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Tiny computer just may be the perfect streaming stick as it's upgradeable to Windows 10 and can use the Android Play Store

If you thought Raspberry Pi, ASUSTek Computer Inc.'s (TPE:2357) "Chromebox", or the Intel Corp. (INTC) Windows "NUC" micro-PC (Haswell-based) were small, wait until you see Windows 10 on a stick.

The device hasn't been officially announced, but has popped up on China's largest ecommerce portal Alibaba (Alibaba Holdings Group Ltd. (BABA)) and its sister site, Aliexpress.  While it's long been possible to create a bootable partition with Windows 8 or Linux on a USB stick, the new product takes things to the next level integrating a full-fledged PC on a USB stick.  Some may recall this was the original form factor targeted by Raspberry Pi before things ballooned slightly size-wise to keep on budget.

The device's title appears to be "Meego Pad", which seems to suggest it might contain the Meego variant of Linux that Intel Corp. (INTCseemingly renounced after Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V), its partner in crime, bailed on it.  But Meego fans shouldn't get their hopes up as that distribution is still officially dead (albeit living in on in Jolla's Sailfish OS).
Sell Mini PC

Rather it appears that a Chinese retailer named "Meego Pad" has taken up the defunct moniker and is now selling devices -- mostly Windows notebooks (like this one from Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN)) and tablets under the somewhat misleading brand name.  A Chinese website (English language) claims Meego Pad is still somewhat tied to Intel, writing:

Part of MeeGo's original team again work with Intel and are launching MeeGo Pad.  The first MeeGo Pad has launched on the EU market, and going to launch the Chinese local market this May. 

But suffice it to say, confusing naming convention aside, this has nothing to do with the Meego Linux operating system, as far as we know.

Neowin claims that the stick is an official Intel-commissioned design.  It writes:

The HDMI stick featured on Alibaba and Aliexpress is supposedly listed by the OEM, who is manufacturing the device on behalf of Intel.

The accuracy of this is unclear, as there's been no official announcement from Intel.  A flier on AliExpress seems to lend some credence to that claim:

Sell Mini PC
[Image Source: AliExpress.com]

What we do know is that the device carries "Intel Inside" markings, and is based on the year-old tablet variant of the 22 nm Atom CPU line (codename: Bay Trail-T).  Here's what we know about the spec:
  • Price: $71 USD (bulk) or $110 USD (single) + shipping ($15) (32-bit version??)
  • Weight: 46 g (1.6 oz.)
  • Dimensions: 99.6 x 37.6 x 9.6 mm (3.921 x 1.480 x 0.386 in.)
  • SoC: Intel Z3735F (64-bit) or Z3735G (32-bit) (Bay Trail-T) (a tablet-aimed SoC)
    • 2 W TDP
    • 22 nm FinFET process
    • CPU: 4x Silvermont cores @ 1.33-1.83 GHz
    • GPU: Intel HD graphics / 6 execution units / same proprietray iGPU as in Ivy Bridge PC chips
  • Memory: 1 GB DDR3L-1333 DRAM (for 32-bit chip) or 2 GB (for 64-bit chip)
  • Storage:
    • Built-in: 16/32 GB (eMMC4.5)
    • External: microSD card reader
  • Connectivity:
    • Wired:
      • 2x micro-USB ports
      • HDMI port
    • Wireless:
      • Bluetooth 4.0
      • IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Power:
    • Total TDP: 10 W
    • Power button on side of stick
    • External AC power adapter
The price is a bit unclear, as the listing on AliExpress mentions two hardware configurations (one is a 32-bit Atom chip, the other is a nearly identical 64-bit Atom chip), but does not mention which is the one being sold.

This PC stick in some regards competes with Google Inc.'s (GOOG) $35 USD Chromecast stick, Roku's Gen. 2 Streaming Stick ($49 on Amazon), the Mozilla MatchStick [$12 on Kickstarter (50% off)], and Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) $60 USD Wireless Display Adapter, as all of these products can be plugged in to a USB-capable flatscreen display to offer streaming entertainment.

AliExpress, lists the PC as being named the "Sell Mini PC".

Sell Mini PC
[Image Source: Alibaba]

Clearly the Bay Trail stick PC is more expensive than the rest of the streaming stick crew, but it also has the advantage of being a full-fledged PC with a decently powerful processor.  It has the ability to run a variety of operating systems, including Windows, Ubuntu Linux, or Google Android Linux.  AliExpress writes that it ships with dual-boot Windows 8.1 and Android (apparently making liberal use of both Microsoft and Google's respective freeware licensing permissions by calling itself a "tablet").

Sell Mini PC
[Image Source: Alibaba]
 
It's upgradeable to Windows 10 and it can access the Google Play Store (for now, at least).  The version of Android is not mentioned, but presumable it should be upgradeable to Android 5.0 "Lollipop" shortly. 

Sources: AliExpress, Alibaba, via Neowin





"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki













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