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Cherry Trail stick-PC supports Android, Ubuntu Snappy

Nov 19, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 2,596 views

The winning Indiegogo campaign for an Intel “Cherry Trail” based, USB 3.1-enabled “MagicStick” stick-PC has added Snappy Ubuntu Core to its preloaded OSes.

The MagicStick startup behind the MagicStick mini-PC, which has already garnered eight times its $50,000 Indiegogo goal, has added the lightweight, transaction-enabled Snappy Ubuntu Core to its list of available pre-loaded OSes along with Android Lollipop and Microsoft’s Windows 10 Trial Version. There are 10 days left to order the $99 and up, Intel Cherry Trail based MagicStick, which is set to ship by the end of the year.

Snappy Ubuntu promotion for Magicstick
(click image to enlarge)

At publication time, there was still no mention of the Snappy offering on the Indiegogo site but the late addition was announced on the Ubuntu Insights blog. CEO Ambuj Kumar was quoted as saying Ubuntu was the leading choice of among crowdfunders for a third preloaded option for the HDMI dongle-style media player PC, which supports a variety of Linux distributions. It’s unclear if Snappy is included alongside the dual-boot Windows and Android, or is installed on its own.

The MagicStick is billed as the most powerful stick computer to date, and with its 14nm Cherry Trail Atom processor and up to 8GB RAM, we see no reason to dispute this. Like the somewhat similar Intel Compute Stick, which runs Windows or Linux on Intel’s previous generation Bay Trail Atom processors, the MagicStick supports a variety of usage scenarios, including embedded, business, consumer mini-PC applications. As the HDMI plug-in form-factor suggests, it also provides a gaming and media player experience. Applications include Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Kodi, and Hulu.

MagicStick Wave (left) and MagicStick One
(click images to enlarge)

The MagicStick is available in three versions, all of which use Intel’s quad-core, 14nm Cherry Trail Atoms. The SoCs feature 4K video support and Intel Gen8 graphics, a major improvement over the graphics on earlier Atom chips.

Atom x5 and x7 platform block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The $99 MagicStick One runs on the lower-end version of the Atom x5 (the 1.84GHz Z8300) with 2GB of DDR3L RAM and 32GB eMMC flash. It can be upgraded for an additional $67 to a MagicStick One Plus that uses the faster, 2.24GHz Z8500 Atom x5 variant, along with 2GB more RAM (4GB total). The $166 Plus version is similarly equipped with 32GB eMMC. Both of these x5 processors have 12-core Intel Gen8 GPUs.

The $259 MagicStick Wave, meanwhile, has a 2.4GHz Atom x7 Z8700 and a 16-core Intel Gen8 GPU. The Wave package has a whopping 8GB of lower power LPDDR3 RAM and a 64GB SSD. An additional 64GB for a total of 128GB SSD storage costs $79, or $338 total. You can also add an additional 128GB microSD card on any of the Plus or Wave models for $100, giving the Wave a potential storage total of 256GB.

The downside of the Wave for most LinuxGizmos readers is that you’re paying for a fully activated Windows 10 Home Edition. The license is available as a $49 option on the One and One Plus.

The MagicStick devices boot in less than seven seconds, and run on 5 Watts, says MagicStick. The One models offer 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi while the Wave gives you faster 802.11n/ac. Both models provide a dual, 10dbi antenna that uses beam forming technology to help the Wave model surpass 1Gbps throughput, said to be eight to 10 times faster than the unnamed “competitors.” Bluetooth 4.1 is also available on all the models, enabling wireless keyboards and mice, among other uses.

MagicStick running Windows 10
(click image to enlarge)

The MagicStick is further equipped with an HDMI 2.0 port with 4K Direct support, as well as a micro-USB port, and the microSD slot. The remaining USB configuration differs dependent on the model. The Wave provides a USB 3.1 Type C port said to offer 10Gbps throughput, as well as dual USB 3.0 ports. The One models instead provide a USB 3.0 port with 5Gbps throughput plus dual USB 2.0 ports.

The MagicStick ships with a mobile app that lets you turn the computer on and off, as well as switch WiFi states or changing the computer from computer to device mode. You can also use the app to transfer data to the MagicStick without using a USB cable, turning it in to a pen drive.

The MagicStick also lets you mirror mobile content on the big screen. Based on a stretch goal perk, all the MagicStick models receive a free hibernation battery that will kick in in case of power failure.

MagicStick overview

Further information

The MagicStick One and MagicStick Wave are available for another 10 days on Indiegogo in packages starting at $99 and $259, respectively. More information may be found on the MagicStick Indiegogo page and MagicStick website.

(advertise here)


One response to “Cherry Trail stick-PC supports Android, Ubuntu Snappy”

  1. Zachary S says:

    Until it ships its the fastest nothing. GoStick is using the same exact specs and even a newer CPU x7-Z8750 in a different case. But again until they ship they don’t exist.

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