Stella Mira, a new technology startup, has come up with a new Android mini-PC based on AllWinner A10 (how original!) called the Pocket Console (aka MiraPC). What makes it stand apart is that it comes with built-in Bluetooth, has several versions based on the NAND flash size: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64 GB and even 128 GB, and the company plans to release a 3G version in September.
The company also provides a dock, the Stella Mira Pocket Dock, that comes pre-loaded with one of supported Linux distributions, without the requiring the knowledge and time to configure microSD card for Linux.
The company will provide 4 Linux distributions:
- Ubuntu 12.04 (Custom build – Ready)
- Lubuntu 12.04 (Custom build – Ready)
- Xubuntu 12.04 (Custom build – Final stage of development)
- Fedora 17 XFCE (Not officially supported, but backed by a large development community)
Beside running Linux, the Pocket Console can also “run media center applications, such as XBMC or Plex”, according to Stella Mira.
Stella also explains that the dock helps with cooling of the device, because it exposes both sides and the ventilation holes.
Here are the specs of the device:
|CPU||Allwinner A10 1.5GHz Cortex-A8|
|GPU||Quad-Core ARM Mali 400MP GPU @ 500 MHz 720P/1080P Open GL ES Version 2.0|
|Operating System||Android 4.0.3 / Android 4.1 update coming soon|
|DDR RAM||1GB DDR3 RAM|
|Nand Flash Storage||8GB (base model) 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB models available|
|Network & Connectivity||Wireless 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 3G Cellular (optional model)|
|External Storage||External storage via USB and microSD|
|Language||Full Android language list, including English|
|I/O||3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x microSD card slot, 1x micro USB and 1x HDMI|
|Video formats and decoders||MKV, TS, TP, M2TS, RM, RMVB, BD-ISO, AVI, VOB, DAT, ASF, TRP, FLV, WMV, ASF, MP4, 3GP, MPEG 1/2/4, H.264, H.263, VC-1, DivX, Xvid, MJPEG, RV10|
|Audio formats||AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, QCP, MP3, WMA, WAV, MIDI, M4A|
|Video output||720P, 576P, 480P, 1080P, Super HD 2160P, 3D Film|
|Image formats||JPG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PNG|
|Subtitle formats||SRT, SUB, IDX, SSA, SMI|
The package will include the Pocket Console, a quick-start guide, an HDMI cable, a USB cable and a USB adapter.
The device is rooted and the company will provide SDK and early firmware builds to registered developers on stella-mira.com.
You must now be at the point where one word comes to mind “AWESOME”!
Unfortunately, time has come to talk about pricing and availability:
- 8 GB Flash MiraPC – $129.99
- 16 GB Flash MiraPC – $149.99
- 32 GB Flash MiraPC – $199.99
- 64 GB Flash MiraPC – $199.99
- 128 GB Flash MiraPC – $249.99
- 3G Version with 16GB flash – $199.99 (Pre-order)
This is where this product all fall apart for me. I understand that it has more features, but an AllWinner A10 miniPC with 1GB RAM and 4GB Flash costs about $73 on Dealextreme (and it’s not the cheapest option). If you add around $5 dollar for upgrading to 8 GB Flash, around $10 for Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (probably too much since I’ve seen Bt 2.1 + EDR USB dongle for $7 on Amazon…), and a few more dollars for extra USB connectors (let’s be wild and add $5 for this), we find a total price of $93. So I think that an acceptable price for the 8GB version should be closer to $100 than $130.
Another issue if that they currently only ship the device to the United States (for US $5.35 extra). They sell the device via Ebay, accept orders from July 23rd to August 6th for the first batch, and expect to ship them at the end of August.
You can find more information on Stella-Mira website.