Turn your TV into a real PC with computer sticks

PC Stick
When we talk about PCs we immediately think of the fixed case present under each desk or the 2 kg laptop or so that we can carry wherever we want. What we don’t know is that technology has gone so far now it is possible to have a full PC with Windows 10 in a shell of a simple USB stick, only an HDMI socket is provided instead of the USB socket to be able to connect it to any monitor or TV in our possession.
If we are not looking for great performance but still want to use Windows 10 in any situation, in this guide we will show you the best computer sticks on the market, so you can always have Windows 10 in your pocket.
Obviously these devices cannot replace a real desktop PC, but for the simplest operations (reading mail, surfing the Internet) it can be the best choice.

PC Stick: buying guide

In the following chapters we will show you what are the technical characteristics of these small computer sticks or PC sticks, what are their performances (essential to understand if they are right for us or better avoided), and which models we can buy online.

Technical features

The first time you hold a PC Stick in your hand, it will seem to have a USB stick in your hands, with the difference that in this case, you have a real PC! The PC Stick can be connected to any screen with HDMI port, therefore also to any modern TV.
Mini PC

On the external body, we find one or more USB sockets (usually USB 3.0 type) on which we can also install a USB hub to increase the number of ports and connect a mouse, keyboard, external hard drives, or whatever you want.
As for connectivity, we find a Bluetooth receiver and the dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi module so that we can connect to any Wi-Fi network and also connect Bluetooth devices such as headphones or controllers.
Inside the PC Stick, we find quad-core ARM processors optimized for fanless use (Intel Atom or similar), flanked by 2GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of internal memory, although there are also models with 4GB of RAM (recommended).
Space may seem very small, but considering what we have to do with it (use a few web applications), in the end, there should be no problems.

Performance

Speaking of performance, if you have never used a PC Stick, you will be pleasantly surprised at the speed with which it turns on and how you never show a slowdown even by opening multiple applications together; the PC Stick for TVs runs smoothly for streaming internet video, listening to music, playing and surfing multiple sites simultaneously. Another surprising aspect concerns the absence of noise that makes this mini-computer, which remains really silent.
Pointing on a PC Stick obviously we won’t be able to play or open complex programs like photo editing or the like, but it can really be an interesting device to replace multimedia reading devices such as Android TV Boxes or the Fire TV Stick (the only true rival of these PC Sticks).

These TV sticks are to be seen as a way to have a computer or a full media player on the TV: if you have a beach house, if you travel to a hotel, it becomes a way to watch movies streaming on TV or even work without having to carry the heaviest and most delicate laptop with you.

Buying Guide

If we are convinced and want to bet on a PC Stick, we recommend you try the Intel W5 Mini PC now, for € 109.
W5 Mini PC

On this device, we find an Intel Atom Z8350 processor, Windows 10 operating system, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory of the MMC type, HDMI port with 4K support, Wi-Fi Dual Band, Bluetooth, 2 USB ports and a microSD slot.

Alternatively, we can view the ACEPC Fanless Mini PC, on sale for € 149.

On this small TV Stick, we find an Intel Atom Z8350 processor, Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit, 4GB of RAM memory, 64GB of eMMC internal memory, 4K Support via HDMI, Bluetooth 4.2 module, Dual Band WiFi AC and USB 3.0 ports.

If we are looking for a branded product we can consider the Asus TS10-B003D Mini PC Stick PC, on sale for 172 €.
Vivostick

As for the models seen so far, this ASUS also boasts an Intel Atom X5 Z8350 processor, Windows 10 Home operating system, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory of the eMMC type (expandable), HDMI port with 4K support, Wi-Fi Dual Band, Bluetooth, and 2 USB ports.

If we are looking for a modern and powerful device, we can focus on the AWOW Fanless PC Stick Intel, on sale for € 229.
AWOW

On this PC Stick, we find an Intel Celeron J4105 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal memory, Wi-Fi Dual-band, Bluetooth, and dual operating system (Windows 10 Pro and Ubuntu), so you can choose which one to start at any time.

In addition to these PC Sticks, we recommend that you also purchase the following accessories:

  • AmazonBasics – High-speed HDMI extension cable, male/female, 1.8 meters (7 €)
  • AUKEY 4 Port USB Hub in Super Thin Aluminum (13 €)
  • TOSHIBA Canvio Basics, Portable External Hard Drive, USB 3.0, Black, 2 TB (65 €)
  • OMOTON Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse Set (31 €)

Conclusions

These TV Sticks are valid alternatives to the most popular TV Boxes and HDMI dongles (such as Chromecast and Fire TV Stick) and can be very useful when we are traveling to work, browse and watch movies without having to resort to more bulky solutions.

If instead, we prefer to use traditional dongles, we invite you to read our articles Guide Amazon Fire TV Stick with cheats, apps, and hidden features are Guide Amazon Fire TV Stick with cheats, apps, and hidden features.
On these PC Sticks one of the most frequent problems is the filling of the poor internal memory, since Windows 10 downloads a lot of stuff with updates; to clean it and keep the stick sticking, we advise you to regularly follow the suggestions proposed in the guide Free up disk space on your Windows PC in 10 ways.

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