Deal: EC DREAM A9 Celeron N3350 compute stick for US$100
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When Intel first released the Intel Compute Stick in 2015, they helped to create a category of portable stick-PC style computers, which were about the size of a small TV remote. The main complaints were that it ran an underpowered Atom Z3735F and the cheaper variant running Ubuntu had only 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of eMMC storage. They improved this situation in 2016 by launching new options with Core M3 6Y30 and Core M5 6Y57 processors, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB eMMC storage but at an unfortunate price tag around US$500.
This is where options such as the EC DREAM A9 (US$155) come in. Powered by an Intel Celeron N3350, the performance sits in between the Atom and M3 options from Intel. Paired with 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of eMMC storage, there is no doubt that the EC DREAM A9 isn't as powerful as the previously mentioned Intel Core M devices, but it is currently on special with Geekbuying for US$100 + free shipping.
The EC DREAM A9 has enough processing and video power to sit behind your TV and act as a basic media center PC. There is hardware acceleration for VP9, h.264, and h.265 content, playing FullHD content presents no problem, and the inclusion of 802.11ac means that it can sustain high throughput too. Storage can be expanded using MicroSD, and a full sized USB3.0 port means that an external hard drive can be connected, although this might need to be an externally powered 3.5-inch drive. DVD backups, as well as digitally purchased content, can be played using VLC, helping to avoid codec problems.
- CPU: Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core 1.1/2.4 GHz base/burst 64-bit
- GPU: Intel HD500 200/650 MHz base/burst
- RAM: 2 GB LPDDR3 1600 MHz
- Storage: 32 GB eMMC + MicroSD
- Wireless: Intel AC3165 802.11ac 1x1 + Bluetooth 4.0
- Video: HDMI 1.4
- Size: 128mm x 58mm x 16mm
- Other: 1xUSB2.0, 1xUSB3.0, VT-x, VT-d, AES-NI, Cooling fan
This 36% discount is only available for five more days from the 29th of July. Keep in mind that unlike the Intel Compute Stick, there is no operating system included here so remember to include the price of a Windows license or use a free Linux option such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or Fedora.
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