$60 Rockchip RK2906 (Cortex A8) Android 4.0 Tablets

About 2 months ago, I received a 7″ capacitive tablet powered by WonderMedia WM8850 Cortex A9 processor and running Android 4.0. The WM8850-MID tablet cost me $76 at the time, and was available for as low as $72, which I found extremely cheap for a tablet with those specs. Since then AllWinner A13 processors have started to be used in tablets with similar specs – but without HDMI output – that sell for as low as $55. At the Hong Kong electronics Fair in April 2012, Rockchip announced several processors including the RK2906, which I was led to believe would be a cut-down version of ARM Cortex A8 RK2918 without HDMI, but it appears not to be the case. And today, I received a “Deal Alert” for an RK2906 Android 4.0 tablet that sells for $59.99 including shipping on Focalprice and could be an alternative to A13 tablets, especially if HDMI is important to you.

Here are the specs for this tablet posted on focalprice:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK2906 Cortex A8 processor @ 1 GHz with Vivante GPU GC800 GPU
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 4 GB NAND Flash & microSD card slot
  • Display – 7.0″ capacitive touch screen (5- point) – Resolution 800 x 480
  • Connectivity – Built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G support via external USB dongle.
  • Video output – HDMI
  • Audio I/O – Built-in a speaker + 3.3mm headphone jack
  • Audio codecs – MP3/WMA/FLAC/APE
  • Camera – 0.3MP front camera
  • USB – 1x OTG Port + 1x USB Host port
  • Sensors – G-Sensor
  • Battery – 2000mAh battery, up to 1.5h video playback
  • Dimensions – 19.4 x 12 x 0.5 cm
  • Weight – 296 g

The memory (512 MB), screen resolution (800×480) and battery capacity (2000 mAh) are on the low side, I’ve found the first two not to really be issues (for my use), but with a 2000 mAh battery you may end up having to recharge your tablet once or twice a day. The only advantage is that it limits the time you waste playing games on your tablet…

Focalprice is not the only one to sell RK2906 tablets in this price range, as I’ve found one on Aliexpress that sells for $64.80 with a 3000 mAh battery.

RK2906 processor is very new, so there is no community around it for now, and Rockchip does not release the GPL source code easily, so it may take a while before the device is hacked to run Cyanogenmod and/or some Linux OS.

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