Earlier this month, FocusWill Information Technology introduced a device that takes the HDMI-based PC-on-a-stick concept to the next level. Even more, it seems to take note of Commodore's achievements, cramming PC components into a keyboard to create an all-in-one device that connects directly to an HDTV or VGA-based panel. It's called the CoolShip, and it's based on Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" and a Rockchip dual-core SoC.
"In the past years, we have seen a growing demand for All-in-one PC," the company said. "Now the Android OS and its numerous applications have been able to meet the needs of most home computer users, so why not make an android desktop computer for home users? Elderly or children do not necessarily need to be equipped with high-end PC -- the main point is to have their own computer with free software that can be used indefinitely."
According to the spec list, the Android keyboard PC features a Rockchip RK3066 SoC packed with two ARM Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and four Mali 400 GPU cores clocked at 250 MHz. The device also has 1 GB of DDR3 RAM, 4 GB of internal storage (8 GB is optional), Wireless N connectivity, Ethernet, two 7-watt speakers, and a touchpad.
The CoolShip keyboard PC also sports several I/O ports including two USB 2.0 ports, VGA, HDMI output, an SD card slot, and an earphone jack. There's also a built-in 300mAh Li-battery to protect the Android OS in case of power failure or outage. The OS itself is actually a customized (possibly forked) version of Android called CoolShip OS that mimics the Windows platform.
The keyboard itself is a 104 standard QWERTY ergonomic form factor with number keys and customized OS functional "chocolate" keys. Even more, the socket-type motherboard design allows users to easily upgrade or repair the keyboard computer on their own using a simple screwdriver.
"The CoolShip comes from a low-carbon environmental design philosophy," the company said. "It is a hard/software upgradable, energy-saving desktop computer. We opened a small hatch at the back of the casing. With the next generation core board from us, users can easily upgrade the computer by themselves only with a screwdriver in 2 minutes. It will only require a replacement of a palm-sized core board without generating other additional e-waste. The CoolShip is one of the most power efficient computers with a power consumption of less than 10.5 Watts, which is one fifteenth of a traditional desktop PC."
Given the device uses a customized Android OS, users will still have access to Google services like Google Play, Google Docs, Google Chrome and more. That probably means Android may have been decorated with a custom home screen launcher to keep Google in the picture (unlike Amazon).
FocusWill currently has the gadget listed over on Indiegogo, looking to raise $10,000 USD in the next 24 days. Backers contributing $89 get the Starter Package which only includes the base keyboard PC itself. The $100 package consists of the keyboard PC plus a 16 GB SD card, whereas the $199 package also cranks up the internal storage to 8 GB. The $139 "Luxury" package throws in a USB mouse in addition to everything offered in the previous packages.
Consumers looking for something low-dollar to connect to an HDTV as a makeshift HTPC may want to keep an eye on this gadget. So far there is nearly $4000 pledged towards the $10,000 goal, and the company is looking to ship the product in April.
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Would have been great if they make one that can run Windows.Reply
at least they have a NIC port on the backside.Reply
most Androids can't manage other than a wireless network link
XYManWould have been great if they make one that can run Windows.yea but it wouldnt be 89 dollars .. just an instilation of windows is generally valued around 100 give or take the different versions.. so that kinda prices this out of that market .. its basically a monitorless tablet / smartphone most games and or software wouldnt have proper controls becasue every thing is designed for touch but im sure some devs would beable to take advantage of this device.Reply
I'd like that "android" if it can be hook up with a good USB DAC : it could be a great jukebox/HTPC!Reply
So basically a laptop with none of the convenience of a laptop that can't run any of the traditional desktop apps... yeah, this should sell well. I suppose there's a market for something like this in developing countries, but If I had only $100 to spend, I'd just as well get a used lease return laptop from eBay... plenty of choose from there.Reply
I think it's a device that alot of older people that don't game, design or do graphic intensive work will love!!!Reply
It might even catch some use by kids if there are learning activities available for free...
lots of potential I see.
Back in the day I didn't know of anyone that didn't have a c64 or CoCo64(Radio Shack). I did alot of programming on my CoCo64 and it was great fun!
I like it. It can be upgraded and makes a TV "smart". I'd see about loading ubuntu on it tho.Reply
Now make me an HTPC in a remote. :)Reply
So basically a cheap laptop without a screen?Reply
Good idea but poor execution. It needs a better chip. They should have at least put a quad core Krait in it so that you can play phone games on it.Reply