Dubai: Zotac’s new Windows 10 PC stick — Pico P1221 — can turn TVs and monitors into a full-fledged computer and can be inserted into the shirt pocket.
The 12cm long and black rectangular metal device is powered by Intel’s quad-core 1.44GHz Atom x5-Z8300 processor, peaking at 1.84GHz, coupled with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage on-board. The storage can be expanded via microSD/SDHC/SDXC slot. It has a dimension of 131.38mm x 42.5mm x 17mm and weighs around 50 grams.
It runs on pre-installed Windows 10 Home edition.
For connectivity, it has HDMI port, Ethernet port, USB 3.0, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a micro USB port to charge the device.
The passive cooling device does not have a fan and the top and bottom of the device is dotted with holes for heat dissipation.
It is a proof that the hardware you need to run a PC can be cramped into a portable stick and Zotac is well versed with this.
But one issue is that when you travel you need to carry a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse with you and the device have only one USB 3.0 port.
The device does not have a battery and stick cannot draw power from HDMI port, so it needs to be connected to the power always when using it.
The device takes some time to set up in Windows mode and after the set-up, the TV or monitor resembles your personal desktop or laptop.
All you need to do insert the device into the HDMI port of the TV or monitor. When inserted, it allows you do whatever you can do on a computer. All you need is a wireless keyboard and a mouse to operate.
On the right side of the device sits the power button, micro USB for charging the device, standard USB 3.0 and Ethernet port. On the left side, it has antenna slot and micro SDXC card slot. The box also contains a HDMI extension cable, along with one antenna, OS recovery DVD and micro USB power cable.
It handles basic workflows very smoothly but when the device slowed down when opening multiple applications because it is an Atom processor.
Be careful when overloading the device. Forget about running graphic intensive 3D games or heavy image editing. It is similar to running a netbook. It played YouTube videos well with no lag but remember no to open too many applications behind.
The stick offers a great HD streaming experience. I watched 480p, 720p, and Full HD videos from YouTube. Frame rates are smooth.
It is idle to be used a media computer in the living room or bedroom where you can browse the web, watch videos or check emails or stream games from another computer.
The stick gets warm after a prolonged use but not a concern.
For some, the stick will prove a novelty and for some who cannot afford a cheap PC and a media streaming stick. It is priced at Dh590.
• Excellent for light tasks
• Excels as a media streamer
• Only one USB port
• Requires Bluetooth peripherals
• Gets warm after some time
• Not idle for intensive apps and games