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Posts Tagged ‘mini-pc’

Rockchip RK3288 based Android Mini PCs and TV Boxes Are Starting to Show Up (Wholesale)

April 9th, 2014 11 comments

Rockchip RK3288 based devices should be available soon. At the end of last month, I read Pipo was about to introduce RK3288 Tablets at the Hong Kong electronics fair this month, and yesterday I’ve been informed some RK3288 mini PCs and TV Boxes had started to appear on Alibaba.

RK3288 HDMI TV Dongle (D368)

RK3288_mini-pcD368 mini PC is said to come with the following specs according to a product page on Alibaba:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3288 quad core ARM Cortex-A17 with Mali-T7xx 3D GPU (OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0,and OpenCL 1.1)
  • System Memory - 2GB DDR3  (Optional:1GB)
  • Storage – 8GB NAND Flash (Options: 4GB and 16GB), micro SD card (up to 32GB)
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4a (Resolution 4K and 1080p60 support)
  • Connectivity – Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and 802.11ac, optional Bluetooth 4.0.
  • Video Codecs
    • Decode – H.265, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4,H.263, H.264, AVS, VC-1, RV, VP6/VP8, Sorenson Spark, MVC
    • Encode – H.264, H.265,VP8, MVC(1080P)
    • Max H.264/H.265 datarate – 60 Mbps
  • Audio Formats -  MP1,MP2,MP3,WMA,WAV,OGG,OGA,APE,FLAC,AAC,M4A,3GPP…etc
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB for power.
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB
  • Certification – CCC, CE, EMC, FCC, Wi-Fi
  • Dimension – 110 x 40 x 12.9 mm

The dongle comes with a USB cable, an HDMI cable, a power adapter and a user’s manual by default. Options include a Y-type USB cable, a USB to Ethernet cable, an IR remote with an IR receiver (USB), and/or a 2.4GHz RF air mouse. There’s no price available yet.

RK3288 Android TV Box (B368)

RK3288_Android_TV_BoxB368 Android TV Box has the following specs, against according to its page on Alibaba:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3288 quad core ARM Cortex-A17 with Mali-T7xx 3D GPU (OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0,and OpenCL 1.1)
  • System Memory - 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB NAND Flash, micro SD card (up to 32GB)
  • Output – HDMI 1.4a (Resolution 4K and 1080p60 support), AV (CVBS) via 3.5mm jack
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV jack, 1x optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and 802.11ac with external Wi-Fi antenna, and Bluetooth 4.0.
  • Video Codecs
    • Decode – H.265, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4,H.263, H.264, AVS, VC-1, RV, VP6/VP8, Sorenson Spark, MVC
    • Encode – H.264, H.265,VP8, MVC(1080P)
    • Max H.264/H.265 datarate – 60 Mbps
  • Audio Formats -  MP1,MP2,MP3,WMA,WAV,OGG,OGA,APE,FLAC,AAC,M4A,3GPP…etc
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB  OTG port.
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB
  • Certification – CCC, CE, EMC, FCC, Wi-Fi
  • Dimension – 142.3 x 108.6 x 21mm

The specs are basically the same as the HDMI TV dongle, expect for the addition of AV output, optical S/PDIF, and Gigabit Ethernet, as well as the different dimensions. Both products are listed by the same company (Shenzhen Tena Electronics), and will run Android 4.4 Kitkat.

This Android TV box comes with an HDMI cable, a composite + stereo cable, an IR remote, a power adapter and a user’s manual by default. Options include an RF air mouse or an RF mouse and keyboard. There’s no price available yet, but AndroidPC.es recently wrote about G20, another upcoming RK3288 TV Box, running Aliyun OS, that should be available soon for 598 CNY, or about $97, in China. This price apparently includes a Wii-like remote. We’ll have to see how the market evolve, but it appears AMLogic S802 (4x A9 + Mali-450) and Rockchip RK3288 (4x A17 + Mali-T764) devices may have similar pricing.

ARM announced the first Cortex A17 based devices should become available in Q1 2015, but products based on Rockchip RK3288 may be available in a few weeks or a couple of months, so I wonder if we could end up with two kinds of RK3288, one with Cortex A12, and the other Cortex A17, as both cores are pretty similar.

Thanks to csgabe for the tip.

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PIPO X1 (Beta) Android TV Dongle Powered by Rockchip RK3188 Sells for $40

April 8th, 2014 5 comments

PIPO X1 is an HDMI TV Stick running Android 4.2 with more or less the same specs (2GB RAM, 8 GB Flash) as many other competiting products, but with a price much lower at $39.99 including shipping. The company however mentions the product is still in beta version, which may explain why it’s so cheap… Let’s have a look anyway.

