Getting an instant computer nowadays is a breeze thanks to the innovative devices called computer sticks. All you need is a display added into the mix to get a full-blown computer on the go. Most people in need of a portable PC choose laptops but they can still take a lot of space. If you need to do some basic computing tasks and want the most portable option out there, you can’t go wrong with these powerful little devices. A solid computer stick can be taken in your pocket wherever you go while also delivering enough performance to handle presentations, video chat and multimedia streaming among others. You can read my other articles about the best external cd and dvd drives or about the best capture cards.
In this list, the best PC sticks on the market have been thoroughly researched and analyzed. The final verdict is that they are all worth their money but the needs they cover are all quite different. The required budget is also not the same. There isn’t a perfect computer stick for everyone but you can find yours here as the options presented are varied and focused on quality and reliability above everything else. It’s always a satisfying feeling knowing that you made a great purchase so if this sounds good to you, then check out these cost-effective products below.
The Asus Chromebit CS10 is the smallest Chrome OS device in the world measuring only 4.8 inches. It’s capable of turning any large monitor or TV into a powerful computer with ease. All your portable computing needs can be efficiently satisfied with the help of this little device. Looking at its attractive price, this is definitely one of the best computer sticks out there.
One of the most appealing features of this PC stick is the quick and hassle-free way you use it. Just plug the CS10 into the HDMI port of your display and explore the possibilities. Pair it with a wireless keyboard and mouse to have a fully functional computer with dozens of apps accessible from the Chrome Web Store.
The design seems to be one of the strongest points of the Asus Chromebit. Due to its compact build, it fits smartly anywhere. Embodying the best of Asus and Google design innovation, this gadget received a 2016 CES Innovation Award.
In terms of performance, the CS10 is equipped with a reliable 1.8 GHz RockChip which together with 2GB RAM and 16 GB of storage create a powerful package. Chrome OS is very fast as it boots up in seconds and is capable of providing Full HD graphics performance. The CS10 has networking capabilities thanks to the dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
This computer stick comes with built-in security features to ensure that your privacy stays protected. You have the ability to easily switch between accounts as the data is kept separate for individual users, great for shared computers. It will automatically receive the latest updates for virus protection and there’s a minimal performance impact.
The Asus Chromebit CS10 is a perfect companion for your TV as it enables so much more entertaining features. Browsing the web or watching YouTube videos on your TV is now possible enhancing the creativity and productivity of your home.
If we take everything into account, it looks like the Asus Chromebit CS10 is a highly capable computer stick. It can be used for many entertainment purposes though it can provide some computing power for business applications too. All in all, this is a very cost-effective solution for a portable computer that keeps things simple focusing on quality and reliable performance.
- Chrome OS
- Processor: 1.8 GHz Rockchip RK3288
- Dual-band Wi-Fi
- 16 GB Flash storage
- HDMI extender cable included
- Bluetooth 4.0
Best Micro PC Stick
Azulle is a technology company based in the US that has become a very fast growing PC company ever since its inception in 2013. The segment where it manages to reach many satisfied customers is the PC sticks one. Their Quantum Access model is packed with lots of great features perfect for HD streaming and heavy multitasking. Considering the portable design and the price, this product easily managed to gain a spot on this list.
In the era of compact technology, the Quantum Access fits very well considering its small form factor. You can carry this device and access Windows 10 anywhere you go. An Intel Atom 1.33 GHz processor coupled with 2GB of DDR3L RAM should ensure optimal performance. With 32 GB of onboard memory, you can store a decent amount of personal files.
Fueled by a Gen 7 Intel HD Graphics chip, it is ideal for streaming media. Just plug it into an HDMI port and you get instant access to your PC. If you need more connectivity options, this device is surprisingly versatile. It comes with a micro SD card slot beside the usual USB 2.0 port and it also provides a micro USB port.
Streaming videos over a Wi-Fi connection is a really swift experience. This computer stick brings the joy of using a desktop PC to the comfort of your living room. If you have an Office Word license, you can also benefit greatly from this device which offers enough processing power to handle the editing of your documents. To step it up even further, it can be paired with a Bluetooth keyboard for a comfortable navigation.
The convenience of having a mini PC such as the Azulle Quantum Access is difficult to match. It greatly expands your entertainment possibilities when using a TV and thanks to the compact size, you won’t even notice it when it’s connected behind the display. Having a lot of processing power, memory and connectivity features while being equipped with the latest full version of Windows 10, this computer stick represents a very viable option for the money.
- Windows 10
- Intel Atom 1.33 GHz Z3735F Quad-Core processor
- Intel HD Graphics (Gen 7)
- USB 2.0, micro USB ports, micro SD card slot
- 2GB of DDR3L RAM
- 32GB onboard memory
Best PC Stick with Windows
Intel’s CS125 computer stick is a good solution for those looking to maximize their productivity at home or during travels. It features a good set of abilities including a solid Quad-Core Intel Atom processor suitable for more quality entertainment on your TV. Resembling a pack of gum in terms of size, the CS125 can add a lot of convenience in your life and for a very low cost.
