Home > AllWinner A1X, Android, Hardware, Linux > Smallart U-Host AllWinner A10 mini PC is Available for $20

Smallart U-Host AllWinner A10 mini PC is Available for $20

Last July, I reviewed Smallart U-Host (U1A), an Android TV stick based on AllWinner A10 with 1GB RAM and 4GB RAM. At the time, I had a positive opinion of the device as the Android firmware was stable, and mostly did it was supposed, and it was feasible to run Linux distributions on the device. At that time, it was sold for $70, but this morning, Clint, one of my reader, informed me he spotted an AllWinner A10 device selling for $20.50 on Dealextreme.

U2 on Dealextreme

This device and the user interface resembles very much to Smallart U-Host, but the model name reported on Dealextreme is U2. According to Smallart U2 page, this device is based on Rockchip RK3066, so it’s just another naming mistake on DealExtreme. The rest of the specs are identical to Smallart U-Host:

  • SoC – Allwinner A10 (Cortex A8) @ 1.5GHZ
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 4GB NAND flash + microSD slot (upt to 32GB)
  • Video Output – HDMI + mini USB OTG
  • Video Format – AVI, RM/RMVB, MKV, WMV and MOV
  • USB – USB 2.0 host port
  • WiFi – 802.11 b/g/n
  • Dimensions – 9.7 cm x 4.1 cm x 1.2 cm
  • Weight – 38g

The device is sold with a power adapter, a 8cm HDMI cable (8cm), a USB cable (80cm) and an English user manual, exactly the same accessories I received with Smallart U-Host (aka Oval Elephant).

The $20 price tag is either a mistake, or the device does not sell that well and they want to get rid of existing stock.

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  1. Alex
    January 3rd, 2013 at 17:38 | #1

    I’ve ordered one. Hopefully I will get it soon.

  2. Frans
    January 3rd, 2013 at 17:48 | #2

    Thanks for the post.
    I’ve taken my chances and ordered one. At that price there is little to loose.
    Guess it’ll take a few weeks before it arrives here.

  3. January 3rd, 2013 at 18:42 | #3

    wow I payed ~80 bucks for this a couple of months ago.
    I’ll pick up an extra one just for fun. These work GREAT with the motorola lapdock.
    The wifi leaves something to be desired though.

  4. Nerijus
    January 3rd, 2013 at 19:23 | #4

    The wifi leaves something to be desired though.

    May I ask why? Is Wi-Fi unstable?
    Considering to get one of these to replace my Raspberry Pi with XBMC.

  5. someone
    January 3rd, 2013 at 19:50 | #5

    wow. at that price, i didn’t think twice and ordered one too before they sell out ;)

    anyone know how to install linux on it? (i could live with android too, if i have to, but i like my systems to be a little more open, even the small ones ;)

  6. January 3rd, 2013 at 23:31 | #6

    Hmm since my MK802 is not booting and not flashing I brought this. Do anybody has any knowledge about 0×162 error on live suit .. I have google like 8 to 10 hours for the same without any help :(

  7. January 4th, 2013 at 00:15 | #7

    Hopefully these end up being as good as the others and everything is on the up-and-up (accurate specs, correct price, etc), so fingers crossed I haven’t passed along something that ends up being not as advertised! I’ve just put my order in though :)

    There any word on whether or not these can be rooted, or if they perhaps come already rooted?

    Thanks

  8. Marius
    January 4th, 2013 at 03:11 | #8

    someone :
    wow. at that price, i didn’t think twice and ordered one too before they sell out
    anyone know how to install linux on it? (i could live with android too, if i have to, but i like my systems to be a little more open, even the small ones

    Just look for sunxi linux, you’ll find plenty of stuff for the A10. Also there’s some specific config for this Uhost ( which btw seems to the be same board as MK802ii ). You can find the config here:

    https://github.com/linux-sunxi/sunxi-boards/blob/master/sys_config/a10/mk802ii.fex

    I’ve just bought this too and I’m waiting for it to arrive. Apparently you can also find some online Linaro images, just google for uhost Linaro.

  9. renw0rp
    January 4th, 2013 at 03:12 | #9

    ordered one, I hope its not a mistake. My first time buying things directly from the far east…

  10. The Cageybee
    January 4th, 2013 at 05:05 | #10

    Just bagged a couple myself. Was considering buying 30 to knock out on ebay here in UK. Couldn’t find any feedback on the seller regarding previous transactions and stopped myself. Did anyone else find any feedback?
    Hope we haven’t been conned. I guess we’ll find out in about a month.

