I’ll admit I’ve become a Mac guy, firmly immersed in the Apple ecosystem of computing products. I spent my first 20 years of adulthood – learning, supporting and crying over the Windows operating system. If you remember Windows for Workgroups 3.1 you know what I’m talking about!
To each his own though and Windows 10 is apparently a pretty good OS although I’ve not actually used it myself. If you want an inexpensive Linux or Windows 10 based computer on your boat you can bring home in a jiffy, here’s an option for you. At CES 2016 a couple of days ago Intel announced the second generation of its compute stick it launched a year ago to mixed reviews. The rub was anemic performance and a lack of USB ports along with Wifi limitations. That has all been addressed in the second generation product and it deserves a serious look as a boat computer. Here’s why…
- 5 Volt micro USB powered, no inverter needed, low power consumption
- Plugs directly into that HDMI port of the flatscreen you might already have onboard
- Intel Sixth Generation Core M3 version packs serious graphics hardware capable of powering 4K video at a high frame rate
- No OS version available if you want to run Linux
- Super portable and small, not on your boat when you aren’t using it
The Cherry Trail Atom CPU version with Windows 10 is $159 US! Holy cow, didn’t Windows used to cost almost that with no computer? Sixth generation m3 version without / with Windows 10 is $300 / $400 US. I think the reviews will be good for this product. If you want to run Nobeltec TimeZero you will probably want the $400 version.For Netflix or casual computing the Atom version should do you fine. I may just become a Windows user again…
Here’s a good article on the compute stick from Arstechnica.
– Safe Boating –
Intel Compute Stick second generation specification sheet below (click to enlarge):