Mini PC For HDMI Connection – 1.6 GHz Dual Core ARM Cortex A9 & Android 4.0 For Little Money

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15 Aug, 2012 2:13 am

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There are now more and more micro-computers with an ARM platform that can be connected via the HDMI port to the TV to function as a kind of Android based smart TV. So far, the performance of these devices is very limited with their AllWinner A10 ARM Cortex-A8 processors, but now a new product is on the market packing plenty of power. The mini-PC made by South African company Reno Botes has no official name, but is already available online at a price of $89 including shipping.

The specifications are pretty impressive to read. The mini PC has a 1.6 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 Dual Core processor with ARM Mali graphics 400MP4. It also has 1 GB of DDR3 RAM and 4 GB of internal flash memory. Via MicroSD card slot, the memory can be expanded by up to 32 GB. The mini PC has Wi-Fi, a large and a microUSB port, and various other features that you can see in the list below. The device is expected to come from a Chinese supplier and will be available elsewhere soon.

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Here are the specifications:

Operation System Google Android 4.0.4 ICS
CPU Dual ARM Cortex-A9 process.UP to 1.6GHZ,Mali-400MP4 Quad-core GPU,Support Opengl ES 1.1/2.0,Openvg 1.1 Opencl
RAM DDR3 1GB
Internal Memory Nand Flash 4GB
Memory External Support External Storage via. Micro-SD card, Support up to 32GB
Networking WiFi 802.11b/g/n 10/100Mbps With internal Antenna
Graphics Type Integrated Graphics Mali400, Supports 1080P video (1920*1080)
Input/Output Connectors
Ports 1 x USB 2.0 Host 1 X micro usb host
1 x Micro-SD card slot
Power 90-230V,50/60Hz input, max. power: 30W, Output: 5V/2A
Device Specification
Dimensions 10.1X3.8×1.3cm
Net Weight 38g
Package weight 200g
Color Black/Blue/Red
Software Performance
Android Market Support Android Market Place
Flash Player Support Adobe Flash 11
Gaming Built-in 3D Accelerator. Support 3D gaming
Email Gmail, POP3/SMTP/IMAP4. Emailing is easier than ever before when there is network connection
Multi-Media
Video Watch online video by connect to internet. local video playing: Video Decoding:Mpeg1/2/4.H.264,VC-1,Divx,Xvid,RM8/9/10,VP6,Video Formats: MKV,TS,TP,M2TS,RM/RMVB,BD-ISO,AVI,MPG,VOB,DAT,ASF,TRP,FLV etc full formats
Audio Audio Decoding:DTS,AC3,LPCM,FLAC,HE-AAC
Audio Formats: MP3,OGG,WMA,WMAPRO
Picture JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF
E-Book PDF, TXT etc.

Source: Liliputing


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  • Jared Casto

    Even though I don’t really have a need for these type of things, I think it would be nice to own one just to see what it’s really capable of.

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    This looks like a very capable device.

    Seeing what the Allwinner A10 based sticks can do, this will run you a full Linux desktop with acceptable speed (even LibreOffice, Thunderbird and such) or Android with very good speed (e.g.: ShadowGun and other games). Looks-like it has 1GB DDR3 RAM so probably, it includes speedy RAM modules).

    This has a Mali-400 GPU in its highest performance setup (4 GPU cores) so games and video playing should not be a problem at all.

    Of course, it will never run Windows, so you need to get friendly with Linux or Android (Linux).

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    The stick-computer game is really heating up. Looks like this is something Microsoft is missing out on (again).

    These devices can practically replace a desktop (if you are ok with Linux) and can serve as a “TV-smartener” for media center duties.

  • http://www.netbooknews.com Nicole Scott

    Especially based on the price. I think the most interesting things are yet to come out of this, the cheap home automation, built in display’s all connected via WiFi. It’s really exciting stuff!

  • CyberGusa

    Not so fast, you can’t just port any Linux distro you want onto ARM. Each system needs support and a proper porting of Linux.

