Archive

Posts Tagged ‘mini-pc’

VolksPC mini PC runs Debian and Android Simultaneously Thanks to MicroXwin Framework

July 20th, 2014 9 comments

It’s been possible to run Linux or Android on ARM based board and producs for a while, with some firmware providing dual boot support, or even simultaneous use running a chroot with a VNC server and client combination. Some developers have come up MicroXwin, a X-windows implementation using a custom Xlib library that communicate directly with the graphics drivers, and not using a client/server implement. This provides much faster performance compare to X11, as shown on Raspberry Pi and Cubieboard2 development boards, and it has given them the ability to run Debian LXDE and Android Jelly Bean simultaneously on their upcoming VolksPC, a mini PC based on Rockchip RK3066 with 16GB flash.

VolksPC Runs Android and Debian LXDE.

VolksPC Runs Android and Debian LXDE

The first VolksPC will have the following specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3066 dual core ARM Cortex A9 CPU @ 1.4Ghz with Mali-400MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB NAND flash + SD/MMC/MS card reader (Up to 32GB)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.3 and VGA
  • Connectivity – 10/100 Ethernet port, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports

The hardware is pretty standard, except for the 16GB flash as you need enough space to run the two operating systems from flash with some extra space for user’s data. As you’ll see from the video below, the system is very smooth both in Android and Debian, and the same file system is shared between the two operating systems. For example, provided the video has not been edited, LibreOffice is shown to start in less than 10 seconds, and they also showed a YouTube video playing in Debian, albeit not in full screen. Since both operating systems are running at the same time, switching between the two are instantaneous. You can kill Android, and still run Debian, or you can logout of Debian, and still run Android if you need to some free RAM. The demo is apparently running on MK808.

VolksPC mini PC is not available right now, and it’s unclear when it will be released. The unified distribution shown in the video above can not be downloaded either, and MicroXWin does not seem to be open source, or least not yet, so it’s not something you can currently use or port to your device. Nevertheless, it’s probably something to keep an eye on, and you can do so on VolksPC.org.

Via Liliputing and Phoronix

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

MK813 Quad Core Android TV Box with a 2MP Camera Sells for $47

July 5th, 2014 5 comments

Prices for Android TV boxes based on Rockchip RK3188 are getting ridiculously low, probably because some people are getting rid off stocks. After MK918 that sells for about $50 , MK813 is another quad core Android media player with 1 to 2 GB RAM, 8GB flash, and a 2MP camera that you can buy for $46.80 on Aliexpress (1GB RAM) from a seller with decent feedback, and that includes shipping. The 2GB RAM version sells for $51.32.

MK813

MK813 Specifications (also known as KD812):

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3188 quad Cortex-A9 CPU @ 1.6 GHz + Mali-400 MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 or 2 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – 8GB NAND Flash +  Micro SD slot (Up to 32GB)
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n with external antenna, Bluetooth 2.1
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI + AV output jack
  • USB – 2x USB host ports + 1x micro USB OTG + 1 x micro USB for power
  • Camera – 2MP webcam
  • Misc – Power LED, reset/recovery button
  • Power – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 9.6 cm x 7.8 cm x 2.4 cm
  • Weight – 58 grams

The box runs Android 4.2.2, and ships with an HDMI Cable, a power adapter with a USB cable. The firmware image (November 2013) is available for download according to some Freaktab users. One important features commonly found on Android TV Boxes is lacking: Ethernet. Compared to MK918 which can be found for a few dollars more, MK813 also lacks an IR receiver, so it’s not shipped with an IR remote control, not can it support one, there’s no optical S/PDIF audio output, and Bluetooth is limited to version 2.1. However, it adds a camera and features a micro USB OTG port.

I could only find one seller on Aliexpress that provides the box for about $50, and others sell it for $60 to $80, as do DealExtreme and GeekBuying.

Thanks to Gabe!

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

How to Use an Android TV Box as a Wi-Fi Access Point

July 3rd, 2014 3 comments

Today, I’ve come across another potential use case for Android TV boxes with Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Let’s say you are in a room with Ethernet, but there’s no Wi-Fi signal or the signal is too weak, and want to use your smartphone to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi. If you don’t have one of these small (openWRT) Wi-Fi router with you, but instead brought an Android mini PC, you can configure the “Portable Hotspot” function to transform it into a secure Wi-Fi access point.

