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computer on a stick

A computer the size of a USB drive that plugs into the HDMI port of a TV for display. Also called a "screenless PC," "any screen computer," or "PC on a stick," it either uses an ARM or Atom CPU and runs a version of Linux or Windows. Storage is flash memory. Interaction with the computer is via a smartphone or tablet, wireless keyboard and mouse or infrared remote control.

Computers on a stick are programmed by technicians and hobbyists for personal projects, or they can function like a regular tablet or desktop PC. See Raspberry Pi and Android computer.

An Android Mini PC
In 2012, China-based Rikomagic introduced the MK802 computer. Only 3.5" long with an ARM CPU and 512MB of RAM, it debuted at USD $74, making it the least expensive computer on a stick. (Image courtesy of Rikomagic.)

The Intel Compute Stick
In 2015, Intel launched two models of its PC on a stick. The Windows 8.1 version debuted with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage but only 1GB RAM and 8GB storage for the Ubuntu Linux model. (Image courtesy of

Come and Gone
In 2012, FXI Tech launched the ARM-based Cotton Candy in Europe for USD $200. Three inches long with 1GB of RAM, the FXI could plug into a Mac or Windows PC and use the computer's mouse and keyboard. In 2014, the company went under. (Images courtesy of FXI Technologies)

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