 

Pipo_X1_RK3188Pipo X1 specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3188 quad core Cortex A9 @ 1.6GHz + Mali 400MP4  GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB + micro SD slot (up to 32GB)
  • Video & Audio  Output – HDMI
  • Connectivity – Buil-int 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – USB 2.0 host + micro USB (for power)
  • Dimensions – 100 x 40 x 8mm
  • Weight – 30g

The device ships with a  micro USB cable. That means you’ll need to provide your own 5V/2A power adapter. The company also highlights the device can be used as Miracast/DLNA dongle and it supports XBMC, but these are now pretty standard.

There has been a PIPO X1, based on RK3066, on the market for a while, but the company clearly explains both are different devices in Aliexpress, so the specs should be correct, and at $40, the new Pipo X1 must be the cheapest RK3188 device on the market. Bear in mind, this is still a “Beta version”, so firmware may still need some work.

Thanks to csgabe.

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ECS LIVA is a Complete Sub $200 mini PC based on Intel Bay Trail-M SoC

March 27th, 2014 12 comments

Many low cost Intel mini PCs sold on the market do not include storage and memory, and you have to add them yourself. On the contrary, ECS LIVA desktop computer powered by an Intel Bay Trail-M processor will work out of the box as it comes with 32GB eMMC and 2GB DDR3L, both soldered on board, and will sell for less $200 once it becomes available.

ECS_LIVAHere are the currently available specifications of this small x86 computer:

  • SoC – Unspecified Intel Bay Trail-M SoC. It should be on of the N2800, N2900 or N3500 series.
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 32GB eMMC
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI, 1x VGA
  • Audio – 2-ch audio combo jack (Realtek ALC282)
  • Connectivity
    • 1x Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8111G)
    • IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (AzureWave AW-NB136NF 2)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0
  • Expansion – M.2 interface (NGFF)
  • Thermal – 1 Fanless heat sink
  • Power – 5V via micro USB. Up to 15W power consumption.
  • Dimensions – 118 x 70 x 56mm
  • Weight – 190g

ECS_LIVA_Ethernet_USB_HDMI_VGA
The product is sold as a kit, supposed to take less than a minute to assemble, with the motherboard (ECS BAT-MINI), a case, an antenna, a power adapter, and a manual & drivers DVD. It won’t come with a pre-installed operating system, but you’ll be able to install Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 and Ubuntu will become available soon. M.2 is a new type of expansion connector destined to replace mSATA and allow smaller SSDs. M.2 also supports PCI Express 3.0 and USB 3.0. In this computer the M.2 interface is used with a compliant Wi-Fi/BT module.

ECS LIVA mini PC kit is smaller than the latest Intel NUC, once RAM, storage and wireless connectivity are taken into account it should also be cheaper than Intel NUC, and it’s the first Intel based desktop computer that I’ve ever seen powered by a micro USB port. It looks like you may need a 5V/3A power adapter however, so all these 5V/2A USB adapters in your drawers may not cut it.

Via FanlessTech and itmedia.co.jp.

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Giayee P105 is a Wall-Mountable Rockchip based Android / Ubuntu mini PC with a VGA Output

March 20th, 2014 6 comments

There are plenty of Android TV Boxes or HDMI TV dongles based on Rockchip RK3066 or RK3188. What makes Giayee P105 computer different is that they completely got rid of the HDMI port and replaced it with a VGA port, and the mini PC, and they also added mount option to attach the device to a wall or the back of your monitor. There are two versions of Giayee P105: P105-D with a dual core RK3168 SoC, and P105-Q with RK3188 quad core processor.

Giayee_P105Giayee P105 Specifications:

  • SoC
    • P105-D – Rockchip RK3168 dual core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.2GHz with PowerVR SGX540 GPU
    • P105-Q – Rockchip RK3188 quad core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.6GHz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU @ up to  600MHz
  • System Memory – 1 to 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 1 to 32G NAND Flash
  • Video Output – VGA – Resolution: 800×600 up to 1920×1080
  • Audio I/O – 1x Audio In port, 1x Audio Out port
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, an optional built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A. Typical power consumption: 2 to 5 Watts.
  • Dimensions – 120 x 120 x 30 mm
Bottom Side with 2 Mount Points

Bottom Side with 2 Mount Brackets

This ARM computer supports both Android 4.2 and Ubuntu 12.04, and the company advertises it as a thin client too with support for RDP 8.0, and RemoteFX.

Giayee P105 price is said to start from $49, but the product is not available for retail just yet. You can find more information on Giayee Technologies’ P105 page.

