74 USD AllWinner A10 Android 4.0 Mini PC

A cheap white brand Android 4.0 USB/HDMI Stick based on AllWinner A10 has started to show up in Chinese websites. Initially, I thought it was like a low cost version of FXI Tech Cotton Candy (which will start shipping this month), but as you can see in the image below, the HDMI port is female so you’d still need a HDMI cable. The hole next to the USB port should be for the power supply, so this device is apparently not powered via USB (TBC).

Allwinner A10 Android 4.0 mini PC

Connect a wireless mouse and keyboard to the device, the power supply, and an HDMI cable to your TV, and you’ve got yourself a cheap PC running Android 4.0. Since this is based on AllWinner A10, you could also insert a microSD card with Ubuntu, Debian or your other favorite Linux distribution and have yourself a Linux PC.

Here are the specifications of the device (gathered on the internet so it’s not error prone).

CPU AllWinner A10 @ 1.5GHz + Mali 400 GPU
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 4GB Flash
microSD slot (Up to 32GB)
Connectivity WiFi 802.11b/g
USB micro USB 2.0/OTG port
USB 2.0 Host port
Keyboard Android virtual keyboard or 2.4G wireless keyboard + fly mouse
Video output HDMI (1080p)
Video Codecs WMV/ASF/MP4/3GP/3G2M4V/AVI/MJPEG/RV10/DivX/VC-1/MPEG-2/
MPEG-4/H.263/H.264/1280*720P HD 30 fps, 1080P/720*480 D1 30fps
Audio Codecs AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, QCP, MP3, WMA, WAV, MIDI, M4A
Operating System Android 4.0 (ICS)
Power Input 5V/2A
Size 8.8*3.5*1.2cm
Weight 200g

The system (CPU/RAM/Flash) is similar to Mele A1000, except that the AllWinner A10 is clocked at 1.5GHz (In theory, you can overclock Mele A1000 to 1.5ghz by changing evb.bin, but tests have not been successful so far). There are no VGA nor composite outputs, no SATA, only 2 USB ports and a microSD slot instead of a an SD card slot. There is no remote, so if you intend to use it as a media player it could be inconvenient unless you use a wireless mouse and keyboard.

The device can be purchased on Aliexpress for 74 USD (including shipping) where they say it’s model MK802 or on Alibaba for 368 RMB (~58 USD). Considering the Mele A1000 price is now around 90 USD (inc. shipping), I don’t really find this device that attractive, especially since you don’t get the convenience of plugging (and powering) it directly in the TV. Once it is available, Valueplus Tizzbird N1 might be a better option.

[Update:  The Aliexpress link above is sold out, but you can try alternative sellers on Aliexpress and it has become available on Dealextreme (78 USD)]

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70 Replies to “74 USD AllWinner A10 Android 4.0 Mini PC”

  1. As it is delivered without remote control, is it meant as a HTPC, or is it meant as a mini PC?

    BTW: a lot of possibly nice Android STB devices on DX: http://dx.com/android-full-hd-1080p-media-player-w-usb-sd-hdmi-rj45-ports-black-2-x-aaa-102992 and http://dx.com/jesurun-itv04-1080p-full-hd-android-2-2-network-media-player-w-wifi-dual-usb-sd-lan-hdmi-112761
    What is going on? Do people buy this, and can you really usefully use it to browse the web on your TV, or to watch movies? Or is this just DX stuff that’s there just because it can be produced (without too much thinking about usage)?

  2. @ Sander
    They sell it as a mini PC so it’s probably what it is. I’m assuming they use AllWinner A10 Android release, so you’d also have video hardware decoding and use it as a set-top box.

    Yes, you can use this kind of device both to browse the web and watch movies. However, there are some limitations. First using Android with a remote is a pain, although you could always use a wireless keyboard mouse. Products with “magic” remotes a la Wii are probably better.
    Then Adobe Flash support is not perfect. You can watch Youtube video in the Web browser and many Facebook games won’t work. However, for Youtube you can use the Youtube App which is actually relatively nice to use even with a remote.
    Finally, you can’t expect those stb to match the level of a Sigma Designs based STB in terms of video playback as quite a few files won’t play as well as possibly some minor issues with video quality.

    At least that’s my experience with Mele A1000 running Android.

    One of the STB above is based on AMLogic Cortex A9 Processor (used in many low cost STB) and the other is said to be based on “UC V6”, never heard of that.

  3. Hi

    I have a silly (slightly off-topic) question…

    I see lot of descriptions with “2.4G wireless keyboard”.

    Is it actually Bluetooth ? Or is it another standard ? If so, in a general manner, I guess hosts require a specific hardware and driver to work with these keyboards ?

  4. @ Efcis
    I’m not 100% sure, but i would say it depends. You could get a Bluetooth USB keyboard / mouse and connect the BT dongle to one of the USB port and it would work.

