Amazon Review by Cheryl I Pruss
85 people found the following review helpful
Best SmartTV Stick available today!
Note: This review is for the NEW IMPROVED 2016 Intel Compute Stick.
You might want to avoid last year’s model after reading their reviews.
I have been using android Tablet , phones and TV Sticks for years. As an early adopter of the TV Stick hardware platform for viewing streaming media on my HDTV, I have enjoyed the evolution of the android platform as well as the frustrations of not getting all of my streaming content to display properly with android. I even like the Google Chromecast but it has difficulty with XBMC, now KODI, and connecting in a hotel. Then along comes the Microsoft Surface line of “Tablet/Convertibles” and I bought the Surface3 with Windows10. Finally I was able to run all of my favorite streaming programs and services with ease. Netfix, HULU, KODI, SMB, Nest, network streaming, Remote Desktop all work just like my desktop. I love my Surface 3!
With it’s minimum 2mb of RAM and 32gb of storage I was still able to easily upgrade to Win10 PRO 32bit enabling RDT and other functions not in Home version.
Plugged it into my a/v receiver selected source and plugged in power. Setup started immediately and took about 10 minutes to complete registration. My desktop just like my Surface 3 desktop soon appeared (you must register with same email address with all windows devices to provide syncing). Over the next few hours it completed upgrading in the background. Best to wait for updates to complete before using.
I plugged in an old USB IR receiver I had laying around into the standard 2.0 port, saving the blue 3.0 for my ext. drive. I used an old Windows Media Center remote and a Zagg Bluetooth keyboard (easy) to easily control. Most of the buttons on the WMC remote worked.
When I wanted to TWEEK it to enable auto login (for TV) and other features it was easy to search web for windows 10 help for solution.
I was concerned the minimum RAM and storage would limit the ICS but after 1 week of using I can say I am really happy with Intel’s new version for 2016 ICS. It runs everything I try without issue. Little or no lag and after installing my usual 30 apps and win PRO upgrade I still have 14gb of the original 32gb left.
I installed a 64gb SD card as drive D and put my photos and music and some movies there. I adjusted Windows to save downloads to my SD card and included my folders in D drive in the library so default programs can find them.
Having come from being a Windows Fan for 30 years and having used Android exclusively for my TV for the last 4 years, I am somewhat of an expert on OS for TV. I even attended, 2 years ago, a dinner where I sat next to the Intel VP going to China to work with Rockchip, the Chinese maker of the chips in Android sticks.
It took Intel a second try to make the BEST TV Stick on the Market today. If you come from Windows you will find a familiar and easy to use product to use.
For what I paid ($129) you will simply get the most capable Smart TV experience available today.
I highly recommend!