What if you could have a full-fledged Windows 10 PC in a package that isn’t much larger than your run-of-the-mill USB flash drive? This is hardly a brand new phenomenon anymore, taking the form factor of something like the wildly successful Chromecast and turning it into a real computer. We saw it with the Intel Compute Stick and now the new Asus VivoStick makes the experience drastically better.
This isn’t the first time that Asus has dabbled with the PC-on-a-stick form factor. You might remember the Asus Chromebit from a while back, though the $99 HDMI dongle computer was only running on Chrome OS. The $130 Asus VivoStick, on the other hand, should get loaded up with Windows 10 for more of a “real PC” experience. While cheaper than the Intel Compute Stick, the Asus VivoStick carries a better spec sheet.
The Intel Atom Bay Trail processor gets replaced with a more adequate Cherry Trail chip instead. The single USB port has been expanded into a pair of full-size USB ports, making it far easier for you to connect your keyboard, mouse and other peripherals. And speaking of peripherals, since there is only 32GB of non-replaceable internal storage, you’ll likely want to use one of those ports to connect a big flash drive or an external hard drive for you media files. This is because there’s no microSD slot.
Rounding off the specs on the Asus VivoStick are 2GB of RAM, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. This sounds like a potentially great replacement for your much larger HTPC, though you certainly should not expect this to be anything even close to a gaming PC and it won’t be nearly as powerful. Instead, the performance will likely be on par with some really cheap Windows tablets. As mentioned, it’s priced at just $130, but Asus hasn’t indicated an exact launch date yet.