VIA's $49 Android-Based Mini-PC is No Bigger Than a Banana
It's almost like hooking up an Android smartphone to your HDTV, only with mouse and keyboard support.
VIA Technologies is seemingly riding the coattails of the Raspberry Pi craze by offering its own miniature PC around the size of a small banana (Ed. note: at least it appears so in terms of volume). But unlike the current Pi, this APC Android PC system comes ready to roll right out of the box and packs extra features like 2 GB of on-board storage and VGA output.
On Tuesday VIA Tech said that its new APC 8750 is based on the new Neo-ITX form factor measuring just 17-cm x 8.5-cm, and can be housed in any standard Mini-ITX or microATX chassis. It idles at 4 watts of power, but jumps up to 13.5 watts during maximum load.
"APC brings the familiarity and convenience of Android to the PC at a US$49 price point that will open up exciting new markets and applications," said Richard Brown, VP of Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. "Like a bicycle for your mind, APC will enable more people than ever before to explore the vast online universe."
Pre-installed is a custom (forked) build of Google's Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" OS that has been optimized for keyboard and mouse input. It comes with a stock browser (doesn't look 3rd party) and a number of apps including Adobe Reader, Angry Birds and YouTube.
On the hardware side, the APC packs a 800 MHz VIA WonderMedia ARM 11 SoC with a built-in 2D/3D GPU core capable of video output up to 720p. Also included is 512 MB of DDR3 RAM, 2 GB of on-board storage (NAND Flash), HDMI, VGA, 4 USB 2.0 ports, audio out / mic in, a microSD card slot, a 10/100 Ethernet port and a 15W power adapter.
"APC was not built like an ordinary PC," the company said. "For openers, we started with an awareness that the purpose of a computer is to connect to the Internet. It is the Internet that now defines computing. When you begin here, magic happens. Expensive, overpowered CPUs and bloated software are no longer relevant."
Priced at just $49 USD, APC will ship in July 2012. For more details, head over to www.apc.io.