    When they say 2.4GHz I guess they want to be as generic as possible.

    For example with http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mele-f10-fly-mouse-3-in-1-2-4ghz-wireless-air-mouse-keyboard-remote-control-black-128312 you get a 3-in-1 keyboard/mouse/remote via a 2.4GHz link that does not appear to be BlueTooth.

    I don’t have one, but I know some readers (well at least one or 2) have bought this.

  5. @ Efcis
    They’re not Bluetooth. They’re just 2.4 GHz radio, foolishly placed on that band along with most wireless networks and cordless phones.

  6. @ Lucas
    Thanks. It looks exactly the same device (hardware and casing).
    But I’m not sure which one can be considered as the original version, the ZERO Devices Z802 and the device above appear to have just been released at about the same time.

  7. @ Paul
    Yes, you are right you could always use some wireless remote, and if you already own such type of remote, then it’s all good. But if you need to buy the remote, then the price of this device becomes less attractive, since you can get a small STB including SATA + remote for 90 USD.

  8. CNX, you have an excellent blog here. Thanks much for this good info!

    The Mele A1000 looks “more complete/more options,” but the MK802 is nice and small …

    I got here from a link at the pcworld.com article by K Noyes.

  9. @ mrpete
    Mr Pete, glad to hear you like my blog, you can subscribe to my RSS feed or follow me on Twitter or Facebook to stay updated 🙂

    I have to say I’m quite surprised by the popularity of this little device, it seems to be everywhere on the Internet and they sold out in a few days.

  10. Given the size and the cost of a device, I think it will just become a standard part of any monitor in a year or two. In other words, we will be plugging a USB mouse and a USB keyboard straight into a monitor and use some cloud-based OS to do what we now need a PC for. Shame, I have just finally gotten used to the hum of the dust-clogged fan on my PC tower under the desk…

  11. @ ElectroNick
    If it’s a module that can be easily replaced in the monitor why not. Otherwise, i don’t really like to have to change monitor each time I change PC. You would not even need to plug the keyboard and mouse since they could be wireless.

  12. @ cnxsoft

    …maybe ppl should stop being lazy and use their brains to search for alternative suppliers. Do you guys really thing this guy is the only one selling them? 🙂

  13. Anyone seen any smiliar device with a RJ45 option? The size is great, and with an RJ45 connector you can just stick it on the back of ur TV with an infrared reciver somewhere and soon be running XBMC

  14. @ Joel
    I haven’t seen it. An RJ45 connector is not really small, so I suppose the board size would be more like a business card.

    Having said that, you are not the first one who have asked me this, so there is definitely interest for such a device.

  15. Some YouTube Videos for the MK802

    MK802: the $74 Android PC-on-a-stick Walkthrough/Review:


    MK802: the $74 Android PC-on-a-stick Product Unboxing:



  16. @ Karl
    You can also run Debian, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions on it. It will become a better XBMC player.
    The Raspberry Pi is better in the way that it’s cheaper and you can access expansions (GPIO, CSI…).
    The MK802 can not really be used by hardware hackers.

  17. I am wondering what’s the output resolution of these on HDMI. Is it fixed, or can be changed automatically or by an option? One of the selling sites claimed in the specs, that the resolution is 1024×768. That would be quite underwhelming. Can anybody confirm that it is really HD? And what resolutions does it support, if more?

  18. @ Emoryy
    I may be wrong here, but I guess Android UI could use 1024×768 resolution, but full screen video playback would be able to output up to 1080p. This device may not be able to handle a Android UI with 1920×1080 resolution smoothly, so that’s probably why they have opted for a lower resolution.

  19. @ cnxsoft
    You may be right. I didn’t consider that it can have different resolutions for apps & UI, and video playing.
    But I guess we won’t know it sure, unless somebody who has the device tries it out.

  20. @cnxsoft I have been playing with mine for a few days now..The android ui itself is more like 1024×480 to 1152×720….so…yeh…as far as video playback goes, It does an awesome job of spitting out hd movies. I tested it with a 720 blueray mkv of batman, and a 1080p blueray rip of Mister nobody and I was actually pretty happy with that, seeing as it was streaming all 14 gig of this movie via wifi…Crappy points go to some issues in the external keyboard department..I have crashed it 2 times. One in splashtop hd, alt ctl delete does it every time… It also seems to hate xvid’s..but that seems to be the only problem codec…The built in player works well. Xvids work with the software renderer in mxplayer…

    I used splashtop to play some diablo3 and it worked great….minus the right click getting hijacked by the android ui..

    onlive/amazon vod/youtube/netflix/spotify/etc seem to work great….

    it can be powered by the otg port as well as the power port..

    Negative points to the sellers..They should mention that the gpu eats up 128 meg of that 512meg/1gig of ram…

    Does not seem to output dts/dolby over hdmi..Im hoping thats fixable.
    Video seems to drop out at random….

    all in all…its pretty useful..

