Tronsmart Draco AW80 is an Allwinner A80 based mini PC pre-loaded with Android 4.4. A preliminary Ubuntu image is now available for the device. It’s still a little buggy, but you can access LXDE desktop on an HDMI TV, Ethernet is working, and web browsing is apparently working nicely.
Known bugs include FAT32 partitions are read-only, wireless mouse and keyboard are not working (USB versions are OK), shutdown does not work, the user interface is not as snappy as in Android, and YouTube video playback is choppy. The last two issues could be related to the lack of VPU and GPU drivers providing video hardware decoding, and 2D/3D hardware acceleration respectively. The good news is that the company working on Draco AW80 got the GPU drivers from Imagination, and an updated image could be available with hardware acceleration. I’m not sure sure about VPU support, which is extremely important if you want to play videos, at least 4K videos, as Allwinner A80 should be able to handle most 1080p videos with software decode (and increased power consumption).
Installing the Ubuntu image will also wipe out your Android installation, but since SD card boot is feasible, an SD card image should also be expected in the future. If you want to give it a try anyway, you can download A80_Lubuntu_20141127-2.img.gz on baidu (password: ypdw).
Then extract the firmware, and flash A80_Lubuntu_20141127-2.img using the standard Allwinner A80 firmware upgrade procedure. With Draco AW80, you don’t need the serial console, simply connect the USB 3.0 OTG port to your computer, press the FN button on the bottom of the box, and power up the device to enter recovery mode.
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.