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VIA's $49 Android-Based Mini-PC is No Bigger Than a Banana


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.


 

  • PhilFrisbie
    I need to add this to my Christmas list ;)
    Reply
  • asnorton44
    Might give it a try.
    Reply
  • festerovic
    "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."

    word?
    Reply
  • skaz
    Article says it has an output of 720p. That's a bummer. Wish it was 1080p
    Reply
  • chomlee
    This would be a pretty good HTPC. If you loaded this with an SD card with movies, you could use mizuu to serve as your player/organizer (awesome program by the way with a scrubber that gets the movie info and poster art automatically for you). You could then download the Playon App and run Hulu, HBOGO etc. Unfortunately, it is only 720P but at least it is a start.
    Reply
  • chomlee
    Oh also, someone would have to come up with a remote app that could be used to control the device or maybe even an ir dongle that you could use to program your harmony remote.
    Reply
  • joebob2000
    chomleeThis would be a pretty good HTPC. If you loaded this with an SD card with movies, you could use mizuu to serve as your player/organizer (awesome program by the way with a scrubber that gets the movie info and poster art automatically for you). You could then download the Playon App and run Hulu, HBOGO etc. Unfortunately, it is only 720P but at least it is a start.
    If you have a 1080p display the size of which allows you to glean an actual advantage from having 1080p on vs 720p, you can probably afford to upgrade to one of the many 1080p media players that are out there for like $100. The really cool thing about this isnt movies or even HTPC necessarily, it's internet and interactivity at a superbly cheap price point, like low enough that for $100 you could get a cheap used display, keyboard, and mouse plus one of these boards (hopefully they will sell a
    Reply
  • ddan49
    Does anyone else want a roundup of different ultra-portable/budget computers? I want to see how this benchmarks vs other similar computers like the Raspberry Pi
    Reply
  • Murissokah
    Still, the banana has more potassium.
    Reply
  • whimseh
    "Android" yeah... no thanks :)
    Reply