Zero Devices Z900 Android mini PC Unboxing and Review

Zero Devices Z900 HDMI Stick hardware is very similar to CX-01 as it has the same Telechips TCC8925 Cortex A5 processor, 512 MB RAM and 4GB Flash memory. The only key difference is the presence of a microSD card slot which is lacking on CX-01 mini PC. It ships in the same package as Zero Devices Z802 mini PC, and the only difference is the lack of marking to tell the device name. Let’s open the box and see what’s inside. The package contains from top left to bottom right: USB to mini USB cable to connect the power 5V/1A power supply Documentation in Chinese and English mini HDMI to HDMI cable (about 30 cm long) Z900 Android TV Stick Zero Devices Authenticity Card. The Authenticity Card is used to register your device on Zero Devices website and access a VIP area with access to support forums, a download section and more. At this time, The VIP area is still …

5 Must Have Applications for Android mini-PCs and Set-Top Boxes

There are now many cheap Android mini PCs and media players running Android. The hardware is usually OK, the firmware is good enough most of the time, but I find the software lacking. Here are 5 Android apps that should improve your Android TV experience. ES File Explorer File Manager Android media devices often come with a custom file manager, but I found it lacking features (e.g. SAMBA/CIFS, directory copy…), or something features are present but not really working. ES File Explorer File Manager is a free app that can help you exchange files between your internal storage, SD card, USB mass storage devices, a Network Attached Storage, Bluetooth Devices, FTP servers and even Cloud based services such as Google Drive or Dropbox. I mainly use this app to play videos from a Windows share (SAMBA/CIFS) in a PC or a NAS. MX Player mini PCs (aka HDMI TV Sticks) and set-top boxes always come with pre-installed media players since …

ARM Demonstrates Mali-T604 GPU in Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Cortex A15 Processor

For the very first time, ARM showcased on of their latest GPU, the Mali T-604, at SIGGRAPH 2012. There were 3 demos running in a tablet reference platform based on Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Cortex A15 processor clocked at 1.7 GHz: Timbuktu 2 showing improvement brought by OpenGL ES 3.0 such as higher details buffers, shadow comparison, etc… Hauntheim showcasing multiple lightings accelerated with GLES 3.0 and OpenCL (GPU compute) Enlighten, a demo where you can adjust the sun position and see the building shadows move smoothly in real-time.

Zero Devices Z802 mini PC Unboxing and Review

Yesterday, I received 2 mini PCs from Zero Devices: The AllWinner A10 based Z802 and the Telechips TCC8925 based Z900. Today, I’ll show the unboxing pictures of the Z802 and review the device, and I’ll take care of Z900 mini PC another day. Zero Devices Z802 is actually the same design as Rikomagic MK802, and was released about 2 weeks earlier, but fate made the media “gods” hype MK802 instead of Zero Device Z802. This mini PC features AllWinner A10 Cortex A8 processor clocked at up to 1.5 GHz, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB flash,  built-in Wifi 802.11 b/g/n, a mini USB OTG port, USB 2.0 host port, a microSD card slot and an HDMI female connector. I received the device in the package pictured on the left. Once you open the box, you’ll see the Z802 on top, and once you pull off the cover, you’ll see quite a lot of accessories (Pictured below): USB to mini USB cable …

MIPS Releases Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) Source Code

At the end of last month, MIPS announced the $125 Karbonn Mobiles Android Jelly Bean Tablet powered by Ingzenic MIPS-Based JZ4770 SoC.  Today, they released Android 4.1.1 source code for MIPS Before downloading the Android source code, make sure you have a properly setup Linux workstation. Here are the instructions to checkout MIPS Android 4.1.1: You can read the release notes for more details about the current status of the MIPS Android Jelly Bean port. Myriad Dalvik turbo, an alternative Dalvik implement that is much faster than the default Dalvik engine (at least on MIPS), is not yet available for Android 4.1, but should be soon. All MIPS Android source code can also be viewed online at http://www.github.com/mips.

Gertboard Expansion Board for Raspberry Pi is Now Available for $60

More expansion boards for the Raspeberry Pi are coming out. This time, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the “semi-official” Gertboard expansion board that has been designed by Gert van Loo, a member of the foundation, but is not an official Raspberry Pi Foundation product. This board expands the Raspberry Pi’s “GPIO” pins and allows you to interface with the outside world in several ways including: Drive motors to open doors, lift things, or power robotics Communicate with sensors such as temperature, gas, light.. sensors Switch devices on and off Control LEDs The boards is composed of the following key building blocks: 12x buffered I/O 3x push buttons 6x open collector drivers (50V, 0.5A) 48V, 4A motor controller 28-pin dual in line ATmega microcontroller 2-channel 8/10/12 bit Digital to Analogue converter 2-channel 10 bit Analogue to Digital converter The gertboard is sold unassembled with the bare PCB and all the components you need, so it would also make a good soldering …

Ubuntu 12.04 on ODroid-X Development Board

Yesterday, Hardkernel released the first version of Ubuntu for ODroid-X development board based on Linux 3.6-rc1 and Linaro Ubuntu Desktop 12.07. This is still early work, but here’s the current status: Linux Kernel 3.6-rc1 with gcc 4.7.1 Linaro toolchain SMP driven Quad-Core processing PMIC device driver USB 2.0 High-speed Host driver for Exynos-4412 HSIC interface Ethernet + USB Hub device driver LCD display driver HDMI display driver (Very early version and it may have HDMI 1.4a compatibility issues with some monitors) To do: Audio codec driver eMMC device driver Clock control driver 3D HW-GPU X11 driver (This may need couple of months) Power-off support WiFi module is not working with Ubuntu GUI. Hardkernel Wi-Fi module is not working due to missing driver There are 2 images: one for LCD display kits, one for HDMI output that can be downloaded via: BitTorrent – One file with both images? Very slow for me. HTTP preferably to be used if BitTorrent is blocked …

Rikomagic To Sell an AllWinner A10 Android & Ubuntu Netbook

Rikomagic, the company that sells the MK802 mini PC, is planning to sell a netbook based on AllWinner A10 processor that runs both Android and Ubuntu operating systems. This device looks very much like the H6 netbook  with a 10″ 1024×600 display, 1 GB RAM, 4 to 8 GB flash. an SD card slot, 3 USD ports, audio in/out and a front camera. Android currently runs in the internal flash, and Ubuntu can be booted from an SD card. In the video below, Andy Kirby of Rikomagic gives an overview of the netbook and shows a demo of Ubuntu Desktop running from an SD card. The Linux OS seems to run relatively smoothly as he shows pages rendered in Chromium.However, hardware acceleration (both OpenGL and VE) is missing, and Youtube video playback is very slow as it is rendering in software. Open Office is also a bit slow, but it’s probably due to the fact that it’s running of an …