  11. The Cageybee
    January 4th, 2013 at 06:32 | #11

    @CNX – Do you know where I can find some benchmarks of usb hdd performance on similar A10 devices with standard linux distros (i.e. not android). Having trouble finding anything.
    Have you done any tests like that yourself on these things?

  12. January 4th, 2013 at 08:53 | #12

    @Formula350 (Clint)
    You can do pretty much anything you want with Android/Linux with A10 stick. I can’t remember if it comes rooted (I think it does), but if it is there’s a way to root it.

    I hope you can get your device (the price tag brought more people to the site that I thought it would), and DX does not keep real-time stock, they just cancel orders after realizing the item is not in stock.

  13. January 4th, 2013 at 08:54 | #13

    @The Cageybee
    I haven’t tried USB HDD performance, and I haven’t seen benchmarks posted online.

  14. Arawn
    January 4th, 2013 at 16:43 | #14

    I ordered one yesterday, lets see how it goes. I will comment here as the situation develops, hope it ships. Customs can be very annoying here in Portugal, hope it sails through due to low value.

  15. doc. Bormental
    January 4th, 2013 at 17:41 | #15

    cnxsoft @03.01.2013 9:57:38
    result in
    arvingong [DX staff member] @January 03, 2013 8:11 PM

    Hello @RiDo1,
    U2 has been sold out.
    Thanks for your enquiry.

  16. January 4th, 2013 at 17:44 | #16

    Interesting… It was out of stock this morning on DX, but it’s back on stock this afternoon. So they may have stock after all…

  17. January 7th, 2013 at 13:31 | #17

    @cnxsoft
    It is indeed showing OOS now…
    Delivery: Item is temporarily sold out.

  18. Arawn
    January 8th, 2013 at 23:13 | #18

    On the 6th they sent me an email letting me know that my order is being processed and that I would be informed when the situation changed… lets see what happens next.

  19. sa5bke
    January 10th, 2013 at 17:03 | #19

    I ordered very short after this blog post was published and just now I got from DX that they are out of stock. What do you think? Will they ever restock? Should I cancel or wait?

  20. January 10th, 2013 at 17:10 | #20

    @sa5bke
    I can’t know for sure. But my take is that they sold it at $20 to get rid of the stock, so I doubt they’ll restock it. The best is to contact DX customer service to get an answer, although they are not always very helpful.

    Edit: It could also be they realized they made a mistake with the price —> “let’s say it’s out of stock instead of selling a product at loss”.

  21. fape
    January 10th, 2013 at 18:39 | #21
  22. January 10th, 2013 at 20:09 | #22

    @fape
    Thanks. So the key point is:

    2. If your order hasn’t been shipped yet, it will be cancelled and you will receive a full refund and a $5 USD coupon code to use toward the purchase of a related Android HD media player here

    The funny part is:

    our QC team and it turned out that some of these products may have shipped with a 1 GHZ processor instead of the 1.5 GHZ that we listed under our specifications.

    Right… As if DX actually cares about accurate specs…

  23. Frans
    January 10th, 2013 at 20:34 | #23

    I also got the temporary-out-of-stock email.
    I was not plannign to cancel yet.

    However I noticed the following.
    if I log in into my account, and click on the review button adjacent to it, it shows a u2 device for something like $42. If I click through I get to the origina $20.50 page.

    They also have this one http://dx.com/p/u1-mini-android-4-0-google-tv-box-w-wi-fi-hdmi-white-4gb-ddr-iii-1gb-149319 which is also out of stock but goes for usd 80

  24. Efcis
    January 10th, 2013 at 23:31 | #24

    Hi – FYI, regarding this product : http://club.dx.com/forums/forums.dx/threadid.1261177

  25. rohith
    January 11th, 2013 at 02:10 | #25

    My order will be cancelled within 48 hours , just had a conversation with their customer care ! :( :( :( :(

  26. Marius
    January 11th, 2013 at 06:24 | #26

    I just hope they send it … Kinda looks like an excuse to me …with the frequency of the A10 I mean… But prices will drope anyway and soon I think there’ll be offers on aliexpress for 20-30 $.

