Several Cherry Trail Atom x5 MegooPad TV sticks are on the way, but they mostly have similar specs to the previous generation Bay Trail sticks, except with a slightly faster processor, and in some models, USB 3.0 support. An Indian company is currently developing some Cherry Trail TV sticks with impressive specifications including processors such as Intel Atom x7-Z8700, up to 8GB RAM, up to 64GB storage, 802.11ac connections, HDMI 2.0, and USB 3.1 type-C connector.
These products are called MagicSticks, and three models will soon be available. [Update 30/9/2015: The indiegogo campaign is up, but the Wave is not shown, and instead MagicStick Power has been renamed to Wave, changes are reflected in the table below]
|Processor||Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor up to 1.83 GHz, with 12 core Gen8 GPU||Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor up to 2.4 GHz, with 16 core Gen8 GPU|
|System Memory||2 GB DDR3L||8 GB LPDDR3L|
|Storage||32 GB eMMC||64 GB eMMC|
|Video Output||HDMI 2.0 (TBC)||HDMI 2.0|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n up to 300 Mbps + Bluetooth 4.1||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac up to 300 Mbps and 802.11ac up to 867 Mbps + Bluetooth 4.1|
|USB||1x USB 3.0 C type port, 3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB Port||1x USB 3.1 C type port, 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x micro USB Port|
You can click on the processor comparison page to find out more about the three Intel processor, which are all quad core Cherry Trail processors with 2W SDP, but while x5-Z8300 is limited to 2GB RAM, x5-Z8500 and x7-Z8700 support up to 8GB RAM, feature 2 PCie lanes, and the latter also have a better GPU. The sticks will ship with Windows 10 Trial (i.e. unlicensed) and Android Lollipop by default, but the company says “all variants of Linux are supported”, and a Windows 10 License can be acquired for $49 extra.
This all look great, but HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.1 are not supported by Intel processor, this product is fanless (while Cherry Trail MeegoPads all come with a fan), and their products description page is currently filled with (funny) superlatives such as “12 core very fast GPU”, “faster latest LPDDR3 RAM”, “very fast eMMC storage”, and they also used the “IoT” buzzword to describe how they can power on and off the stick with a smartphone app.
Nevertheless, I asked them how they could implement HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.1, and their thermal design, and they answer made sense. USB 3.1 is implemented via the PCIe 2.0 interface, HDMI 2.0 is implemented using the eDP interface, and they’ve designed a “special passive cooling made of copper” to make sure the device does not overheat. Their promo video (below) lacks a proper demo of the stick, but I’ve been told a demo video is in the works.
The project will be launched on September 29 on Indiegogo, with MagicStick One going for $139 ($99 early bird), MagicStick Wave for $189 ($159 early bird), and MagicStick Power for $269 ($229 early bird). I could not find out whether shipping is included in the price, but they expect to ship the rewards this December, before Christmas. Bear in mind that deadlines are seldom met in crowdfunding campaigns… If you are interested in this project, and you visit MagicStick website for more information, and/or register to receive notifications once the project goes live on Indiegogo.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.