With the dwindling number of Android Sticks being produced it’s great to see that some manufacturers have not abandoned the market entirely. A whole crop of Windows Sticks is being created and many of them go well beyond the minimal functionality we’ve grown used to accepting.
I’ve been scouring the manufacturer and distributor sites for any sort of indication of a resurgence among Android Sticks, but I’m sorry to say that we’ll have to appease our selves with the growing number of Android TV Boxes.
I’m not certain of the exact reason for the abandonment of the market, but it can probably be summed up in a single word – Amazon. The Fire Stick has quickly become so dominant, and is priced so reasonably, that it leaves little room for others. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see competition in the Windows space.
One of the best Sticks I’ve seen recently is this one from AWOW. It’s not bleeding edge, but it ticks all the boxes of what you’d expect to get from the best Media Stick or TV Box. There’s a snappy Intel Cherry Trail Z8350 with Quad Cores and HD Graphics. Memory is adequate with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
There’s expandability aplenty with USB 2.0 and 3.0 and up to 64GB of SD Memory. Video output is HDMI and supports 1080p resolution. It comes with a nice controller and air mouse that’s significantly better than first generation models. Of course the best part is a licensed version of Windows 10.
Now for the drawbacks. This unit does not support 4K video. So if you’re in the market for 4k, skip this one. The other drawbacks are Single Band WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. As I mentioned above, it’s not a bleeding edge unit, but seeks to cover all the basics at a very affordable price. For about the cost of Win 10, you get a complete computer.
Of course it’s sold by Amazon and comes with a one year warranty, so they’ve got you covered.
AWOW Windows 10 Mini PC Intel Atom X5 Z8350 Quad Core Computer Stick
- Screen Resolution 1920×1800
- Max Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080
- Processor 1.94 GHz Intel Atom Z8350
- RAM 2 GB
- Hard Drive 32GB eMMc
- Graphics Coprocessor Intel HD
- Wireless Type 802.11abg
- Operating System Windows 10
- Item Weight 1.1 pounds
- Product Dimensions 7.2 x 4.4 x 2.3 inches
- Computer Memory Type SORIMM
- Power Source AC
Its black plastic case bears the “Intel Inside” logo, weighs just 1.9 oz. and measures 3.92(L) x 1.5(W) x 0.46(H) in. The Stick plugs into a monitor via its HDMI connector and is powered via a micro-USB port (it comes with an AC adapter) and a micro-SD card slot so that it can add up to 64GB of additional storage capacity. There is an on/off button and a blue LED that glows when the Stick is running. It operates using 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and also includes Bluetooth 4.0, so you can connect peripherals such as a keyboard and mouse. Based on the Intel Atom x5 Z88350 processor, which has 2MB of processor cache and a base speed of 1.44GHz; using Intel TurboBoost, it can go as fast as 1.94GHz. The AWOW mini pc stick’s configuration includes 2GB of 1600GHz single-channel DDR3L-RS and 32GB of eMMC flash storage; 23GB of that is available for use out of the box. It has Intel’s 8th HD Graphics engine along with 64MB of dedicated video memory; the graphics engine can tap into 979MB of the system’s RAM, providing just over 1GB of available video memory.
Some Customer Reviews
First day=perfect so far