$74 Android PC on a Stick Sells Out, Stock to Return in June

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News Posted: Sat, May 19 2012 11:51 AM
Ultra low cost PCs are all the rage these days, from the $25 Raspberry Pi to a $74 Android 4.0 USB/HDMI thumb drive based on AllWinner's A10 design. The latter was recently made available to purchase from an overseas vendor, and unsurprisingly, stock quickly sold out. Shipments to those who managed to place an order will go out on Friday; everyone else will have to wait until June 10, which is when a new batch is expected to be available.

So, what exactly is this thing? This nifty device is about the size of a standard thumb drive and, as mentioned above, boasts both USB and HDMI ports. It sports an AllWinner A10 processor clocked at 1.5GHz with a Mali 400 GPU (based on ARM's Cortex A8 SoC), 512MB of RAM, 4GB of flash storage, a microSD card slot, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi connectivity, and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).


Ali Express, the vendor selling the stick (model MK802), claims it's the "smallest volume Google TV player" around. Towards that end, just plug in the power supply, sync up a wireless keyboard and mouse, and use the HDMI port to connect to your swank HDTV and what you end up with is a highly portable Google TV device that allows you to install apps from Google Play.
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AKnudson replied on Sat, May 19 2012 12:22 PM

mini pc's are the future. and if they are that low cost sign me up for one in june.

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Bolrog replied on Sat, May 19 2012 9:20 PM

nice design, just wonder what kind of performance it will give

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I'm so bummed about this... I debated about buying one, then finally decided to pull the trigger, only to see that they had sold out. I was 5 minutes too late!

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Im buying one soon... I need one of these Im tired of my power sucking Computer to run just to check my email

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JDiaz replied on Sun, May 20 2012 5:17 PM

Low cost solutions still tend to be low performance solutions. The Raspberry Pi for example is more intended as a learning tool that a affordable ARM computing device solution. Like booting Linux can take up to several minutes for it but it works and it's great for tinkering.

The Allwinner A10 is a bit more powerful but it's still a low end chip based on the aging Cortex A8 architecture. The target clock speed is actually 1.2GHz but apparently the makers of that USB stick are over clocking it to 1.5GHz. Though the standard specs are for 1GB of RAM and they only managed to put 512MB in that stick, but should give performance closer to what you could have expected from say a 1GHz dual core A9 based device.

So expect good performance for Android and Google TV, but only manageable performance for a desktop Linux distro. Since even a netbook should still provide more performance.

The main thing about the Allwinner A10 though is it supports porting of Linux and there are already many forums supporting it and Open Source code to make the transition much easier than it is on many other ARM solutions.

So they should make useful tools if nothing else for now. While ARM is constantly improving and it may be just another two years before we see a doubling of performance needed to use these things for more advance applications.

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karanm replied on Sun, May 20 2012 8:47 PM

74 bucks!! I am definitely getting one.

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