Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Computer Stick for the Mobile Chess Warior

Posted by Andrew Ooi
I know it's easier now more than even to travel light especially when we have  Chess Apps for the Chess Warrior but sometimes the serious chess warrior still needs a full blown PC. In cases like these the Chess Warrior can still be mobile by using a computer on a stick.

Yes, it's a full functional PC!

I have blogged about this before but that was the first generation of this device which understandably had teething problems like having horrendous WiFi connection and crippled by only having one USB port. The current new 2nd generation however has fixed all that that meaning it is now very feasible to be used as a proper chess computer.

That means you can have the full blown version of Chessbase, Fritz, Stockfish, Houdini etc running on it. For local tourneys like the Malaysian Open, Penang Open and Johor Open I have managed to use the various hotel TVs as monitor as all of them have HDMI ports which this PC on a stick uses. Coupled with wireless keyboard and mouse you can be up and about preparing like a real Chess Warrior without lugging along a heavy laptop.

So is it really adequate? Let's check out the specs:

  • * Intel® Atom x5 Z8300 Processor 1.44GHz~1.84GHz Quad-Core
  • * Intel® HD Graphics and HD Audio
  • * 2GB DDR3L RAM
  • * 32GB eMMC Storage Drive
  • * Wireless-AC + Bluetooth
  • * GENUINE Microsoft Windows 10 Preloaded

That's just one of the typical PC on a stick that's available on sale at Lazada (price RM 608).

But please, shop around. You may find a better bargain or better model elsewhere.


One big question: Is the processor (CPU) good enough?

The Intel X5 came out in 2015 and is certainly no speed demon but it's definitely faster than your phone or tablet. And it's more than adequate to run any chess apps on it.

One thing I am not happy with is the tiny 32Gb where 20Gb can be used. But most of it is already taken up by the OS so your are left with only a few Gb to play around with. Still there is the Micro SD card slot making it possible to use up to 128Gb of external storage if you need it.

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