Author Archives: Android on PC

Tiny PC

This Tiny PC may be what you need!

This tiny PC is a new Android on PC called Utilite from the Israel based Compulab company. Available since Early August 2013, this Tiny PC is tagged with a starting price below the 100 USD, which sounds quite right. The Utilite size is about 14 cm x 8 cm x 2cm, hence the tiny PC  motto.

The Utilite tiny PC will deliver a PC-like performance for everyday social computing, while also capable of plenty multimedia tricks due to its graphics processor. Most interestingly, the Utilite is fully open sourced, and allows not only to run Android operative system, but also runs Ubuntu Linux.

Tiny PC Utilite

What’s inside the Tiny PC Utilite

The Utilite tiny PC comes in a variety of flavors, starting with its main processor. The lowest cost model will include a single core processor. The pimped up one will include a quad core processor (ARM Cortex A9 CPU). Same with ram, you will get options up to 4gb of ram to crunch your apps and games.

The video output is 1080p, as expected. On the storage side, you will also be able to opt either for a solid state drive, up to 512 Gb or go with the more mundane option of a removable microSD card (up to 128gb). Other ports included are four USB 2.0 ports and even a DVI-I video port. You will also find two ethernet ports, which is kind of interesting for certain applications (firewall ? NAT ? packet inspection ?). Inside the Utilite you will also find the mandatory WIFI network adapter, along with Bluetooth. To round it up, this tiny PC is capable of accommodating your every-day computing needs!

Quad Core mini PC

Next generation Quad Core mini pc is here

It was only logical for the next generation Android on PC, the Quad Core mini PC batch  to emerge sometime around the first half of year 2013. This is possible given the availability of suitable CPUs like the Rockchip RK3188. This new Rockchip includes the added benefit of also being capable of running linux, something that many fervently geeks desired: A quad core mini PC, USB stick sized, with 4 cores ? Dream come true!.

qc802 Android Quad Core mini PC

The Linux flavor that has been tailored for RK3188 processor is Ubuntu, and was first tested on yet another Android on a Stick including the RK3188 processor: The MK802 IV mini PC, which we should be reviewing in a couple of days.This first Android on a Stick with RK3188 Quad Core processor is the QC802 model, with a starting price of USD 62, which sounds about right. About the hardware, it’s cased in a rather generous enclosing, and includes some nice specs:

 

Specs on the QC802 Quad Core mini PC

The QC802 Quad core mini PC includes 2 Gb of ram in order to execute any apps and game you may throw at it. It also includes 8 Gb. of flash ram for storage purposes. The RK3188 processor is a Cortex A9 chip running at 1.6 Ghz and has been paired with an ARM Mali 400MP4 GPU for appropriate graphics processing power. The included operative system is the Android Jelly Bean 4.2.

This Quad core mini PC also includes  a microSD slot for even more storage space, wifi and bluetooth an HDMI port out and an OTG USB 2.0 for expansion purposes. It also includes a micro USB port that is able to power the device when hooked into a suitable powered usb source. This Android based Quad Core mini PC is certainly a very capable computer-in-a-pocket.

Acer Jumps into Android on PC Wagon

The new ACER AIO Android on PC

This new Android on PC from ACER certainly raises the ante on the Android game. This ACER AIO model DA220HQL has been introduced into the market. The official data about this very appealing AIO Android on PC includes a 21.5 inches LCD touchscreen, 1 Gb RAM and 8 or  16 Gb of memory. The price tag at Bestbuy at the time of this writing on their online store is about USD 400, which sounds appealing too. Certainly a bold move into desktop computing for Android, by one of the biggest consumer computer hardware companies in the world.

What is the correct mind frame for this Android device ? Well, “a big tablet” might fit the bill. Of course, it comes with Google Play Store pre-installed. But as some early users rant on their reviews, it seems that not all the apps are present in there. They mention Spotify as one of the missing apps. It wont run Flash content (as happens with almost every recent Android Device). On the other side, you will find Netflix. Proven that you may first test-drive this Android on PC from Acer and verify that all the apps and games you may need are already in place on the Google Play Store, then it may end up being a better purchase than a 10 inch tablet, while keeping the price on the same ballpark.

Acer Android on PC

Acer AIO Android on PC Specs

Behind the full HD resolution 21.5 incles tactile LCD, you will get a 1Ghz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor. Listed on the product specs, we also find a webcam, bluetooth, wifi, a wireless keyboard and a mouse. Quite the package. Definitely worth the money Acer asks for it’s AIO Android on PC. On top of all the nifty hardware you will find Android 4.0 operative system at your fingertips.

Dell’s Project Ophelia

Dell and Ophelia

Dell jumps into the Android on PC niche with project Ophelia. Although the project label infuses a certain grandeur aura into this Dell thingy, at the end of the day  Ophelia is yet another Android on a stick. Promised to be released on July 2013, the Dell Ophelia depicts the usual array of goodies under the hood, as well as I/O connectors. Cased inside a pen drive sized plastic shell, the only significative differencing mark seems to be the well known Dell Branding.

