PQ Labs iStick A350-SSD is a Quad Core HDMI TV Stick with an mSATA Connector and a Battery

Since there are now so many quad core HDMI TV Sticks and TV Boxes, it would be easy to discount PQ Labs iStick A350-SSD as yet another Android TV devices powered by Rockchip RK3188 SoC, were it not for its mSATA connector and included battery. The company has also managed to add 3 USB ports, and a micro USB port, in a form factor only slightly bigger than a standard HDMI TV dongle.

iStick A350-SSD specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3188  quad-core Cortex A9 @ 1.6GHz with Mali-400MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 4 GB NAND Flash, mSATA connector, micro SD slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI, audio jack
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330 module)
  • USB – 3x USB Host, 1x micro USB
  • Misc – Recovery switch, power button, active cooling system
  • Battery – 270 mAh (3.7V)
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 10 x 5.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Temperature Range – Operating: 0 to 55 ℃; storage: -25 to 85 ℃
  • Humidity – 10% to 90% RH, non-condensing

The device is currently running Android4.2. The only downside is the presence of a fan for cooling but as everything is packed in such as small case it may be required. The 270 mAh is too small to run the device for any reasonable amount of time, so it probably acts as a UPS to avoid losing data during a power failure, and have enough time to power off the device gracefully. The company specializes in digital signage solutions, and they also have large USB touch screen frames that can be connected to their iStick devices.

PQ Labs iStick A350-SSD fitted with a 250GB SDD (top) vs Rikomagic MK802 IV (bottom) – Click to Enlarge

Ian Morrison (aka linuxium) got hold of the device, added a 250 GB SSD, and is now running the device as an OwnCloud server. He posted several pictures and screenshots, including the one above, on G+ Mini PCs community.

PQ Labs iStick 350-SSD can be purchased for $169 via the company website. The also have two other versions: iStick 350 without mSATA connector, nor battery, and iStick 300 with a Rockchip RK3168 dual core SoC.  It is really a unique and neat device, but the price is a little stiff, and hopefully for people on a tight budget, some alternative will pop-up closer to the $100 mark.

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16 Replies to “PQ Labs iStick A350-SSD is a Quad Core HDMI TV Stick with an mSATA Connector and a Battery”

  1. Is there any box/stick out there with Bluetooth 4.0 and Android 4.3?

    Bluetooth 4 is useless on Android 4.2… How come these companies are soooo late in adopting new versions of the OS.

  2. @GK
    There are many box out of there with Android 4.4 (Rockchip, Amlogic…), and those that have AP6330 module must have Bluetooth 4.0. However, I have not checked if BLE is supported.

  3. there’s no high speed bus on rk3188 so everything, 3xusb host, 10/100 ethernet and m-sata is connected via an usb hub to a single channel usb 2.0 port.
    a waste of an m-sata.

  4. However the included fan, which runs silently and is totally unobtrusive, is required as the CPU gets toasty when the ethernet and msata are running. Unfortunately it is controlled through a driver in the supplied Android kernel so that if you install a typical RK3188 Linux kernel it doesn’t start and the msata then cuts out due to its heat threshold being reached very quickly. I have made a request to PQ Labs under the GPL for their Android Linux kernel source so that I can develop an appropriate Linux kernel for running Ubuntu/Debian etc..

  5. Is it possible the battery is just to keep an RTC going? I’m guessing, looking at the pics, that the battery’s of the coin cell type as shown to the right of the m-sata connector in the top image.

  6. @The Cageybee
    I did not even notice the coin cell battery for the RTC on the pic above… The 270mAh is larger and can be seen on another picture provided by Ian on G+. You’ll also see a comment on his Google+ post, explaining he had to cut to the wires to the battery as there’s currently no way to reboot the device if the system hangs…

  7. anyone tried to make custom ROM for the istick A300/A350? i ran in some issue with flickering pink with the AirScreenServer build in (Android 4.4)

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