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Lenovo ideacentre Stick 300: the £130 PC in a dongle

Lenovo ideacentre Stick 300

Want a PC to pop in your pocket? Lenovo's ideacentre Stick 300 might be just the job

Lenovo has released its first Compute Stick: the £130 ideacentre Stick 300. The device plugs straight into a TV or monitor’s HDMI socket, providing a low-powered, portable PC.

As you would expect from a device that’s little bigger than a cigarette lighter, we’re not talking about desktop-rivalling specifications. The Stick 300 includes a 1.33GHz Atom Z3735F processor (which can burst to up to 1.83GHz), 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. A Micro SD slot on the side can be used to bolster the built-in storage.

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It runs Windows 8.1, although it will be upgradeable to Windows 10 when the new OS is released at the end of July, according to Lenovo. The Stick 300 supports both 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4, allowing wireless keyboard, mice and other peripherals to be used. It also has a Micro USB port, although that’s used to provide power to the device from a cable plugged into a nearby USB port. 

What to do with such a pocketable PC? Lenovo’s pitching it as a portable computer for travellers, allowing TVs in hotel rooms and holiday homes to be converted into media centres or workstations. Alternatively, it could be used around the home in “man caves” or bedrooms, powering apps such as Netflix or Skype.

It’s very similar in terms of specifications to the Hanspree Micro PC we reviewed in May. Reviewer Chris Finnamore called it “a bit of a bargain” but found its performance limited its usefulness.

The device is available now from Dixons for £130, although there’s likely to be a flood of similar devices from other manufacturers, all based on Intel’s Compute Stick specification. Asus has also released the Chromebit, a similarly shaped and cheaper device that runs on Google’s Chrome OS.   

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