$49 Android PC from Via
Like Raspberry PI, Via has chosen an ARM11 processor for its bargain computer.
In this case, it is Via’s WonderMedia SoC, usually aimed at tablets.
The PC, called APC, integrates memory, storage, and consumer-focussed I/Os in a 170x 85mm ‘Neo-ITX’ footprint.
“APC brings the familiarity and convenience of Android to the PC at a $49 price point that will open up markets and applications,” said Via marketing v-p Richard Brown.
The system features a custom build of Android 2.3 that has been optimised for keyboard and mouse input.
This customisation has to be done well, as insufficient keyboard+mouse optimisation of Android sunk Toshiba’s otherwise excellent non-touchscreen AC100 smartbook.
The AC100 also suffered because it was forbidden to access Google’s Android apps store, and no customised later versions of Android – Via take note.
Via also has an introductory video for the APC.
The board comes with a browser and a selection of pre-installed apps including a YouTube viewer.
Via invented the popular Mini-ITX motherboard footprint, and “Neo-ITX form factor can be housed in any standard Mini-ITX or microATX chassis, providing enthusiasts with flexibility to create mods and DIY projects, as well as rapid time-to-market for system integrators and OEMs”, claimed the firm.
Power consumption is 4W idle and 13.5W flat-out.
APC is set to ship in July, and there will be a dedicated website.
At a glance
800MHz ARM11 core
Optimised Android 2.3
HD video support
Hardware video acceleration
VGA and HMDI outputs
Four USB 2.0 ports
2Gbyte NAND Flash
512Mbyte* DDR3 SDRAM
15W power adaptor