HotHardware's Ten Best Of CES 2016

Best Of CES 2016: SFF PCs and Smartphones

Intel Puts Skylake Core m On A Stick

We know what your thinking. Cut it out, get out of town. Just stop. A full-up dual-core, quad-thread Skylake 64-bit CPU with 4MB of cache and Turbo Boost to 2.8GHz on an oversize thumbstick? Yep and the wizards at Intel pulled it off with Skylake's 4.5 Watt TDP average, to 3.5W TDP-down and 7W TDP-up version of either a Core m5-6Y57 or Core m3-6Y30. The m3 only turbos up to 2.2GHz but you'll likely survive. Behold the Core m-powered Intel Compute Stick. 

Core M Compute Stick1

Though these models are a little pricier than the Atom-based Compute Stick (Intel revamped that with Cherry Trail now too), they pack a lot more punch with 4GB of RAM on board, 64GB of Flash storage and 802.11ac WiFi. 4K streamer you say? Oh yeah, just pop that bad boy into any HDMI port and watch it go. Hardware decode for HEVC (H.265) is on board as well. Microsoft is going to ding you for a $100 Windows license at 4GB of memory (lighten up Redmond!) but at $300 for the Core m3 and $500 for the Core m5 version you've got a fully capable PC in your pocket that will light up any HDMI display to do the Windows 10 happy dance, or Linux or whatever your poison for that matter.

Gigabyte’s Skylake BRIX Mini-PCs

Gigabyte’s refreshed BRIX mini-PCs feature a new chassis design, with brushed aluminum finish that’s resistant to fingerprints. The systems will be outfitted with three Skylake processor options, all with a TDP of 15W and all with Intel HD Graphics 520 onboard: the Core i3-6100U, Core i5-6200U or Core i7-6500U.

Gigabyte Corei3 NUC

Two M.2 slots are included in the BRIX machines, with one already occupied by a combo Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module, and the other awaiting an SSD that you’ll have to provide, because the machines are sold as barebones kits. Interestingly, while Intel’s Skylake NUCs take advantage of DDR4 SO-DIMMs, the new BRIX machines use DDR3L. Other features include four USB 3.0 ports, Intel GbE, and full-sized HDMI and Mini DisplayPort outputs.

The new Skylake BRIX models will be available in a standard, low-height configuration — the GB-BSi3-6100, GB-BSi5-6200 and GB-BSi7-6500 to be exact — which only support a single M.2 SSD. However, there will also be taller “H” models — GB-BSi3H-6100, GB-BSi5H-6200 and GB-BSi7H-6500 — that accommodate an M.2 SSD and a 2.5-inch SATA SSD or HDD for additional storage options.

LeTV Le Max Pro Snapdragon 820

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC will undoubtedly make its way into a slew of smartphones and other devices. But LeTVtv will be the first to use the Snapdragon 820 processor in its Le Max Pro smartphone.
letv 3

We got our hands on the Le Max Pro for a little while at CES and think it’s a winner. This new smartphone will feature Snapdragon Sense ID fingerprint technology with ultrasonic sensor designed to detect that an actual finger is being used for authentication, to make the sensor harder to bypass. The Le Max Pro will also feature 802.11ad wireless networking and Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 technology. The phone’s got a nice big screen, with thin bezels and feel premium in the hand too. No word yet on availability in the U.S., but a rep from LeTV said it was a distinct possibility.

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