Intel’s Compute Stick may get competition from Lenovo, which is moving into the tiny PC business. Lenovo will offer its device at lower prices, which it considers to be its USP.

Intel Compute Stick Faces Off With Lenovo's Cheaper Stick

Similar specifications and looks

Intel’s Compute Stick, which started shipping a few months back, costs $150, while Lenovo’s ideacentre Stick, which starts shipping in July, will be sold for $129.

The PC sticks are almost identical except for a few minor differences. Both gadgets run on an Intel Atom Z3735 processor and can be plugged into a monitor or television via HDMI. The features of the devices are the same as well, including storage of 32GB, RAM of 2GB, a MicroSD card slot, a full-sized USB 2.0 port, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.

As of now, both are powered by Windows 8.1 but will be updated to Windows 10 for free starting July 29. Since the micro-USB port on the sticks will be used to supply power, a user will have to utilize a USB Type-A connector for integrating peripherals to the stick. However, a user can make use of a simple USB hub for additional USB ports. Apart from the monitor, users will only need a mouse and keyboard. However, Intel recently unveiled a free app for Android that allows you to control the PC with a phone.

The physical dimensions of Lenovo’s stick are also similar to those of Intel’s Compute Stick. Lenovo’s Ideacentre is under four inches long, 1.5 inches wide and half an inch thick.

How Lenovo managed a lower price than Intel

It’s not that Lenovo is offering an inferior quality PC stick, but rather, the Chinese firm’s tactic to reduce pre-loaded software is helping lower its cost. Slashing pre-loaded software is a common strategy among PC firms to boost their margins.

Overall, the hardware of both PC sticks is relatively weak when compared to a laptop or desktop PC, but it is enough for normal usage such as browsing, video streaming and occasional office work. Multi-tasking may be a problem with such gadgets, primarily due to the limited RAM, but going forward, Intel plans to offer a Compute Stick with more computing capability.

While a $130 price tag may help Lenovo push its compute stick in the market, many users will want to wait for the Core M Compute Stick that offers double the storage and RAM and is expected this winter.