  21. @ aliosa27
    Thanks for the detailed feedback.
    For the memory, it’s normal that the GPU uses memory in kind of system, and the total memory is always mentioned in product descriptions.

    The DTS/Dolby issues also happens in the Mele A1000, It could be that they did not pay the Dolby license fees to reduce costs.

    I’m also seen that they did not solder some protection ICs for HDMI (to save on board cost) http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipermail/arm-netbook/2012-May/004052.html, so I wonder if it could be the reason the video drops out at random.

  22. @ aliosa27
    Hi! I would have a few questions, if you don’t mind.
    Do you have the 512MB or 1GB version? How smooth does the UI feel?
    About the video dropouts: how frequently does it happen? Does this happen only during video playback? Is it very disturbing?
    Regarding the keyboard issue: Try External Keyboard Helper from the Play Store. It’s a demo/paid app, but maybe it solves your problem. (I tried the demo on my Android x86 Virtual Machine, to change the keyboard layout to my language.)
    And could you maybe install Elixir2 (a quite thorough system information app, in the case you don’t know it. It can be found on the Play Store. It’s free.), and generate a report with it?

  23. I think he means that the video dropouts only happens on DTS material (correct me if I’m wrong).
    I wonder if pass-through to a DTS capable receiver would work, or if the signal can be down-mixed to stereo in real time via hardware/software. I ordered the 1 Gig Ram version from Exduct.com … It may take several weeks to arrive, but I will report back as soon as it arrives. The seller informed me that the factory manager of this device said that the 1GB is considerably faster… I don’t know why this should be the case… can the Allwinner double the ram speed by having 2 banks (burst mode)? Apparently ED has the American plug in stock, but it’s also available with a EU plug which should be available in a few days. (2-5 days) I think I wait for the 1GB version with EU plug.

  24. @ Trest
    About the speed between 512 MB and 1GB RAM, it’s not about the memory speed, but if you have 1 GB RAM there will be less I/O activity on the flash because everything can be loaded in memory. Android ICS consumes a lot of memory compared to gingerbread.

  25. @ cnxsoft
    OK, thanks. I was under the impression that 4.0 was a lot faster than 2.3 with the same ram equipped (e.g. 512MB… might be more of an issue with less ram), at least that’s what it feels like. I already own an Allwinner A10 tablet…. the Odys Xelio. I am pretty happy with it, but I noticed serious slowdowns when multi-tab browsing complex web pages, or when the integrated flash engine is loaded. So you are probably right that the flash/ram swapping is the main factor here, but until the memory limit is reached the devices should have the same speed, right?
    There are very few choices in the sub $100 range with 1GB besides the MK802…. I kind of wish they upgraded the A1000 to 1GB…which is the max ram the A10 can handle. The DTS issues might turn off some potential buyers, I hope they purchase the licenses from Dolby on future upgrades.
    Thanks for the excellent site cnxsoft. A lot of useful information here. BTW is there a list on the net of all the Mini PC devices that are based on Android? Every time I google, some new devices keep popping up. A Google docs table would be nice, where the users could enter upcoming new devices so that one could filter the entries… min. 512MB, min. Android 4.0, etc., min clock speed…etc.
    Also thanks to Aliosa27 for the first impressions… it looks like a neat device.

  26. Hi,

    Does an alternative Linux package exist for MK802? Regular Linux, not Android. And in general, are there any resources available online about this device? Tweaks, internals, howto’s etc.


  27. @ Alexander
    Sort of. Somebody has released Ubuntu 10.04 image, but based on this image can can also get a more recent Ubuntu version, Debian or another distribution your are familiar with. See http://www.cnx-software.com/2012/04/28/how-to-create-your-own-debian-ubuntu-image-for-mele-a1000-allwinner-a10-based-stb/ for the Ubuntu 10.04 image and details.

    You can also join arm-netbook mailing for details and check Rhombus-tech website.

    Later there should be better images, as I’m working with some people on the list to have a build server and generate Ubuntu and Debian images.

  28. @ Alexander
    Linux will boot from the microSD, so you won’t even touch the old firmware. If you want to run the old firmware simply, remove the bootable microSD.

    PS: Those images are not really for end users, and you may have tinker with Linux config files, for example to make networking work.

  29. @ Trest
    Yes if Odys Xelio and MK802 have similar specs (A10, 512 MB RAM) and both run Android 4.0, the performance should just feel the same.

    A mini PC list is an interesting proposition, but I don’t know any. It might be difficult to maintain (and we need to define mini pc), although sometimes such lists appear in Wikipedia.

    Somebody put up a A10/A13 device lists http://www.j1nx.nl/arm/list-allwinner-a1x-devices/, but this is mainly composed of tablets.