Assuming you’ve connect an Ethernet cable, and powered the device, first make sure Ethernet is enabled\, and Wi-Fi is disabled in the Settings menu. To click on Settings->More.. in the Wireless & Networks section, and select “Tethering & portable hotspot” or simply “Portable hotspot” depending on your firmware. In the next menu, click on Portable Wi-Fi hotspot to enabled it, then “Set up Wi-Fi Hospot” to optionally change the Network SSID and Security protocol, and enter a password. Click on Save, and you’re done. Now you can connect with your smartphone to you Android mini PC SSID, by default “AndroidAP”. I’ve tested it with Tronsmart Vega S89 Elite, and it worked nicely.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

Shuttle Fanless mini PCs Powered by Intel Celeron J1900 Quad Core Bay Trail SoC Sell for $200 and Up

June 27th, 2014 8 comments

A little while ago, Bay Trail-D (Desktop) motherboards started to show up for about $60 to $70, and I estimated a complete system with RAM, enclosure, and 1TB storage would cost around $250. Thanks to Shuttle XS35V4 and XS36V4, you can now buy such quad core system pre-assembled for well under $300, or just around $200 for a barebone system without RAM or storage.

Intel_J1900_Mini_PC
Shuttle XS35V4 / XS36V4 specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron J1900 Quad core processor (Bay Trail-D) @ with Intel 7th generation graphics.
  • System Memory – 1x DDR3L SO-DIMM, up to 8GB DDR3 1333 MHz
  • Storage – 1x 2.5″ SATA HDD / SSD bay, 1x SD card reader. XS35V4 only: optical drive.
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet (Realtek RTL8411), 802.11b/g/n WLAN support (1T1R),
  • Audio – Realtek ALC269, 2.1 channel High Definition Audio
  • Front panel
    • Power button
    • Power & HDD LEDs
    • SD Card reader
    • 1x USB 2.0 port
    • XS36V4 only – 1x RS232/RS422/RS485 with 0/5/12V, 1x RS232 with 0/5/12V
    • XS35V4 only – ODD bay
  • Back Panel
    • RJ45 LAN port
    • 1x D-sub port (VGA), 1x HDMI port, 1x Display port
    • 1x USB 3.0 port, 3x USB 2.0 ports
    • Line out port, MIC in port
    • Kensington lock
    • DC in
  • Expansion slot – 1x Mini-PCIE slot (used for WLAN)
  • Power Supply – 40W Power adapter (19V/2.1A); input 100-240V AC
  • Dimensions
    • XS36V4 – 200(L) x 36(W) x 160(H) mm
    • XS35V4 – 252(L) x 38.5(W) x 162(H) mm

The computers are said to be compatible with “Windows 8/8.1 64bit OS”, but it’s very likely it would run Linux distributions just fine too. An optional VESA mount is also available, and for XS35V4 only you could also get an optional extra HDD bracket. Both PCs are pretty similar, but XS35V4 is slightly larger, and features an optical drive, whereas XS36V4 adds two serial ports which are missing in XS35V4. I was expecting a somewhat smaller power adapter, but I guess this is to provide enough power for internal and external peripherals connected to SATA or USB.

You can get more details on Shutlle XS35V4 and Shuttle XS36V4 product pages.

Via Liliputing.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

MK918 Android TV Box Powered by Rockchip RK3188T Sells for $50

June 24th, 2014 16 comments

MK918, also known as K-R42-1, CS918, or MK888, is an Android TV box powered by Rockchip RK3188T with 2GB RAM, and 8GB Flash. This is a pretty standard device, and I already featured it, but GeekBuying is selling the device for $49.99 as part of their second anniversary, which looks to be good deal, but it turns out some Aliexpress sellers are also doing promotions for about the same price ($50+). The promotion on GeekBuying will last about on more day, and around 50 units are available, and on Aliexpress promotions runs between 1 and 3 more days. The usual price seems to be between $60 and $70, but I guess some companies may get rid off old stocks with products based on Amlogic S802 already there, and Rockchip RK3288 and AllWinner A80 products soon to hit the market.

