It look a little longer than expected, but Intel's Compute Stick PC is up for pre-order through some online stores.
The stick-sized computer is available from Newegg with Windows 8.1 on board. If you're the type that always spells "Microsoft" with a dollar sign, Newegg is also selling the Linux version for $110. Liliputing reports that it comes with Ubuntu 14.04. The price for the Linux Compute Stick was supposed to be $89, but we've yet to see it anywhere for that cheap.
Regardless of operating system, the Compute Stick comes with an Intel Atom quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. It plugs directly into a monitor or TV via HDMI, and is powered through a Micro USB jack on the side of the stick. There's also a full-sized USB port, and Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting a mouse and keyboard.
Intel originally planned to ship the Compute Stick in March, but Newegg is listing a release date of April 24 for both models. A similar dongle with BeeLink branding is already available, but from more obscure retailers.
Why this matters: We've seen an explosion of miniature computers lately — including a new Raspberry Pi with promised Windows 10 support — but the Compute Stick promises to be the smallest of the bunch. Still, Intel has been talking about this thing since last November, so you'd be forgiven for writing it off as vaporware by now. While the Compute Stick hasn't quite crossed over to "actual product" territory just yet, it sounds like we'll be able to put it through its paces soon.
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