Pocket computers that look like USB sticks to use on any TV or monitor: Best stick PCs with Windows 10
Let’s see together what they are best PC Sticks we can buy with Windows 11 and how to configure them to use them remotely without a keyboard or mouse (which is decidedly convenient given that the sockets are small and are often not easily accessible behind a TV).
READ ALSO -> How to have Internet on TV
1) The best PC Sticks with Windows 11
Below we have collected all the best PC Sticks on sale on Amazon and which we can purchase according to our needs:
- NiPoGi Mini PC Stick W-11 (€189): mini PC stick with 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 128GB of internal memory, Intel J4125 processor (up to 2.9 GHz), HDMI output, 4K UltraHD support, Dual Wi-Fi connection, Bluetooth connection and Windows operating system 11.
- With LE PCG02 Pro (€269): mini PC stick with 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB of internal memory, Intel Celeron N5105 processor (up to 2.9 GHz), dual HDMI output, 4K UltraHD support, Wi-Fi 6 connection, Ethernet socket, connection Bluetooth 5.2 and Windows 11 operating system.
- HEIGAOLAPC Mini PC Stick (€169): mini PC with 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 128GB of internal memory, Intel J4125 processor (up to 2.9 GHz), HDMI output, 4K UltraHD support, Wi-Fi 6 connection, Bluetooth 5.2 connection and Windows operating system 11 Pro.
- MeLE Overclock3C Mini PC: mini PC stick with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 512GB of internal memory, Intel Celeron N5095 processor (up to 2.9 GHz), dual HDMI output, 4K UltraHD support, Wi-Fi 6 connection, Ethernet socket, USB-C port, Bluetooth 5.2 connection and Windows 11 Pro operating system.
All PC Sticks offer low-power Intel Quad Core CPUs, at least 8 GB of RAM, at least 128 GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD), one or two USB ports, Dual Band WiFi and original Windows 11.
As we can see, the technical data sheet of these miniature PCs is adequate if we have to work or study on the PC or if we want to set up a small integrated media center, but it is absolutely not suitable for gaming or heavier rendering programs: in these cases it is better to focus on a classic PC.
2) How to connect a PC Stick to your TV
Connecting one of these PC Sticks to your TV is really simple: just connect the HDMI socket on the Stick to a free HDMI port on the television or monitorconnect the power cable to a USB port (if present) or to a mobile phone charger and press the power button on one of the sides.
Since the weight of PC Sticks is greater than similar HDMI solutions (such as Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick), we recommend using an HDMI extension to avoid damaging the port on the TV due to the excessive weight of the device.
A good USB extension cable that we can use is AmazonBasics HDMI Extension Cable, supplied directly by Amazon and of excellent workmanship. If we use a PC Stick with double HDMI output it is better to use a Classic HDMI cablealso available on Amazon.
At first startup we recommend connecting a keyboard and a mouse to the USB ports available on the PC Stick, so as to complete the startup of Windows and configure access to the WiFi network; after this phase, I recommend that you read the following chapter to be able to remotely control the PC Stick without having to use a keyboard or mouse every time.
To learn more we can read our guide on How to turn your TV into a PC.
3) How to control PC Stick from phone or tablet
Since we can’t always keep a mouse and keyboard connected to such a small object, we will have to work hard to remotely control the PC Stick with Windows, perhaps using our faithful smartphone or tablet.
First we install the server on the Windows PC Stick (with keyboard and mouse still connected). Unified Remotethe ideal application to be able to control any Windows PC remotely with a quick setup.
The program Unified Remote Server can be downloaded for free on all the PC Sticks seen above. After the download we start the server installation. Once the installation is complete, we start the program, which will automatically start itself (great for being able to check it immediately once it is turned back on).
Let’s now recover the IP address of our PC Stick by following the steps in the ai guide programs for scanning a network to find connected computers.
Now that we have finished configuring the server, let’s download the Unified Remote app onto our smartphone, available for free Android (Android) e per iPhone e iPad.
Once the app has been installed on the portable device, start it and connect to the server on the Windows PC, which should appear automatically (otherwise we can always enter the IP address of the PC Stick as retrieved previously).
Once connected we will have some basic modules, which we can use to remotely control our PC Stick without mouse and keyboard: Basic Input allows you to simulate the presence of a touchpad using the smartphone screen itself, Keyboard allows you to use the mobile device’s keyboard to write on Windows and Power allows you to control turning the PC Stick on, off and restarting.
With this app we will be able to control the Windows operating system in a simple and immediate way, installing all the multimedia programs we want to view on the TV.
If we are looking for a miniature PC that we can carry around with us and we are willing to spend up to €150 to get it, these PC Sticks can be the ideal solution, but we will have to bring a keyboard and a mouse with us to be able to use them for work or study. However, as media centers they are very good, being decidedly more flexible than Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV Stick.
We can install as many Windows programs as we want and we can control everything using a smartphone or tablet as a remote control, thanks to Unified Remote. Gamers or enthusiasts of 3D, conversion and rendering programs should refrain: the power is not sufficient to run this type of software.
To learn more we can read our guides on how Mini PC Android TV Boxes work come on how to choose a small and comfortable desktop mini PC.