VIA Technologies has today introduced the Android PC system (APC) powered by WonderMedia ARM11 processor, with 512 MB RAM and 2MB Flash in a small Neo-ITX motherboard and that will sell for a mere 49 USD, slightly higher than the 35 USD Raspberry Pi. But whereas the Raspberry Pi would struggle to run Android with 256 MB, the APC has just enough memory top run Android 2.3 and Android 4.0. Another advantage is the presence of a VGA connector which is missing on the Raspberry Pi, as well as a few other connectors.
Here are VIA APC hardware specifications:
- VIA WonderMedia 8750 ARM11 [email protected] 800 MHz
- 2GB NAND Flash
- 512 DDR3 SDRAM
- Hardware Video Decoder supporting up to 1080p resolution
- VGA and HDMI display ports
- 4x USB 2.0 ports
- microSD slot
- 10/100 Ethernet port
- Audio-out/ Mic-in
- 15W power adapter
- Power consumption:
- 4 Watts (Idle)
- 13.5 Watts (Max. load)
- Dimensions: 17cm x 8.5cm
Beside the price, there are 2 “disadvantages” for this board compared to the Raspberry Pi. First, it will consume more power, whereas the Raspberry Pi can run from the USB power (max 2.5W). The second is that it’s much larger, I estimate about 3 Raspberry Pi could fit in the space occupied by the VIA APC.
VIA will provide an optimized version of Android with video hardware acceleration for video formats such as h.264 and others. You will be able to stream YouTube videos (which AFAIK you can’t do with the Raspberry Pi) and watch 1080p HD videos. The WonderMedia also features a GPU for 2D/3D performance.
You can watch the video below for a demo of the board with the compulsory Angry Birds demo, as well as Youtube video streaming and more.
The VIA APC will be available in July 2012 for $49 USD, but you can register to be notified when pre-orders open now.
You can get more more information on apc.io