    Allwinner A10 already had that kind of support but that isn’t true of all ARM devices.

    So right now you can only be sure of Android running on this device.

  • CyberGusa

    Long way from replacing a desktop, performance is still a fraction of what a desktop can do but it’s okay for basic usage.

  • Axe Teve

    You guys are getting any review units?

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    Absolutely true, I am just projecting my wishes :).

    However, with the recent merging of important features between the Linux mainline kernel and Android’s forked Linux kernel, it should become easier and easier to put desktop Linuxes onto devices which were designed with only Android in mind.

    Hopefully, in the next few iterations of the Linux kernel, every specialty of the Android kernel gets embedded into the mainline and Android loving device developers could simply post their drivers to the mainline as well (even if only in binary form).

    It is also worth noting, that Linux support is already quite widespread among ARM SOC manufacturers. E.g.: Tegra3 and OMAP4 are both fairly well support Linux. Rockchip wouldn’t be the first company to have Linux support as well after Android support is solidified.

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    It is far from current high-end x86 but it is already very well within the comfort zone of the average user. Heck, Nautilus starts slower on my Toshiba M200 (not high-end but still) than on that Allwinner demo.

  • CyberGusa

    I still wouldn’t count on it. Canonical for example has been working for some time to take advantage of the re-merged Kernel to get Ubuntu to run on Android for a literal desktop mode but it’s not that simple and thus is going to take time.

    It’ll eventually get there, just ease back on the expectations a bit as they got a lot of work to do before we get there still.

    Mind ARM is a pretty fragmented platform with nearly everyone using their own custom version of the platform and many impose closed drivers that make them harder to work with.

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    Yes, Ubuntu for Android is the first visible fruit of that merging but others will follow.

    For example, I expect the hw support of mainline Linux to improve continuously since many Android device vendors will port their drivers to mainline when they see that the differences are mainly gone (so no real extra effort is needed).

    I concur that, ARM is fragmented, but Linaro and – in a funny way – Microsoft too are working on making ARM hw more uniform (through standardizing for WindowsRT).

  • CyberGusa

    Don’t assume too much from some things working well, like any PC a ARM system has things it may do well but it also has things it doesn’t do well.

    Overall, the next gen ARM chips coming out like quad core Cortex A15 based chips are indeed rivaling Intel ATOM performance, but lower end and older chips still dip below that level of performance.

    ARM chips just tend to have better graphics than Intel ATOMs and that helps in certain applications but CPU intensive applications will show the difference.

    Also be wary of what you’re running as some may be effected by drive speed. The microSD/SD cards can be bottlenecks, especially because they can’t read and write at the same time.

  • CyberGusa

    “Others will follow” may be a bit on the pie in the sky side of expectations, since porting of that nature requires a lot of time and effort.

    Canonical is one of the most capable of major distros makers, yet it’s taking them a long time to make it work, and not all of the others can match them for that kind of effort.

    So we’ll likely see separate ports of Linux instead of merged ports like they’re trying for Ubuntu.

    However, the device vendors support for Android is testament to what to expect for Linux and it’s not good. Fragmentation is one of the biggest problems with many ARM devices and is one of the reasons why you don’t see the latest version of Android on most devices and Android isn’t a hard OS to port. It’s also why most drop support for ARM devices within the first 2 years.

    Apple actually has better support than Android but that’s because they don’t have to worry about multiple versions and pretty much use the same hardware for years.

    You are right about Linaro, and they’ve made some progress but it’s still a long road ahead and many are probably waiting for ARM to more consistently provide the kind of performance needed to run a desktop OS before they get more serious.

    A ARM based gaming console will probably help accelerate interest though.

    On MS part, besides contributing to Linux, Windows RT is also helping to reduce fragmentation with the minimum requirements they impose before allowing any system to have Windows RT pre-installed, which in turn means more standard platform for porting Linux to as they can use the same hardware to run a Linux version of the system.