MK918Let’s remind ourselves of the complete specs:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3188T quad Cortex-A9 CPU @ 1.4 GHz + Mali-400 MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 or 2GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – 8GB Nand Flash +  MicroSD slot (Up to 32GB)
  • Connectivity
    • 10/100M Ethernet
    • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n with external antenna
    • Bluetooth 4.0 (optional, may not be found in all models)
  • Video Output – HDMI + AV output jack
  • Audio Output – HDMI + + AV + optical S/PDIF
  • Video Codecs (Decode) – MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.263, H.264 (up to 60 Mbps), AVS, VC-1, RV, VP6/VP8, Sorenson Spark, MVC @ 1080p60
  • Video Codecs (Encode) – H.264, VP8, and MVC @ 1080p
  • Audio Codecs – MP1,MP2,MP3,WMA,WAV,OGG,OGA,APE,FLAC,AAC,M4A,3GPP…etc
  • USB – 2x USB host ports
  • Misc – IR port
  • Power – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 142x95x21 mm
  • Weight – 135 grams

The device runs Android 4.2.2 and comes with a power adapter, HDMI and AV cables, a user’s manual, a micro USB to USB cable, and an IR remote control. Please bear in mind that Bluetooth may not be available in all models, and some feature 2GB RAM, others only 1GB. MK918 in GeekBuying features BlueTooth and 2GB RAM, but you’d better check if you purchase a box via Aliexpress. The remote control may also be different between sellers. The one provided on GeekBuying is pretty basic, and the picture above is from a seller on Aliexpress with more buttons. I never use the provided IR remote control myself, but maybe some people do :)… The latest firmware may be available here.

It’s pretty amazing how prices have come down, and you can now buy a quad core mini PC delivered to your door for just $50.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

Mozilla Netcast is ChromeCast-like Device Powered by Firefox OS

June 21st, 2014 2 comments

According to Gigaom, Mozilla has been working on an HDMI TV dongle that might be codenamed Netcast with ChromeCast like video streaming and screen mirroring functionalities, and that runs Firefox OS with an open bootloader.

Mozilla_Netcast
There aren’t any hardware details available for the device, but we more or less know how it will work. As you are using your Firefox browser or another Firefox OS, you can simply click a “Casting button” to watch YouTube videos, mirror the screen or so on. I also understand it will be compatible with ChromeCast apps.

Gigaom got hold of an engineering sample and gave it a try run Firefox browser in Android (Nexus 7), and playing a YouTube video on the TV using Netcast.

It’s also working with Google Music, Plex, but some other apps are not working just yet.

Mozilla’s media casting device has not been officially announced yet, so we don’t know when it will be available, nor its price. But since they’ve given a demo sample to the press, we can only assume it won’t be that far off, and pricing should be at least equivalent to ChromeCast, i.e. $35, or it’s unlikely to gain traction.

Thanks to CSilie!

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

CS918T Quad core Android TV Box with HD Webcam Sells for $60

June 18th, 2014 9 comments

CS918T is an Android TV Box powered by Rockchip RK3188 quad core SoC with the usual 2GB RAM, 8GB Flash, and various ports such as HDMI, USB, Ethernet, etc… that also features a 2MP webcam, and sells for just $59.99 including shipping on Aliexpress. The box does not appear to be related to CS918 / KR-42-1 that was popular a few months ago.
CS918T_RK3188_Webcam
CS918T technical specs:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3188 Quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.6GHz with Mali-400MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB NAND Flash + micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p60, AV output
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, AV, and microphone
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, and Bluetooth 3.0
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Camera – Built-in 2MP webcam
  • Misc – Power and reset buttons, IR receiver.
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 95.5×59.5×11 mm
  • Weight – 125 grams

CS918T_Remote_PortsThis mini PC runs Android 4.4 with Google Play, and comes with a 5V/2A power adapter, a micro USB adapter / cable, HDMI and AV cables, an IR remote control, and a user’s manual in English.

There does not seem to be a system to install the device on top of the TV, but at $60, it looks much better value than camera enabled quad core mini PCs like Jesurun NX003II, or Tronsmart NX. CS918T is actually $30 to $40 cheaper than these, and I thought the seller on Aliexpress may not have made a pricing mistake, but I could find it on Ebay for $67, so the price seems plausible.

Thanks to Gabe for the tip.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter