At the annual IFA conference in Berlin Germany, ASUS has announced a new PC on a stick called the VivoStick.
It takes the form factor of something that is slightly larger than a USB flash drive.
Inside you will expect to find:
- 2GB of RAM
- Intel Atom CPU/processor
- 32GB of on-board storage
- 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 2 USB ports
- 1 headphone jack
- Windows 10
All of this will set you back $130 (approximately £90). At the time of publishing this article, no release date has been confirmed.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s amazing that we can fit a computer into something this small. For me, there are only a few problems. Unless you are willing to give up one of the USB ports to plug a portable hard drive into it then storage is going to be a problem as there is no MicroSD card slot. I guess you could rely on cloud storage from Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Google drive or one of the many cloud storage services out there.
Another problem that we might run into with one of these is the strength of the built-in Wi-Fi antenna. Whilst I am not sure about how it will perform, I guess one way to re-solve this is to buy a USB Wi-Fi dongle and plug that into the VivoStick.
With that being said, there are a lot of good uses for one of these compute sticks (as they are known). For example someone making a presentation can stick their presentation on one of these and carry it into a meeting. They can then plug this directly into a projector. All they need is a mouse and a keyboard and they are good to go.
I think, that all of these slightly cheaper computers coming out is in response to a problem caused by us consumers. At least at the very low end of the market there is a huge price pressure on computer manufacturers (AKA OEMs) to bring out low-cost computers. This is because people are no longer willing to pay a lot of money for a computer that runs Windows.
What do you think? Would you buy an ASUS VivoStick? Let me know in the comments!