Smartvote SmartCandy is a Tiny RK3066 mini PC with an External Wi-Fi/USB Cable

Orange Pi Development Boards

To date, the smallest mini PC I’ve even seen is probably CX-01 powered by Telechips TCC8925 Cortex A5 processor, but Smartvote, a Hong Kong based company, has designed an even smaller device based on Rockchip RK3066 called SmartCandy, a feat achieved by locating the Wi-Fi module and full USB ports in an external cable.

Smartvote_SmartCandy SmartCandy specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3066 @ 1.6 GHz + Mali-400 MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB
  • Storage – 8GB NAND Flash + microSD slot
  • USB – 1x USB OTG
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4a
  • Dimensions – 68 x 29 x 12mm

That’s it, no Wi-Fi, no full USB ports. Luckily, it’s sold with an external cable / box that you can connect to the microUSB port to add:

  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n
  • USB – 1x or 3x USB port, depending on model
  • Ethernet – With 3x USB port model only

The device runs Android 4.1 at this stage. You can compare the size of SmartCandy’s PCB against a standard RK3066 mini PC PCB below. That’s small!

Smartcandy_Vs_RK3188_miniPC

Charbax interviewed Smartvote at HKTDC, in mid-April, and we learn the device (and Wi-fi/USB cable) costs $35 per unit for 100-unit orders, a little bit more than the standard RK3066 mini PC which sells for $32 for 100 orders.

At the end of the video, they also showed another device called TravelCase, another mini PC / HDMI stick powered by either AMLogic AML8726-M3 or MX, and that supports HDMI, VGA and AV output, also selling.

You may find more information on SmartCandy website. Bear in mind, however, the SmartCandy currently shown in their website is an earlier version based on Telechips TCC8925, but the features appear to have remained the same.

[Update: As per Gabe’s comment below, DealExtreme sells a device called UG001 that looks very similar with RK3066, the same dimensions, and an external cable with Wi-Fi and USB]

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Gabe
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Gabe
GIJoe
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GIJoe

We want RK3168 chipset! 🙂

anon
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anon

That is actually pretty nice and clean concept, as at least those RockChip-based sticks seem to all use USB-connected WiFi chips, that way that WiFi/BT/USB could become an “standard” issue, and only upgrade the HDMI/CPU part of the system…

Of course as RK chips have two independent USB OTG/Host ports, it would make sense to add connector for the second port too, and by making an USB hub cable without an WiFi would of course eliminate the need for all that messing about with WiFi drivers, letting users to use their own WiFi USB sticks when needed.

Without WiFi and with USB CDC or Ethernet adapters those sticks could easily become the next big thing in micro-server or Beowulf cluster circuits.

LinuxMint
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LinuxMint

As a temporary solution to fill the gap, until later this year devices based on the still to be launched new SoCs from Mediatek and AmLogic arrive as competition to the current crop of RK3188, in my view the small form-factor SmartCandy M-800 only really has a chance to succeed, if it would come with the TRAVELCASE’s WiFi .11n-150/BT2.1/100Base-TX/3x USB 2.0-hub cable pod. But according to feedback from Smartvote Ltd, this very sadly is unfortunately NOT the case.
I don’t see any advantage in that amazing small form-factor, when I don’t get any additional I/O benefit from having WiFi/BT moved to an external cable solution, only adding to the clutter, quite the opposite to otherwise gaining an already integrated Ethernet-to-USB adapter and USB 3x hub.
Apparently they also only want to sell it with a bundled 2.4GHz RF remote, then already occupying the only available USB-A port and further driving up the price, starting shipping sometime in June.
It could otherwise have been a very intriguing fortysomething-$ device for the time being, but not w/o the TRAVELCASE’s multi-i/o cable pod.

Galland
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Galland

Beautiful, but I am missing a Power Management chip (to avoid many of MK808’s problems) I see it is a stack of 2 PCBs and maybe the PM chip is in the inside faces.

However the 2nd PCB shown (usual TV stick) didn’t show any perceptible PM chip, so odds are they didn’t include it in the small one either :S I hope I’m mistaken!

LinuxMint
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LinuxMint

@Gabe
Unfortunately it comes with only have the Flash memory and apparently NO??? power supply?!?!. WTH?
How does DX expect one to use this thing?

LinuxMint
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LinuxMint
Gabe
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Gabe

There is a microUSB port and you connect the cable that has an USB port & WI-FI incorporated to the mini-pc, and the other side(USB cable) you connect it to an USB power source.

LinuxMint
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LinuxMint

Gabe :
There is a microUSB port and you connect the cable that has an USB port & WI-FI incorporated to the mini-pc, and the other side(USB cable) you connect it to an USB power source.

And my previously posting about Geekbuying having it as well, apparently didn’t survive moderation. Oh well.

Anyway, I assume that the standard USB 2.0 500mA certainly are not enough to feed it, besides my TV doesn’t even have a USB connector, I don’t have a 2A/5V USB SMPS laying around. So, that makes the lack of an included SMPS a very big no-no. Besides, at least one listing at Aliexpress, not really surprising, reports the UG001 as no longer available.

Vlad
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Vlad

RK3066 in small case will be very hot and not will survive in long time.

Galland
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Galland

@Vlad Actually frequency is scaled down when temperature rises to certain points, so end result should just be a slower stick, but not by that much, I think. The [supposed] lack of a PM chip is what may affect its life since it will run at a higher voltage than necessary in most occasions.

Paul
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Paul

cnxsoft :
@LinuxMint
With the earlier version with Telechips TCC8925 (Cortex A5), the TV USB port is normally enough for power, but for Rockchip RK3066, it’s unlikely, so they just expect you to have a USB power supply. You can find such power supplies for $2 and up (including shipping) online.

My RK3066 stick works pretty well being powered from my TV (Samsung something). Of course, you realistically still need power adapter, because next thing you want to connect is hdd, and that for sure needs more power. Actually, you need powered usb hub to connect everything you want.

Paul
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Paul

Vlad :
RK3066 in small case will be very hot and not will survive in long time.

Stop spreading FUD, guys. My stick is powered all the time (too bothering to turn it off), and I never saw it even hang. Everyone knows that Chinese tech is unbreakable. And when it breaks, you put it in trashbin and take out a new specimen from drawer (because everyone already bought it more than needed).

Andre
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Andre

I actually got one who experienced heat problems after 10 minutes. Blurry video (artefacts) , switching off en letting it cool solved the problem but ofcourse after another 10 minutes the same problem appears.

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[…] first time I saw a USB & Ethernet hub was the one that comes with SmartCandy mini PC, but I never thought of checking if they sold such item separately until this morning, as […]