Last month I read an article on ArsTechnica about a small Android PC at 74$ and decided to give it a try. I received it yesterday and I am very impressed by the device. The small computer ships with a transformer, a mini-2-standard USB adapter, an HDMI cable and a mini-2-standard USB cable. You can connect the computer into any TV or monitor with an HDMI input port. I plugged mine into an old TV I had in my junk and connected a wireless keyboard and mouse into it.
The device is built on top of a 1.5GHz ARM processor with 1Gb of flash storage and a built-in 802.11 wireless adapter. You can extend the storage with a microSD memory card. It comes pre-installed with Android 4.0 and a couple of standard Android applications like Youtube, GMail and, of course, a web browser.
Once connected to my home WiFi network I started playing around with the device. All the user interfaces are the same as a standard Android 4.0 phone or tablet. The web browser is the default Android browser. I configured my GMail, Facebook, Twitter and Hotmail accounts with no problems. For some reason I have not been able to connect to my YouTube account. I’ll give it an other try later.
I then went to the Google Play store to download more apps. It seems that the store recognize the Android Mini PC s a tablet PC so not all phone applications are available for download. I started by downloading the TED and Netflix applications so I can convert my old TV into a modern “intelligent” TV. Both applications worked like a charm. Since “intelligent” TVs are usually sold an extra 700$, at 74$ the device was already paying for itself.
In conclusion, if you want to add web capabilities to your actual TV, the Android Mini PC combined to a wireless keyboard and mouse is a good candidate! You want one? You can now find it under 70$ on AliExpress by searching for “Android Mini PC” with the Free Shipping option selected.