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Oval Elephant Android / Linaro mini PC HDMI Stick

Since Rikomagic MK802 and Zero Device Z802 mini PCs have gone viral and started the Android mini PC craze, this type of device has been popping a bit everywhere… The latest interesting device I found is Oval Elephant Mini PC based on AllWinner A10 processor with 1 GB RAM and selling for 71.49 USD. They have appears to have a whooping 11 in stocks now to be shipped on the 3rd of July, but they are also taking pre-orders and if there is enough demand (over 1,000 pieces), the price would go down to 68 USD.

Oval Elephant mini PC Prototype

The device pictured above is just a prototype, and they have decided to replace the HDMI mini male output by a proper HDMI output (probably male). As I said before I prefer this form factor, especially since you can just connect mini BlueTooth dongles (no sure that one works with Android / Linux though) to add BT connectivity and use your BT wireless keyboard and mouse.

Here are the specs of the device:

SoC Allwinner A10/ 1GHz Cortex-A8 with Mali-400
RAM 1GB DDR3
Storage 4GB NAND Flash
Micro TF card,max 64GB
Connectivity Wireless 802.11b/g/n
USB Micro 5pin USB / USB2.0 OTG
Audio AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, QCP, MP3, WMA, WAV, MIDI, M4A
Video WMV/ASF/MP4/3GP/3G2M4V/AVI/MJPEG/RV10/DivX/VC-1/MPEG-2/MPEG-4/H.263/H.264
HDMI Full HDMI port (not mini) 1080P&2160P
HDMI ESD 3xRailClamp0502B
Power Chip AXP209

Some of the specs on the Oval Elephant are blatantly wrong (e.g. Adreno GPU – AMD Z430), so I modified it on the list above. The specs have now been updated.

You would not normally mention things like HDMI ESD and power chips in a product spec, but they did that because MK802 designers took some shortcuts that can potentially fry the device… and Oval Elephant chose to use a more reliable design. It has also been reported that they will include UART pins on the board so that hackers can “play” with low level software.

By default the device will come pre-loaded with Android 4.0, but they also plan to release XBMC and Ubuntu Linaro images. Using Linaro image for end-user devices is probably not something you would not normally do, as it may not be as stable as the proper Ubuntu release, but those are the best distributions for ARM development as you get the bleeding edge features with monthly releases of the image.

The package includes the HDMI stick, a wireless mouse and a mini USB cable to power the device.

The price does not include shipping, so in the case of the US you’ll have to add about $11 (now reduced to $7.95). Currently it seems it will only ship to select countries. For example, shipping to Thailand is not available.The site has been updated and they can now send to Canada for $14.95 and Worldwide for $19.99.

Go over Oval Elephant page to learn more about their device. Bear in mind that this is a new site (Dec 2011) and a least part of the checkout is not encrypted via SSL. To be fair, I could just go to the address and contact details part, and I’m now waiting for my account to be activated. So I did not go as far as the payment info page.

Via: J1nx’s Place

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  1. June 25th, 2012 at 07:33 | #1
  2. June 25th, 2012 at 09:27 | #2

    @ Tom Cubie
    The price is a little bit higher, but you also include an Air mouse, so that must be why. So that means there is a 2.4 GHz RF transceiver inside the stick as well, right ?
    This version also appears to have a mini HDMI female port and a mini HDMI to HDMI adapter.

  3. June 25th, 2012 at 10:56 | #3

    We are similar to the UHost but are working with the factory to make changes and customizations.
    As for the remote, ours comes with a wireless mouse which can be seen on the product page on our website. You may also purchase the “Fly Mouse” (remote) for an additional cost if you desire (which is the one seen in the above posting link).
    There is not a wireless receiver inside the device. The wireless mouse/fly mouse come with a USB receiver.
    There was an error (as stated above) regarding our specs, this has been corrected on our site. Our apologies.
    Thank you,
    Oval Elephant

  4. June 25th, 2012 at 10:59 | #4

    Also, we have updated shipping for WorldWide. We have also reduced the US to $7.95, Canada $14.95 and WorldWide $19.95.

  5. Klaus
    June 25th, 2012 at 14:37 | #5

    Hi Oval_Elephant,

    are there plans to build a more powerfull version with 2 GB RAM?

