Ever since I saw an Intel compute stick I have been intrigued if it will be able to convert a television into a computer. I finally set the experiment rolling when I got the iBall Splendo PC-on-stick.
iBall Spelndo PC-on-stick
The iBall device is not much larger than the Google Chromecast and has a similar setup. Plug it into the HDMI port, pin into a power source and you are ready to go.
Price: Rs 9,999
Specs: 1.83GHz Intel Atom Z3735F processor | 2GB DDR3 RAM | 32GB On-board memory | Windows 8.1 operating system | USB OTG function | HD video playback
The set up is quite easy and you are on the boot screen as soon as the stick is powered on. The iBall device comes with Windows 8.1 out of the box, so during the initial set up it asks if you want to upgrade. It is good that this right comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse, otherwise everything from entering the WiFi password would have been an uphill task. There is a USB port to add the dongle for the wireless input device.
However, it is best to invest in a consolidated wireless keypad that negates the need for a mouse if you are using this on a TV.
I used the device for a variety of things from checking mail to writing a story on a 40-inch screen. There were no issues on that front, except for trying to make sense of the tiny words. However, the experience was not all that smooth with gaming.
It was tough to get the resolution right to fit the Windows 8.1 screen in the Full HD panel. The compromise, needed to make the bottom of the screen where apps are pinned show up on the screen, resulted in black bands on both sides.
The PC dongle can’t work with the power supplied from a USB port. It needs to powered separately from an independent source with the given power adapter. This just adds to the tangle of wires around the TV screen. Intel needs to rethink this bit to make the concept more effective.
To copy or run stuff from a USB storage you need to add an extra micro-usb converter as the USB port is occupied by the wireless input dongle. This is a weird site and best avoided. Use the card reader as the primary content transfer medium here.
Yes, you can buy the iBall PC-on-stick to convert the living room TV into a computer that can do much more. No it won’t be able to replace a desktop, but it can sure make your idiot box more intelligent.