  27. January 11th, 2013 at 10:54 | #27

    Interesting… Just received an email from DX stating that there was a quality control issue (the one mentioned above a few times now). This is my first time ordering from DealExtreme so I’m a bit unfamiliar with how their tracking page works. Am I correct in understanding that mine has not shipped yet since it still says this:
    1/3/2013 10:17:06 AM PaymentConfirmed Payment verified. Order is being processed.
    I’d still be happy with this if it was still coming, as my understanding is the Mali GPU outperforms the SGX540 (or whatever) in the Exynos 3 that my Galaxy S I has, and that’d be fine if that is the case given it has about 3x the RAM!

    Anyone know what my chances are of getting it still with that “order tracking” progress? Was more of an impulse buy than anything, but I’d still be happy to get it at that price heh (more-so if I’d get refunded as well lol)

  28. January 11th, 2013 at 13:55 | #28

    @Formula350 (Clint)
    Most probably, nobody will receive their stick. Your order has not been shipped yet. You can either actively cancel it, or wait for them to cancel it.

  29. Marius
    January 11th, 2013 at 21:12 | #29

    Haha , in the end it seems nobody is getting anything…
    What a bunch of liars the guys at DX are …. they could have just admitted they screwed up with the price or something and that would have been the end if it.
    But no … now all of a suddent they care about the frequency of the CPU ? That was never right anyway …
    I still want an A10 stick for 30$ max and it’s just a matter of time before the leftover stock reaches this price.

  30. January 11th, 2013 at 22:21 | #31

    @Jon Smirl
    It’s A10s, not A10. If you just want to use Android on the device that’s probably OK. Linux support may not be very good.

  31. January 11th, 2013 at 22:51 | #32

    @cnxsoft

    A10s is just missing peripherals that weren’t accessible on the USB stick anyway. Like removing the 8 I2S lines and the LVDS LCD panel support. That’s why they made the A10s.

  32. Marius
    January 12th, 2013 at 00:51 | #33

    Jon Smirl :
    @Marius
    Just order one from aliexpress….. $30.31
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Google-android-TV-stick-HDMI-dongle-with-android4-0-OS-1GB-4GB-support-keyboard-mouse-embedded/716894209.html

    John thanks. I did find some MK802 II which is supported well under Linux for 35$ on aliexpress, the one you suggested costs about 33$ to shipped and given that Linux support for this unknown model is not there it’s just not worth it.
    But that was not the point … it was a deal for 20$, for 35$ … not so much. I can get a dual core RK3066 for 45$ which has some limited Linux support.
    Given the current situation I’m just going to wait for i.Mx6 quad core sticks to come down in price as they have good Linux support and have some good powerful HW. Or maybe something based on the new Allwinner / Rockchip chips will arrive.

  33. January 12th, 2013 at 06:45 | #34

    @cnxsoft
    Well bummer. I’ll let them do the canceling, since they’re saying they’ll provide us a $5 bonus coupon. Won’t get us a replacement item but, 5 bucks is 5 bucks! I suppose it won’t really be too much a problem to give em another chance *shrug*

  34. Marius
    January 12th, 2013 at 08:28 | #35

    Formula350 (Clint) :
    @cnxsoft
    Well bummer. I’ll let them do the canceling, since they’re saying they’ll provide us a $5 bonus coupon. Won’t get us a replacement item but, 5 bucks is 5 bucks! I suppose it won’t really be too much a problem to give em another chance *shrug*

    I’d say don’t bother… you can get stuff on Aliexpress for the price on DX-5$.

  35. January 13th, 2013 at 23:39 | #36

    @Marius
    Then I shall give them a look. I’ve been there many times, lots of stuff obviously pops up in Google results, only reason I’ve never bothered was that it seemed like all the stuff I looked at was requiring a “contact seller for price quote”; a turn off.

    I got the refund today, no mention of a $5 coupon though. It was made blatantly obvious that they canceled these due to a pricing screw up though. I clicked the “Review” link in my original transaction and the page that comes up shows the item’s price now at “$58.80 $42.20” yet sold-out
    (hope strike-through code works here lol)

  36. Marius
    January 14th, 2013 at 06:36 | #37

    I didn’t buy from DX before and I’ll certainly not do it again… they never really have good prices and after this incident no thanks.
    Don’t confuse Aliexpress with Alibaba , 2 different things. Aliexpress is sort of an ebay … but just like ebay only trust sellers with good ratings. Do that and all’s fine… prices are usually lower than everywhere else.

  1. January 4th, 2013 at 02:12 | #1