    Greetings from Germany

  6. pepe
    June 25th, 2012 at 16:48 | #6

    good question Klaus

  7. June 25th, 2012 at 18:23 | #7

    @Klaus
    Yes we are always looking ahead. Adding more RAM has to be properly tested and takes time. It will also increase the cost/price. Announcements will be made as we begin test/dev phases with alterations. I don’t have an ETA right now.
    Thank you for asking.

  8. Klaus
    June 25th, 2012 at 19:06 | #8

    @Oval_Elephant Thanks for your feedback. Glad to hear about your plans :)

  9. NPS
    June 25th, 2012 at 21:43 | #9

    Right now this is just a Smallart UHOST.

  10. max
    June 26th, 2012 at 05:34 | #10

    Good. Micro SD card slot problem resolved.
    Now, Only power via hdmi, inbuilt Bluetooth (with EDR) , audio out required and we are done :)

  11. June 26th, 2012 at 09:18 | #11

    @ max
    In theory, I would love to have an HDMI dongle powered by the HDMI port (i.e. MHL), but in practice, I don’t like having to fork 1,000 USD to buy a new TV compatible with MHL standard.

    Built-in Bluetooth could be nice, as it would free one USB port. In the meantime, it should be feasible to use a mini USB BT dongle which just adds around 1 cm length to the device and costs about $2 to $4.

  12. max
    June 27th, 2012 at 23:22 | #12

    Agree, But I thought a lot (if not all) of current generation TV’s are already equipped with (has power supply) in their USB and HDMI port. (Or I might be misinformed).

    But I think development should go in that direction. Built in bluetooth should only add few dollars but will make it comparatively mainstream and free a valuable usb port.

    Further a dualcore processor and 2GB ram must be in testing phase. LOL I’m so greedy :)

  13. June 28th, 2012 at 09:30 | #13

    I have an update. As we are working to customize our Oval Elephant time is against us. We were hoping to have the female HDMI port included in an early batch but it’s looking like it will take longer. We aren’t sure how much longer as there is a significant cost to making this type of change, among the others. So for all orders we are including a female/male HDMI extension cable. If you need a female/female adapter, we have those also but for a small price.

    I know it was mentioned that the female HDMI port would be included sooner so I am sorry. We are trying…
    I wanted to give an update and will also post on other threads to prevent any confusion.

    I hope you all understand.
    -OE

  14. June 28th, 2012 at 15:17 | #14

    @ max
    The way I understand it, only MHL enabled TV can provide power via HDMI. There is at least one stick in development that will support MHL: http://www.cnx-software.com/2012/01/05/roku-streaming-stick-hdmimhl-dongle/

    If you look at the list of MHL displays, there aren’t so many.

  15. June 29th, 2012 at 07:06 | #15

    I prefer the female hdmi connector rather than the male. While the male allows one to connect directly to a TV or monitor, not all TVs or monitors are so easily accessible. I have 4 HDMI inputs on my TV and they are fairly cose together, so the a mini pc could block a port or two. My monitors had recessed HDMI ports, so a mini pc with male HDMI would not plug all the way in.

    A female HDMI connector allows one to use an extension cable and not have anything sticking out the back. (Yes, new LCD’s are super thin, but all the plugs are situated so everything plugs in perpendicular…

    I’ve purchase an MK802. I’m considering an Oval Elephant, more now that they are looking to use female HDMI connector.

  16. June 29th, 2012 at 11:29 | #16

    @Trash 80
    Love the name by the way…brings me back to TRS days!
    As for female HDMI, you make a similar statement others do which is why we are looking to set female HDMI onboard. We do however include an extension cable that will remediate the blocking of other ports so in that regard its similar to the Mk802 connectivity. Secondly we do offer a female/female HDMI adapter that can be used is a longer cable was needed or a special cable was used, ie.. HDMI to DVI or VGA or miniHDMI. So we do offer an immediate solution while we work with the factory to change the PCBA.

    Thank you for the feedback.

  17. July 14th, 2012 at 22:42 | #17

    It’s been done! XBMC on Android. We are testing this week!

    http://xbmc.org/theuni/2012/07/13/xbmc-for-android/comment-page-3/#comment-17297

  18. July 14th, 2012 at 22:45 | #18

    @ Oval_Elephant
    It will take a few more month to have a stable version though. No mouse and keyboard support on A10 mini PC, so the current version won’t be useable on mini PC. I tested it on Mele A1000 – http://www.cnx-software.com/2012/07/14/xbmc-for-android-on-the-mele-a1000-video/

  1. June 26th, 2012 at 19:08 | #1