  30. @ cnxsoft
    That’s a nice price… too bad, that they don’t offer shipping to the EU, or the EU power plug version. Regarding the list or table for Android based Mini-PC… I would call Mini-PCs what is called as Set-top boxes in list you posted.
    Mele A1000/A2000, MK802/Z820, artwaytech FVD-11, Always Innovating HDMI Dongle, Meteorit MMB-22, Meteorit MMB-422.HDTV, PineRiver H24/MINI-X, … and probably a few others… It’s hard to get an overview what’s on market. I would focus on machines with at least 512 MB RAM (better 1GB), at least Android 2.3 (better 4.0 either stock or flashable) and some sort of Cortex A8/A9 SoC. Maybe I will do a Google Docs table with public access next week and post the link here that others can contribute too.

  31. The video from Charbax shows, that the device can be powered by the included external power plug and also via the USB OTG port. You “loose” a USB-host port this way, but there is still 1 USB-host port left.

  32. @ max
    I prefer this form factor because it can be directly plugged into the TV.
    Concerning the performance I think it should be similar, but I haven’t seen cortex A5 (or Telechips TCC 8925) benchmarks yet.

    You also need to buy 5 in your link, which may be a problem for customs in some countries.

  33. @ Trest
    why only android devices?

    i think we should write a list with all interesting mini pc (raspberry pi, cubox, …)

  34. @CNX-Soft: I can’t find the update either, but several vendors state they sell the box with a stock-rom that includes 4.0… also a German user posted pics/vids which clearly show 4.03 on the A2000.
    @radioactive: I want to start with the set-top-boxes for android… you can use my table as a template and start listing everthing else on arm (developer boards) … but I had to limit the table somewhere… to many device out there already. Android 4.0 also is quiet demanding… so the PI would automatically drop out of the minimum specs… but you are right that this is based on my personal preference… which mostly focusses on bang-for-the-buck

  35. @ radioactive
    This A10 board is 40 GBP, or about 60 USD. That’s OK. But I’ve just bought a Cortex A9 tablet for 76 USD.
    I’ve also seen the CX-01 mini PC with cortex A5 selling for 55 USD, so we should see pretty good boards below 50 USD.

    I’m also not sure he would get the board before the R-Pi, because of the leadtime to manufacture the board (a few weeks).

  36. Hi, I’m the owner of gooseberry! Just here to say that lead time to manufacture is not an issue. Boards are already mass produced and so the only delay to you guys getting a board is the time it takes to get from China to our doors. We are currently ordering all boards via express delivery meaning they will come within a week. This means we can get the boards out there as quickly as possible! Of course, for some, a tablet will be best option due to similarity’s in price. The CX-01 mini pc is similarly priced, however, it does not have a micro sd card which could potentially limit the amount of software you can install. Please register your interest on the site, so we can order more boards. You should in theory be getting boards within two weeks if we can get the numbers up! Finally, we do allow bulk orders so if anyone is interested please contact gooseberryboard@gmail.com.

  37. @ Trest
    You are not quite correct.
    Let’s calculate price with HK post shipping on exduct – $73.16 – $10 + $9.81 = $72.97
    Let’s check price on Aliexpress with HKPost – $69.99 – $5 (discount coupon) = $64.99
    Feel the difference?
    If you want China post, price on Aliexpress will be even lower then $64.99.

  38. @Leo: OK, you are right about the diference in shipping methods. Is there a PP payment option available on Aliexpress and can we order European power plugs?

  39. @ Trest
    The is no PayPal on Aliexpress. Aliexpress has Escrow protection system for orders: seller will receive money only after you confirm receipt of goods.
    All orders by default will have EU plug adapter for free (if you need US plug adapter, add comment for order)

    Good news! You can buy Riko MK802 1GB with special price right now! (valid till 30 of June) Also, surprise! You can buy Mele F10 Flying Mouse for your Riko MK802 with best price.
    Check this page how to place order and get Riko MK80 1Gb or Bundle with Mele F10 Flying Mouse – http://togetho.ru/rikomk802eng.html

  40. Is it possible to attache usb hub and wireless keyboard and web cam to it?I want to use skype on my tv.

  41. @ Stan
    I think the current firmware does not support it (Webcam), but an update is in the work.
    Skype works on the Mele A1000 (based on the same platform), so it should definitely work once they update the firmware.

  42. @ cnxsoft
    Do you know the estimated date for this new firmware?I found that new hardware version of this device will be available in september this year.May be it will include the driver for usb cam?

  43. @ Stan
    If you install Linux on it and recompile the kernel to match your hardware (keyboard, webcam, etc), works like a charm.
    I have 2 MK802, 1 for skype/emulators/surfing on the internet and the another one I use as a server (runnning Apache + PHP).
    Android OS works just to see youtube 😛
    If you want to make more with your MK802, be sure to install Linux on it.

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