The typical PC-on-a-stick packaged in a flash drive form factor may not have the power you need, especially if you are in the market for a versatile media center.
You might want something a bit larger with higher performing hardware, such as the recently debuted MSI Wind Box DC110 small form factor computer.
This system - approximately the size of an external DVD drive - runs Windows 8 and is powered by an 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron processor. The Wind Box, equipped with a 2.5-inch hard drive, is capable of supporting up to 4 GB of RAM. The machine is already on sale in Germany (priced at around €400), and should be making its way to other countries ASAP.
Connectivity options include integrated WiFi, a quartet of USB 2.0 ports, headphone port, and mic port. The back of the machine hides a VGA output, and HDMI output, two more USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, optical audio output, DC input as well as a speaker output.
The Wind Box measures 7.6-inches by six-inches by 1.4-inches and weighs only 1.8 pounds. Frankly, the device is impressively small, especially given the fact that it's a full-fledged Windows 8 computer.
Although the Wind Box won't exactly break any computing records, it is fully capable of handling HD video playback and basic computing tasks such as surfing the web and email. This could be an excellent choice for a home theater PC or a first PC for a child. Unfortunately, there's no word on availability (yet) for the United States at this time.