Stick PCs are suddenly appearing everywhere. They are as small as a ChromeCast, and they work much like one, apart from the fact that you get a full Windows experience on the said device. Plug in a keyboard and mouse, and suddenly your television or monitor is a fully functional PC! ModeCom, a Polish company, has got FreePC to add to the list, which is a Stick PC that can be plugged into any spare HDMI port on a display device, be it a TV, a monitor or a projector!
- Quad Core Intel Atom x86 (up to 1.83 GHz)
- Windows 8.1
- 2GB RAM
- 16 GB eMMC
- MicroSD (up to 32GB)
- 1 x USB
- 1 x micro USB
- 1 x micro USB for power
- Bluetooth 4.0
- In the box: FreePC Stick, Power Adapter (Euro plug), micro USB to USB cable, HDMI extender
Look and feel
On first glance, this looks like a glorified USB stick, with ports all over it. Slightly bigger than one, it obviously has an HDMI plug on one end, and apart from the labelling on top and bottom, consists of ports on either side.
On the right, you have the power key, micro USB for power and the USB port.
On the left, you have the micro USB and micro SD card port.
The FreePC stick came with an European charger. Feeling lazy, I ended up getting a micro USB to USB charging cable for my phone, and plugged it in the back of my monitor, into one of the spare USB ports on it. This brought the PC to life, even though the light felt suspiciously dim.
Pressing the power button of course turns it off and on, and once you turn it on, you get the ModeCom logo followed by the Windows 8 log in screen. As this is a trial unit, the Windows was already setup for me, so in I went. Inside, the experience is like any other Windows 8 experience. I am finding a slight bit of lag and sluggishness in performance though, but then again I am used to a powerful machine at work which runs Simulations and CAD for me.
While this comes with 16GB installed, I only got just over 3GB of space. Granted, this is a review unit, and may have been used by other people, but it is something that could be bit of a problem for you if you want to get a lot of mileage out of this device.
Applications and usage
Based on the performance, I cannot imagine this replacing a standard PC or work horse for you. However, it can be very useful if you want a device that runs Skype for example, or something to watch films or movies on, both via streaming services or from your hard drive. Other than that, it will work for browsing and such like, but not much more.
Of course, I have to say that I am using the device right now to type this very review for you.
More information on the device can be found on the ModeCom website:
It retails for around £160, and can be bought from Amazon:
A decent device at a decent price. Windows 8.1 is a great touch, though competitors are offering aggressive pricing which may mean you may want to shop around before you commit to this.