Earlier this year, Intel launched its ultra-small Compute Stick PC -- an entire Windows computer housed within a HDMI dongle. Now, the company has announced that the Ubuntu variant of the device will finally be made available to consumers next week, although a specific date hasn't been confirmed as of the time of writing.
Packing a Intel Atom 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, this isn't a system that's going to wow anyone with its specs. However, that's not really what it's aiming to do. The convenience of having a standard PC experience available simply by plugging it into a monitor via HDMI makes this an interesting proposition despite its limited horsepower.
This product seems to be the result of Canonical's continued attempts to bring Ubuntu to a larger audience. The company's founder Mark Shuttleworth announced plans for a desktop/smartphone hybrid that would run Ubuntu in May of this year, and the device looks set to launch before the end of 2015.
The Ubuntu-based Compute Stick takes a hit in terms of hardware compared to the Windows version of the device, but TheNextWeb reports that this will allow it to be sold at $110 -- $40 cheaper than a Compute Stick running Windows. That's a considerable difference for a product being sold at this price point, and may well help the Ubuntu version compete against its Windows counterpart.
While the Compute Stick has only been available for a matter of months, Intel announced plans for the next generation of the device in June. USB 3.0 and support for 4K resolutions look set to be the biggest features added into the follow-up to the Linux version of the Compute Stick, which is anticipated to be made available in the first half of 2016.