allowed 128GB micro SD card in the available slot. Now I must fuss with set ups to make sure the SD card is used as much as possible.
So those were the rants. Now onto better stuff.
About the USB 3.0. I found that by using a 3-foot USB 3.0 m/f extension cable, Cable Matters 2 Pack, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Type A Male to Female Extension Cable in Black 3 Feet, the WiFi problem was pretty much resolved. The Intel brochure recommends that all USB connections be made with powered hubs. A powered USB 3.0 hub Anker USB 3.0 7-Port Hub with 1 BC 1.2 Charging Port up to 5V 1.5A, 12V 3A Power Adapter Included [VIA VL812-B2 Chipset] Black however, when connected directly to the USB 3.0 port on the Compute Stick, brought the WiFi down. When the hub is connected via the 3-foot extension, everything works fine and WiFi stays up and running. I tested a 4GB video file transfer from a USB 3.0 SSD drive connected to the hub to the micro SD card installed on the Compute Stick. It clocked at about 50 Mb/s. I have a couple of 6-inch extension cables on order to see if the length of the extension matters, and will update the review when I have something to report. More precise guidance from Intel would be very helpful. I could find none on their support site.
I am using a Logitech K400 combination keyboard and touch pad (which I had left over from another project), with a unifying receiver in the USB 2.0 port and it works well. It appears that the keyboard must be turned on before the compute stick is turned on. Otherwise the unifying receiver must be removed from the port and then re-inserted. The system also works with Bluetooth keyboards, but I have not tested any. The Intel support site describes a bios upgrade that allows a bluetooth keyboard to interact with the Compute Stick while it boots. It then lists several tested bluetooth keyboards that work with the upgrade. Some do not. There is also Android and Apple software that reportedly allows the Compute Stick to be controlled from smart phones and tablets. Again, untested, but I plan to give it a try sometime. Until I need the USB 2.0 port for something I'll probably stick with the Logitech.
This unit comes with 32bit Windows 10 pre-installed which I like. But it is Windows 10 so there is much early configuring to do. One other comment, the display is a large TV screen. Many of the fonts are too small to read across a room. Windows has adjustments for some but not all. I find myself sometimes holding the keyboard in my hand standing in front of the TV.
I hope to use the device as a streaming machine to my TV to cut down with the hassles involved with other approaches which in some ways may seem simpler but are not if you are able to work with Windows. Early tests with YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Netflix have all been very good. Launch the browser, click on the bookmark, and there it is. Select your video, start, and click full screen. So far the Atom processor has not been a problem.
So, despite the comments above I do want to leave readers with the overall impression that I am pretty darn enthusiastic about this product. It's just that while the box says, "Connect. Compute. It's that simple," it's not quite, "that simple." I wish it were.
And even though it could probably do more, when this thing heats up the processor starts to stumble. Whatever application you're using will start to stutter significantly. I tested it with some very light gaming emulation (NES, SNES, Sega Genesis) but performance lagged after only a few minutes of use. Trying out YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime on Google Chrome had similar result, albeit after a few more minutes of use before the CPU got hot. Word processing using LibreOffice - same, just took longer to heat up and fail once again.
If Intel could perfect the cooling it would get a far better grade from me.