Intel has expanded the USB based computer sticks product range with its new Skylake based Cherry Trail and Core M processors. Compatible with both Windows and Linux operating systems, the new devices are expected to be available for sale in February 2016 starting from $160.
The STKMV64CC model includes Core M5-6Y57 vPRO processor with a base frequency of 1.1GHz and 4M cache. The processor has the capability to run up to 2.8 GHz and comes with Intel HD Graphics 515.
Intel also released STKM3W64CC and STKM364VCC stick models, which comes with 4M cache based Core m3-6Y30 processor with a base frequency of 900 MHz, which can run up to 2.2 GHz.
The newly-released USB sticks include 4GB RAM, 64GB of SSD storage, USB 3.0 port, Bluetooth 4, USB Type-C connector, microSD slot including dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The sticks also feature grills for heat dissipation.
Intel has integrated two additional USB ports on the power brick, which enables you to connect other peripherals. The company has also released an upgraded version of the Atom based stick with Cherry Trail processor and improved the exterior design to resemble the Core M sticks.
The model comes with Atom x5-Z8300 quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage and Windows 10 Home in addition to improved standard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options. A new USB 3.0 slot has been added to the stick in addition to the USB 2.0.
The USB sticks with the new Atom processor comes with Windows Home and is priced at $160. Intel has axed the Linux version due to low sales of the first edition.
There are reports that Intel is planning to ship Core M sticks with no operating system to provide users with a choice, but there is no official confirmation regarding its availability and pricing.
We expect that the performance of USB sticks will be better than the first generation sticks, which was released in CES 2015 with Intel Atom processor. The USB sticks with the new Skylake processors have the capability to run faster with less heat due to the unique 14nm manufacturing process.
Intel is also scheduled to launch Skull Canyon mini-PC, which features a 45W Skylake H CPU with Iris Pro graphics by the end of August 2016. The design will be similar to that of a large rectangle with the height similar to that of the current NUCs.