Just when we thought that computers couldn’t get much smaller, Mini PC sticks come into the limelight to dispel these thoughts. The Azulle Quantum Access Mini PC Stick is a tiny device that lets you take your processing power closer to your pocket. It allows you to plug it into any monitor or TV to run windows application, surf the internet or stream media at your convenience. The Quantum Access stick is powered by a quad-core Atom Intel Z3735F processor and comes pre-installed with windows 10, 32-bit version. The PC stick resembles the Intel Compute stick in terms of design, features and performance but its main selling point is the inclusion of an Ethernet port for offering reliable internet access faster than Wi-Fi. The Shuttle XPC Nano remains to be our Editor’s choice for budget desktops as it comes with more full-features and has both Ethernet and multiple USB ports.
The Quantum access stick comes with a ribbed radial design that is quite different from other Mini PCs. It is all black with a nice textured look on the front. It measures 4.94 x 1.54 x 0.72 inches (LWH) and weighs in at 0.6 pounds which makes it easy to carry it around with you. This are the same dimensions seen on the Intel Compute Stick which is a bit shorter and thinner measuring at 4.5×1.5×0.47 inches. The Asus Chromebit is even a much smaller system running on the less demanding chrome OS measuring at 4.8×1.2×0.67 inches. The back of the Quantum access is a bit thicker to fit the Ethernet port available on this device. On the left side of the Mini PC is an antenna for better wireless reception that can be positioned to point any side.
Under the hood, the Quantum Access Stick houses a 1.33 GHz quad-core Atom Z3735F processor, a similar Bay Trail CPU on the Intel Compute stick. The system includes 2GB RAM and Intel HD graphics. It amasses enough power to handle basic computing tasks such as web browsing and streaming of media. It however does not measure up to the full-sized desktop or laptop in launching of programs and opening of files, but it is quick enough not to be annoying. The Quantum Access stick is great if handled as a supplement to your main PC, you should avoid demanding programs such as editing of videos and massive excel sheets for better performance. There is a 32 GB of eMMC flash storage on board which is bigger than the 16GB seen on the chrome OS based Chromebit. You will however get 20GB of usable space as windows takes the remaining space.
When it comes to gaming, only simple games can play on this Quantum Access stick offering playable frame rates on games such as Minecraft at low settings. The stick PC is more suitable for watching video content compared to playing games. You will get to access Netflix, YouTube and Hulu in this PC stick and enjoy watching the movies without any stuttering. HD videos play well in VLC with no choppy video performance despite a slight delay when loading. So you should be fine streaming on this device. This is a fanless PC that runs silent thus making it great to use in the living room. It does get warm while running but not hot enough to cause any problem.
The connectivity options on the Quantum Stick include a full-sized USB 2.0 port, a microUSB port and a dedicated external power microUSB port. There is also a microSD card slot that comes in handy if you want to increase the storage. The single standard USB port means that you only be able to connect one peripheral and use Bluetooth to connect the others. Alternatively, you can go for a USB hub for more ports. It will be important to purchase a powered USB hub so that you can be able to connect heavy drawing devices including USB-powered external HDDs. There is a male HDMI plug on the end and you will get a female-to-female adapter out of the box that will enable you to hook a regular HDMI cable for more length and avoid the stick blocking other ports. Internet connectivity is available by way of 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. However, for faster and reliable performance, the Ethernet port available on the stick offers cabled connection.
To operate your Quantum Access, you will need to purchase a keyboard and a mouse separately. It is at this point that the Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 comes in to enable you control your computer from the comfort of your couch or bedroom. The keyboard sits comfortably on your lap with a layout similar to that of a laptop. The keyboard has a built-in trackpad and media control buttons for PCs. It also boasts of an impressive battery life of up to 18 months of battery usage. As such, you don’t have to worry of a drained or weak battery coming on your way while finishing up on an important assignment or left hanging during gameplay.
The Azulle Quantum Access Mini PC Stick is a decent fully functional Windows 10 PC in such a small body. The pocket size PC is great for streaming media as it is fueled by a top-of-the-line Intel HD Graphics (Gen 7). The Quantum Access is driven by the all-new Intel Atom (Quad-core) 1.33 GHZ Z3735F processor. The 2GB of DDR3L RAM and a snappy 32GB of onboard memory is great to ensure an optimal performance. This powerful combination of hardware is perfect for heavy word processing, high definition video streaming, and gaming. Further, the fanless design and use of Ethernet is a big win for the Quantum over the Compute stick. They are however both competent tiny machines that are good for general basic computing. The Shuttle XPC Nano is a worth alternative with full features that makes it our Editor’s choice on budget desktops. The Azulle Quantum Access Mini PC Stick is not the fastest machine out there, so it won’t blow anything out of the water but it is worth your consideration.