Micro PCs

Android 4.0 Mini PC

wmk802.jpg

Fredrik’s recent purchase of his Android 4.0 Mini PC

The device that I demonstrated this morning (28 June 2012) at the JCC is the MK802 made by Ricomagic.com, which I bought from Aliexpress.com for €60, incl. airmail postage to Spain. A photo of the unboxing is shown.

IThe MK802 runs the latest Android software (Ice Cream Sandwich) and is capable of booting from a MicroSD card into e.g. Linux. You can attach many USB devices. I use a remote keyboard & mouse, but there is an on-screen keyboard if you only attach a mouse. We saw it stream hi-res video from a USB stick as well as from the BBC iPlayer this morning. The processor is "only" a single core 1GHz but the video circuit is very powerful, supposedly able to stream HDMI video at 1080P and 2160P (the latter not yet supported by Android).

I have not yet been able to find a USB microphone for voice input to Skype nor install the Chrome beta browser from the Android Play Store, but the stock browser as well as Dolphin works fine, as does e.g. Google Earth, Gmail etc.

I found the product thanks to this review:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/07/mk802-android-4-0-mini-pc-hands-on-impressions/

and have found it ideal for turning a large screen TV into a fully flexible Media Center that takes very little space and power and that is absolutely silent.

There is a forum for support in English at: http://www.rikomagic.co.uk/ that also supplies the product, but at a higher price.

AliExpress operates an escrow system so that your payment is only forwarded to the supplier once you have received the product in good working order. For the tracking of the shipment I used: http://www.sao.cn/

I also mentioned that I use a Virtual Private Network service on this and my other devices in order to be able to stream from various sources. After trying a number of such services, my preferred is now WiTopia https://www.witopia.net/ that allows you to install the VPN on any number of devices (PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iPad, etc) and have up to two simultaneous connections open. Their basic service is US$50 per year and allows connections to a very wide variety of nodes around the world - sorry Jackie: I mentioned in error a $30 price tag this morning!

If you want more info or a further demo at the JCC, talk to Fredrik. You may like to join the PC-TV Special Interest Group, in order to keep abreast with the latest developmenst in Micro PCs and other devices.

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