AllWinner A31s is a cost down version of AllWinner A31 quad core Cortex A7 processor that is designed for phablets, with support for lower LCD and camera resolutions. This means A31s may actually be better choice than A31 for media players since few make use of LCD and/or camera interfaces. MK823 is the first media player I’ve heard of that use A31s processor.
Here are the specifications of the device:
- SoC- Allwinner A31S quad-core Cortex A7 @ 1.0 GHz with PowerVR SGX544 MP2 GPU
- System Memory – 1GB DDR3
- Storage – 8GB NAND Flash + SD card slot (up to 32GB)
- Video Output – HDMI 1.4
- 10/100M Ethernet
- 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- USB – 3x USB 2.0 Host port (including one OTG)
- Power Supply – 5V/2A
- Dimensions – N/A
- Weight – N/A
This 4.2.2 Android TB box comes with a 5V/2A power adapter, an HDMI cable, a USB cable, and a user’s manual. The device sells for about $70 including shipping on Aliexpress, and I could also find it on Ebay for $89 including shipping. The price is quite competitive compared to low cost RK3188 Android TV Boxes such as K-R42-1 or Jesurun K8. The Cortex A7 used in AllWinner A31s has much lower performance than the Cortex A9 used in RK3188, but in Android the GPU is just has important, and the PowerVR-544 MP2 in A31s will in many cases outperform Mali-400 MP4 in RK3188. MK823 has less RAM than the other two devices, but unless you run many application simultaneously, it should not affect performance that much. If you intend to use the device as a cheap Ouya with a Bluetooth game controller, gaming performance should be pretty good.
In case you wonder about Linux support, there’s some work going on AllWinner A31, but development is pretty slow compared to AllWinner A20, and companies doing development boards based on Chinese SoCs such as Olimex or CubieTech, appears to focus their development efforts on RK3188 instead of A31(s) for their upcoming quad core boards. That means for Linux support platforms based on AllWinner A31 / A31s may not be the best choice.
I have also tried to find the manufacturer but without success. But if you want to buy in quantities, Cozyswan (Shenzhen Realtime M&C) is selling the device in Alibaba, and some companies mention the model name is either “KG-161” or “KG-158”.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
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