Dell Project Ophelia

Dell’s market angle for project Ophelia is as an inexpensive alternative  to Tablets and PC: They argue that your HD or HDTV will perfectly serve as a simple Internet Workstation, while also infusing it with extended multimedia and gaming capabilities due to the Dell’s Ophelia Android 4.1.2  preinstalled inside it. On the other side – Dell is also talking about giving Ophelia an enterprise twist, marketing it as a pocket sized client, including tools like their DELL WYSE Cloud Client Manager.

Inside Dell Ophelia

Our main concern with Dell Ophelia is how will such a cheap and small looking casing will cope with heat management. Heat dissipation has been the main stress fact for devices like this. Anyway, at this early time, there are several blank spaces on the specs side for Dell’s Ophelia, due to it’s  “project” status. The information that Dell disclosed can be summarized a follows:

The Dell Ophelia is powered by a dual core Cortex A9  SOC (“system on a Chip”) processor, clocked at 1.6 Ghz. Memory-wise, it comes with 8Gb of flash ram dedicated to Storage, where you will place your Apps and Games. The Dell Ophelia also includes a microSD slot for storage memory expansion purposes. On the wireless connectivity side it includes WI-FI and Blutooth capabilities.

A standard sized HDMI connector protrudes from one end of it, allowing for easy connection into your TV or Monitor.This HDMI interfase comes with MHL support, so if your TV is MHL compatible, the Ophelia will be powered thru the HDMI interfase, dismissing the need of an external power supply.

In a recent press interview, Dell placed  a USD 100 ballpark for their Ophelia device, which -at this time- definitely sounds like a bit on the expensive side for an “Android on a stick”. Since Ophelia details are yet to be fine-tuned, we hope that the extra money is really worth it.

AndroVM

AndroVM is a ready-to-go Android on PC

AndroVM is a free prepackaged virtual machine ready to run Android on PC by using a provided Virtual Machine player. IF you already like to play with virtual machines, you may also try to import AndroVM -which is packaged in the Open Virtualization Format– into your virtualization software of choice. We tried it on our VMWARE FUSION, and after issuing a warning about a non 100% compliant OVF (Open Virtualization Format) it ended up running fine. The AndroVM package we tested included Google Apps and Google Play Market.

AndroVM Functionality

AndroVM Android on PCThe guys at AndroVM seems to be actively churning out new versions while adding features. At the time of this writing, we can definitely attest on AndroVM maturity and functionality.  You will find  Android 4.1.1 version inside current virtual machine package (dated 2013022)  including seamless mouse integration, software and hardware OpenGL, and extra niceties provided that you use their  virtual machine player, dubbed AndroVMplayer.

This freely downloadable virtual machine player is available for Windows,Linux  and MAC OS. It is a finely tuned wrapper, which will let you configure resolution and DPI, as check up on hardware OpenGL availability, before starting to run the Android on PC virtual macine.

AndroVM packaged ready to run Android machines currently come in several flavors, depending on the hardware you want to emulate, as in phone, tablet, or hybrid configuration, either with or without Google Apps. If you are looking into running Android on your PC, side to side with your actual OS, AndroVM, including the preinstalled Android OS and it’s virtual machine player will do the trick.

MiiPC

 MiiPC Mini Android PC for Kids

In a novel twist over the Android on PC arena (at least for now), MiiPC Mini Android PC starts as a kickstarter project, capitalizing on parent’s fear of leaving their kids on the wild over Internet. Similar in proposal as the Nabi Tablet, this Android mini computer proposes an enhanced set of parental controls promising safe browsing over the net, coupled with some educational tools  for our little ones.

This might be a cool mini computer for elementary school students perfectly capable of helping with their homework while keeping a close eye on them by providing a safe surfing environment. The MiiPC runs on Android 4.2 Jellybean which also -by now- is the most versatile Android framework available. If you are interested in getting  a MiiPC then the initial cost on the kickstarter campaign webpage is USD 99, which is a nice price, considering the extra work on the parental twist and the nice casing design with the depicted green ghost light. Be also prepared to wait, as the first MiiPC units are scheduled to get into the street sometime around third quarter, 2013.

MiiPC Android Mini PC

MiiPC Hardware

The MiiPC Android mini PC is rather unimpressive, hardware wise. Yet, it is enough power to tackle the usual Android tasks. Powered by a Marvell Armada dual core processor, running at 1.2 Ghz, the MiiPC includes 1gb of RAM and 4Gb of Flash memory. The MiiPC also includes an SD slot for flash memory expansion.

Networking-wise, the MiiPC comes with a Bluetooth 4.0 interfase, the usual wifi 802.11 b/g/n wireless network, and -nice touch- an ethernet port. Worth mentioning, the MiiPC includes a speaker and microphone jack, and HDMI (1080p) port and usb 2.0 ports.