So, your IT help desk has finally acclimated to the smartphones and tablets that come with your BYOD policy. Is it time to relax? Sorry, no. It’s time to get ready for the next round of incoming devices! The new wave from tech manufacturers is the pocket PC, and boy are there lots of them. Here are the ones likely to be most popular with your users.
1. Intel Compute Stick
The Compute Stick just came out last month, and carries a price tag of about $150 for the Windows setup and about $100 (some places less) for the Linux Ubantu 14.4 LTS version. The Compute stick is primarily marketed as a streaming device and carries the specs of the average mid-range tablet. Distributed via Intel authorized distributors, the Compute stick features an Intel Z3735F quad core Bay Trail processor as well as integrated graphics.
The hardware available on the Compute Stick varies according to whether you go with the Windows or Linux version, but the lower-priced Linux offers 1GB of RAM, 8GB storage, both full-size and micro USB ports, Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.1 b/g/n Wi-Fi. Many of the other pocket PCs you’ll see on the market are direct knock-offs of the Compute Stick, but some actually offer better features, such as more USB ports and greater memory capacity.
2. Google Chromebit
Nobody is surprised to see Google toss a hat in this ring, and they’ve done so with the low-end pocket PC the Chromebit. It goes without saying the OS is Chrome, so we’ll move on to note that this particular selection comes with a surprisingly low price tag of under $100. It works with any HDMI-capable TV or monitor, and features a Rocketchip 2388, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. The Chromebit goes on sale this summer.
3. Rikomagic MK802 V5
The Chinese manufacturer Rikomagic has introduced this Linux-based pocket PC, which runs a little higher in price at around $155. The power capabilities are much like the Chromebit, and it runs Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. It is marketed as a home and thin client device, and features the Xfice desktop. Perhaps the greatest eyebrow-raiser for the MK 802 V5 is the manufacturer’s claim that it boots up in a mere 6 seconds. It’s built on a 1.8 GHz quad core RK 3288 processor, and the Mali T764 GPU. It features 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, and is expandable using a MicroSD card. It also offers 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet. The MK802 VC is already available via the manufacturer’s website and a variety of third party retailers like Amazon.
4. The of Pocket PCs
Beelink, another Chinese manufacturer, is rolling out an entire line of pocket PCs, also based on the Intel Compute Stick. The MiniPC offers 16GB storage, plus a trap door that allows for insertion of the user’s 2.5-inch hard drive. It provides a generous 4 USB ports, plus Ethernet, a headphone jack, and full-size SD card slot.
The Pocket P1 by Beelink is the heftier of the P-series, and for this extra size you get dual-band Wi-Fi, and probably a few extra ports. The P2 has specs about like the Compute Stick, but it only comes with Windows 8.1 and the Intel Atom Z3736F processor. It features 2GM RAM, an impressive 32GB storage, a USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0. and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi.
Is your help desk software ready for the new pocket PCs?