A great aspect of this computer stick is how easy it is to set it up. The first step is to connect the device to a display such as a big monitor or a TV using the HDMI connector. This stick extends almost 4 inches out but in case the space behind your display is limited, Intel provides a handy HDMI extender cable in the package. After this is done, all you need to do is connect it to the AC adapter which powers the device. In the final step, you have to follow the simple Windows setup that shows when you start the device for the first time.
Designed with portability in mind, the CS125 can be transported virtually anywhere and easily hidden behind a classroom monitor or a hotel room TV. Pairing it with a wireless keyboard should considerably increase the level of productivity but if you don’t want to buy one, there’s also the option to use an app from Google Play or Apple Store to turn your smartphone into a remote.
Combining an Intel Atom Processor with 2GB RAM and 32GB onboard storage looks promising especially considering the price. At this level of performance, you should be able to perform basic tasks with ease. It may not be ideal for intense multitasking but it allows you to bring that familiar desktop PC experience anywhere you go. That obviously includes access to your favorite content across any platform. If you are tired of slow and clunky smart TV apps and having to deal with a limited selection of apps offered by a streaming stick then the CS125 is an excellent choice.
- Windows 10 (32-bit)
- Quad-Core Intel Atom x5-Z8300 Processor
- 2 GB DDR3L 1600 MHz memory
- USB 3.0 & USB 2.0 ports
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Intel Dual Band Wireless
- Intel HD graphics
Best Mini PC Stick
The VivoStick TS10 from Asus is a PC in your hand that can be taken everywhere you go where you need desktop-like computing. A very capable Intel Atom processor powers this computer stick which can open up a huge world of computing possibilities. The price is also very reasonable for its features. If you need an ultra-compact PC stick, the TS10 should be strongly considered as an option.
Both in terms of aesthetics and performance, the TS10 is a reliable little device. Hooking it up to a TV is a very simple process and you can watch YouTube videos or your favorite Netflix show much more conveniently without the need to carry a bulky laptop around. Elegantly designed with smooth lines and a shimmer finish, this VivoStick has a beautiful look inspired by a fountain pen.
In the design department everything seems in order so let’s take a more in-depth look at the hardware specs of this computer stick. The 1.4 GHz Intel Atom processor coupled with 2GB of memory makes for a solid combination to do efficient multi-tasking. The 32 GB of onboard storage should be enough for keeping essential files but if it seems too limited, this VivoStick offers 100GB of cloud storage space for free through Asus WebStorage.
The connectivity options are quite varied. For easily navigating the web, the TS10 provides dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and to connect devices wirelessly you’ve got Bluetooth 4.1 available. Matching this PC stick with a good Bluetooth keyboard is pretty much required to be able to enjoy the capabilities of this device.
If connecting through USB ports is preferable to you, there’s one 3.0 USB port as well as a 2.0 one. Somehow Asus managed to cram in this little device an audio jack too. Another interesting feature worth mentioning, as an alternative for a keyboard, is the way you can use the Asus VivoRemote app to control the VivoStick TS10 using your smartphone like a remote keyboard and mouse.
To conclude this review, the Asus VivoStick is an extremely reliable choice for everyone trying to save some space and still get a lot of work done. Besides the basic operation of a normal PC, you also have solid entertainment functions for streaming content and playing Xbox One games. Overall, this is a recommended option considering the balanced price for the features.
- Quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor
- Bluetooth 4.1
- 1x USB 2.0 + 1x USB 3.0 ports
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- ASUS VivoRemote app
- Windows 10 operating system
The Intel Compute Stick CS325 is the big brother of the previously reviewed CS125, and represents a better solution if you want more performance and have a bigger budget. It comes with Windows 10 pre-installed and is built with Intel Core m3-6Y30, a faster CPU offering the ideal balance of performance and efficiency to maintain a solid level of productivity.
Compared to the CS125, this one has faster Wi-Fi and double the storage capacity for more media content. It also has a lot more to offer performance-wise thanks to the better Intel m3 processor and the incorporated graphics chip that provides a great 4K home media experience. With the help of Bluetooth 4.2, you can easily hook up wireless peripherals or transfer files from a smartphone.
Besides wireless connectivity options, the Intel also comes with three USB 3.0 ports though only one is actually present on the device itself, the other two can be found on the power adapter. The 4GB of RAM really makes a difference compared to 2GB giving you a level of performance better resembling the one from a desktop PC.
Having all this firepower in such a small device is quite the achievement. The amazing versatility of plugging it into basically any kind of TV or monitor is a huge plus for any computer stick but actually having some powerful hardware to handle more complex tasks is like a dream come true.
Connect and compute, this is Intel’s motto when it comes to PC sticks and the CS325 seems to fit well into that description. If you are looking for a truly reliable space-saving solution with desktop-like abilities, your safest bet would be choosing an Intel computer stick. It has all the powerful technology ready to be taken anywhere as it’s nicely fitted in a sleek, small package.
- Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor
- 64 GB eMMC device built-in
- Windows 10 (64-bit)
- 4 GB DDR3 1866 MHz dual channel memory
- Bluetooth 4.2
- Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 8260
If more flexibility is what you desire, Intel provides a computer stick that has no OS pre-installed. It delivers the performance of m3 processors and can run any OS you like including any Linux distro you prefer. The lack of a pre-installed operating system means that the price is lower which is definitely a nice bonus, everything else considered.
Relentlessly innovating, Intel has designed a truly capable computer stick in terms of performance. The 2.20 GHz processor turns this little gadget in a true workhorse especially when you take into account the generous amount of RAM 4GB. With 64 GB of storage space, you can fit in more media files and enjoy some quality entertainment almost like on full-sized desktop PC.
In the package for this device, you can discover a nice HDMI extender cable which can be helpful when your HDMI ports are difficult to access. There is no audio jack which is a small downside but Wi-Fi seems to be very reliable. Bluetooth too works as expected. It delivers a very high level of flexibility and performance.
Pairing this device with a capable wireless touch keyboard will maximize the overall productivity obtained through this computer stick. If you find yourself in a hotel room with a TV you can easily transform that into your personal computer and comfortably access your favorite media files or do some important work.
Delivering amazing performance for the size, this Intel Mini PC Stick is another great computer stick worth checking out. The lack of an audio jack could be considered a downside but overall, this device is an excellent solution for most personal computing needs without sacrificing too much space. An absolutely must-have for getting the best performance per money ratio.
- Intel Core m3-6Y30 Processor 2.2 GHz
- 4 GB RAM
- 64 GB storage capacity
- 1 USB 3.0 port
- AC Wifi
A nice solution for tighter budgets is the Lenovo Ideacentre Stick 300, a pocket-sized PC which can be plugged into any TV or monitor that supports a HDMI connection. It has many uses, including as a versatile media center or an essential business tool. Fairly priced and with a very small size, this PC stick is sure to appeal to many people ready to embrace the age of compact technology.
Bringing computing power to many locations is not a very simple thing nowadays, but thanks to devices like the Ideacentre 300, which measures only 4.7 inches, you can finally have the freedom to enjoy a Windows 10 PC everywhere. Any HDMI TV or monitor can become a full PC in just a few steps. Your on-the-go presentations can now be done more conveniently.
With a solid Intel Atom processor and 2GB RAM, this Lenovo is not only limited to basic tasks. It packs a solid punch to enjoy your favorite media during your travels. By connecting it to a display, it offers the ability to stream movies and music or video chat quickly and efficiently. It may not be that well suited for gaming or more intensive tasks but it’s a decent entertainment option.
Due to its amazing portability, the Ideacentre 300 represents an excellent solution for students as they can transport assignments, homework, and presentations without lugging around a heavy laptop. The 32GB of memory is enough for storing some files but there is the possibility to extend it by connecting an external hard drive or using USB flash drives.
Considering the solid specs for such a low price, getting one these is simply a no-brainer. The Lenovo Ideacentre 300 also has a little fan that keeps the CPU temps a bit under control. This device will give you the ultimate portable PC experience at a very low price. If you intend to get a second PC without spending like you would on a full-sized desktop, then this computer stick is a good recommendation I can make.
- Intel Atom Z3735F 1.33 GHz
- 32GB eMMC
- 2GB DDR3L 1333 MHz
- Windows 10 Home, 32-bit
- Bluetooth 4.0
Another decent option for those on the hunt for a fully-featured mini PC, the Aminzer W5 brings good value for its price tag. An entertainment little box, the W5 is built in a user-friendly manner and geared towards on the go users considering the portable form. It runs Windows 10 Home Edition straight from the box and it relies on a little but powerful Intel Atom 1.83 GHz processor.
If turning almost every display you stumble upon into a full-blown desktop computer sounds interesting, then you will be very pleased by a computer stick such as this one. The fact that the W5 has Windows 10 pre-installed is a great thing, adding to the overall convenience of having a fast and smooth running device right out of the box.
Those concerned about performance should know that Amnizer equipped this device with 2GB RAM besides the Intel Atom CPU. This combination guarantees a reasonably smooth operating experience though it’s still noticeably slower than the average desktop PC. In case you are wondering, it does play 1080p YouTube videos but any more demanding multitasking operations will be too much to handle well.
Boasting Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth, it seems a reliable solution to get more out of your computer stick.
You can connect wireless peripherals to complete the package and get the best portable PC experience possible.
Setting up this PC stick is intuitive, plugging it in a display and booting up goes without any problems. For some light office computing, works extremely well especially if you are low on space.
The Aminzer W5 can cover the needs of most customers and adds more convenience for managing the space of your workspace or during travels thanks to the reduced size. Even if you don’t expect much at this price range, the possibility for this to exceed your expectations is pretty high. The device has some great specs overall though perhaps more RAM would be welcomed for multitasking. Worth the money all things considered.
- Windows 10 Home Edition OS
- 32GB Flash Memory
- 2GB RAM
- Atom Z3735F CPU
- IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.0