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EZCast App is Now Supported by ChromeCast

March 19th, 2014 5 comments

EZCast is a decent Wi-Fi display solution using a proprietary protocol to show your local or online content on your TV via EZCast HDMI dongles powered by Action Semi ATV SoC. I’ve already reviewed two devices with Tronsmart T1000 and WiDiCast EC-E2, and found it to be fairly good with Android devices, but not so good with Windows PCs. Since the release of GoogleCast SDK for the ChromeCast, some people have asked support for ChromeCast protocol in EZCast dongle. However, it’s my understanding the SDK does not allow ChromeCast emulation on other devices yet. So instead the EZCast team has ported the app to support ChromeCast, which means if you own a ChromeCast you don’t need to buy an EZCast dongle to play around with EZCast and access your local content.

EZCast Features - Chromecast vs EZCast

EZCast Features – Chromecast vs EZCast

However, as you can see from the comparison tablet above,. EZCast for ChromeCast is not quite able to support all features and file formats supported by actual EZCast dongles. Features like Miracast, DLNA and Airplay are not available, and you won’t be able to connect your MacOS or Windows computer to ChromeCast via this app.

I don’t have a ChromeCast myself, but apparently all you need to do is to download EZCast from Google Play, and you’ll be able to connect to your ChromeCast.  The app description mentins “Since March 15, 2014 (App version 1.1.159+), EZCast APP (both Android/iOS version) supports Chromecast dongles and Android EZCast receivers.”, so it could be some Android HDMI TV dongle may also support EZCast (TBC). The video below shows the features currently available with EZCast on ChromeCast. Performance appears to be somewhat sluggish however.

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Categories: Android, Video Tags: Android, chromecast, ezcast, mini-pc

The New $50 Roku Streaming Stick Drops MHL, Gets a micro USB Port, and a Wi-Fi Remote

March 5th, 2014 4 comments

The first Roku Streaming Stick was announced early 2012 with an HDMI/MHL port. It turns out MHL did not take as Roku and others, including myself, expected, and even today MHL is not a prominent feature in new TVs, and seldom listed in the specifications. So they’ve just announced a new Roku Streaming Stick, HDMI version, that can be powered via the USB port of your TV, or a standard USB power adapter.
Roku_Streaming_Stick_HDMIThe processor and memory have not been disclosed, but we can assume it’s probably based on a Broadcom processor. The rest of the specs are as follows:

  • Video Output – HDMI (720p or 1080p)
  • Audio Output – HDMI with 7.1 and 5.1 surround pass-through support
  • Connectivity – 802.11 dual-band (a/b/g/n compatible) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support
  • Misc – Status light, reset button
  • Power Consumption – Less than 2W (typical) when streaming HD video
  • Power Input – 5V/1A power adapter connected to micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 7.87 x 2.79 x 1.27 cm
  • Weight – 19 grams

The device comes with a Wi-Fi remote with channel shortcut buttons, 2x AA batteries for the remote, a USB power cable and power adapter, as well as a Get started guide. The company claims you’ll have access to “1,200+ channels of movies, TV episodes, music, news, sports, kids’ shows and free programming streamed in up to 1080p HD video, plus a TV user interface featuring the beloved Roku Search”. If you’d rather use your smartphone to control the device, Roku mobile app for iOS and Android can be used instead of the Wi-Fi remote.

Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI version) is available for pre-order in the US for 49.99 from Roku website and online retails such as Amazon, with shipping expected in April. This HDMI dongle is available for $59.99 in Canada and £49.99 in the U.K. and in the Republic of Ireland, with ,I’d assume, a different list of channels.

Via Liliputing

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Categories: Android, Hardware, Linux Tags: media player, mini-pc, roku

$37 GK328 Android mini PC Powered by Rockchip RK3028 Dual Core Processor

March 4th, 2014 5 comments

Rockchip RK3028 is a low cost dual core Cortex A9 processor pin-to-pin compatible with RK2928 single core Cortex A9, I first heard about at Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2013. It’s now found in a few kids tablets, as well as GK328, an Android 4.2 HDMI TV dongle, that sells for about $37, or a few dollars cheaper than similar AllWinner A20 or Rockchip RK3066 based devices.

GK328
GK328 specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3028 dual core Cortex A9 @ 1.0 GHz with Mali-400 GPU
  • System Memory – 512MB RAM
  • Storage – 4GB NAND flash + microSD card slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI
  • Connectivity – 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB – 1x USB HOST 2.0, 1x micro USB OTG, 1x micro USB for power
  • Misc – Fn button (for recovery?)
  • Power – 5V/1A via micro USB port

The device runs Android 4.2 and sells with a power adapter, a USB cable, an HDMI cable, and a user’s manual. This must be one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest dual core Cortex A9 mini PC, but I’m not so sure many will be interested, as for about $5 more, you can get MK808 with Rockchip RK3066 with better performance, 1GB RAM, and 8GB Flash, as well as decent community support. One advantage is that RK3028 is apparently more power efficiency, and works with a 5V/1A powered adapter, whereas MK808 requires a 5V/2A power adapter to run reliably.

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