Category Archives: Android on PC Hardware

Remix Mini

The Remix Mini emerges as the result of a crowdfunding campaign, orchestrated by three ex-google employees.

Remix Mini Android on PCIt comes under the form of a tiny rounded Android on PC appliance, promising to fulfill all common tasks you may need to accomplish on your standard PC.

These facts by themselves are not that exciting… What makes the Remix Mini that much special is a price tag of 30 USD and the carefully tailored Android OS version running inside it.

Remix OS, inside Remix Mini

The Remix Mini comes with Remix OS, a modified Android OS which includes several enhancements allowing this mini PC to behave more closely as a “normal” computer.

For a start, it allows you to run several apps, inside different windows, like a normal desktop OS would do. Also remember that Microsoft extended their Microsoft Office tools into Android OS.

So for everyday office work, web navigation, remote desktop tasks, multimedia sessions -watch movies, listen to music- and even some mild gaming, the Remix Mini seems to be ok.

Remix Mini Hardware

Remix Mini PortsThe Remix Mini includes the usual network connectivity options, like WIFI, ethernet and Bluetooth. It also comes with standard Headphones, USB and HDMI ports.  THe HDMI output is 4K capable.

On RAM and storage, there are two versions available: One with 1gb RAM and 8gb of storage, and the second one doubling those metrics.

On the processing side, it includes a 64bit chipset which is 20% – 30% faster than 32bit older chipsets. The main processor is a 1.2Ghz quad core Allwinner A53. The graphics co-processor includes H.265 hardware decoding, ideal for that 4K HDMI output.

After writing this, I am actually looking forward to purchasing a Remix Mini for myself !

Rockchip RK3188 and Rikomagic MK902

Interesting times ahead, for Android devices and the whole hardware scene, backing it up.  Specially for the China’s based Rockchip company and its actual flagship processor: The Rockchip RK3188, which -needless to say- can cope nicely with android on PC devices. At low cost.

Inside RK3188 CPU

The surprisingly powerful and versatile RK3188t is a quad core cpu chip, based on ARM  A9 Cortex core. It can be clocked up to 1.8 or 2.0 Ghz. Designed for driving up to 2 megabytes of RAM, includes a MaLi 400 graphics co-processor. This is more than enough foundry for any Android device. Until second quarter of 2014, The RK3188 will be Rockchip’s flagship, mainly targeted for tablet devices, but surely enough more than suitable for Android mini PCs.

Rikomagic MK902 Mini PC uses RK3188 CPU

The Rikomagic MK902 is certainly an ideal example of an RK3188 powered Android mini PC:

It includes an ethernet port, HDMI port, four standard USB ports, microSD cardslot, and even an analog A/V female port, which can be used with a provided A/V cable. It also includes a 5 megapixels camera, an embedded microphone, and -of course- a WIFI adapter (including an external antenna). Lastly, it also comes with a Bluetooth chip. Definitely, the Rikomagic MK902 comes packed with a plethora of connectivity, out of the box.

Rikomagic MK902 Rockchip RK3188

The Rikomagic MK902 makes full use of the Rockchip RK3188 processor, including 2gb of RAM.  On the storage side, it can be purchased in 8gb and 16 gb flavors. The whole hardware thing is backed up by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. But then again, it may also be offered with Ubuntu preinstalled on it. Now you may be wondering about the price. This packed Android mini PC comes with a reasonable price tag ranging from USD 109 up to 143 USD, depending on the store you purchase it.

Lenovo A10 Android Notebook

First Lenovo Android Notebook is here!

Lenovo A10 Android NotebookLenovo A10 is an Android Notebook, a factor form that may be a bit awkward to introduce in the reign of Android devices. Why would anyone jump into an Android Notebook when there are plenty Android tablets with add-on keyboards that may do the trick with the added liberty of detaching the keyboard… Anyway, here it is, the first Lenovo branded Android Notebook, with serious specs -but nothing to be impressed about-. Lenovo is known for their quality notebooks and PC so we might expect at least a robust Android Notebook.

But then, given that this is a notebook, at least then you may be thinking: They surely attached the keyboard in a 360 degrees or even clamshell configuration, so I can get it on my desk as a traditional notebook, or eventually give the screen a spin and use it one handed, tablet like … but then a gain, nope. The screen / keyboard hinges go about 300 degrees at its max aperture. You may end up with your screen up like in the picture attached to this article, but that is it.

Lenovo A10 Android Notebook specs

A nice battery system  -there is lot of space below that keyboard for it- gives this notebook about 9 hours of usage (nothing that impressive, tho). Inside the Lenovo A10 we find a rather humble processor, an A9 ARM running at 1.6 Ghz. The Lenovo A10 includes 1 gigabyte of ram and 16 gb of integrated storage (again, nothing out of this world) and the LCD screen is just 10.1 inches. The Android notebook runs Android 4.2 Jelly bean (not that bad!). The whole system weights about one kilogram.

Intel’s quest about Android on PC

By now it is evident that the global market is finally accepting the concept of Android on PC desktop, as yet another hardware flavor for Google’s operative system.

Main brands, like Acer, Dell, Asus, etc. are steadily jumping into the Android on PC wagon with their All-in-One PC and overhauled big tablets running the internet-centric OS from Google.

Yes we know, right now, this is yet a rather lazy, ongoing development, but it certainly  looks promising under our eyes. There may be quite an upwards jump in  the near future, as you probably read about it: Rumor has it that tablets are going to outsell PCs in the near future -as early as within a year-.

This will probably close the gap between Android and your desktop computing experience, coming into therms on a middle-ground, full of AIO and big Tablets which will allow the common user to share the same apps, games and internet experience through the mobile and desktop scape.

But then again there is a very obvious “someone”  lagging behind, on the verge of this interestingly massive, dawning niche.

Intel is kind of running from behind

Intel seems to be a bit  slow on planting their feet on the mobile-ish Android on PC concept. Why ? Well, in our opinion, Intel might be suffering from a lack of enthusiasm, as the result of their feeble early experience, when the first smartphones where born (smartphones 1.0 Era, we shall call it).

We are talking about Microsoft  Windows CE and Windows Phone OS, Symbian OS, Palm OS, etc. Intel did take some baby steps at that time; We recall their PXA250 and PXA270 processors, mainly used for running Windows CE / Phone and even some Linux mobile phones and mini-tablets like the Sharp Zaurus PDA / tablets.

That early smart mobile world so ninety-ish, 2oth century era, is beyond dead now and certainly Intel was part of that process. Now it seems that extra caution is the rule on the smart mobile path, for such a big structured company. Maybe new Smartphone 2.0 Era opportunity is being distilled with a bureocratic rancor, even.

Android compiled for Intel, Intel designed for Android

INTEL ON ANDROIDSadly enough (for Intel) early attempts of introducing Intel to the “Android experience” where made “from the outside”, with projects like Android x68 porting to standard intel processors.

But then, in this last two years, the giant Intel seems to be finally awaken and in motion, first officially sanctioning an in-house porting of Android to their processors family and now suggesting their newest “system on a chip” products, mainly based on dual core Celeron’s and Pentium processors and HD graphics. While at it they are actually throwing in USB 3.0, SATA 3 and PCI Express 2.0 I/O capabilities.

So it is fair to expect a flow of Intel based all-in-one and smart monitors, Android wised, by 2014 and beyond. Problem at this time might be that Intel processors is quite different from ARM based processors, which are the core of almost every actual Android device nowadays. In case you are wondering, the apps and games need to be specifically compiled for Intel processors. This means, specially at early times, a severely diminished apps and games availability. Time will tell…

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.