Last month, we wrote about Cloud Media’s Popcorn Hour Transformer, a platform based on Rockchip RK3328 processor that could be used a 2.5″ drive NAS, and/or a 4K HDR TV box, and looked like an interested alternative to ODROID HC1 NAS system.
The company has now officially launch the device, and is taking orders for $95.90 or $115.90 for respectively the 2GB RAM/16GB flash, or 4GB/32GB versions.
Popcorn Hour Transformer specifications:
- SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor with Mali-450MP GPU
- System Memory – 2GB or 4GB LPDDR3
- micro SD slot
- 16 or 32GB eMMC flash (removable and upgradeable)
- 128 Mbit SPI NOR flash
- SATA interface via USB 3.0 to SATA bridge chipset for 2.5″ HDD/SSD
- Network Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
- Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K 60Hz with HDR (HDR10/HLG) support
- Audio Output – Via HDMI, and 3.5mm audio jack (analog stereo or optical S/PDIF)
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 type A ports including one OTG port
- Misc – Power button, IR receiver, RTC
- Power Supply – 5V/3A via power barrel jack
- Dimensions & weight – TBD (aluminum casing with passive cooling fins)
The transformer ships with a 5V/3A power supply, and an IR remote control.
Two variants are offered with exactly the same hardware, but while the “Media Computer” version is pre-loaded with Android 7.1.2, the NAS version comes with OpenMediaVault instead. The company also mentions community supported images for the device, which should be (mostly) software compatible with Pine64 ROCK64 development board, including Lakka (RetroArch) for retro-gaming, open source Android TV and Xenial Mate Desktop both maintained by ayufan, LibreELEC maintained by Raybuntu, and others.
At first, I found the price gap to ODROID-HC1 (sold for $49) ludicrous, but Transformer does include 16GB storage, and a power supply, which needs to be purchased separately for the Hardkernel mini NAS, so while the gap is still there, it’s not as large as the advertised prices entail. Popcorn Hour Transformer also supports video output, and comes with a fully closed case.