Android Mini PC

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.

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  1. Patrick says:

    the “old” tv had an hdmi input?

    or did you go through a usb to vga adapter like a displaylink?

    did the OS already have flash video or did you have to install?

    sounds interesting

    • pchretien says:

      Thanks for your message. Well, the TV is not that old but it is one of the first wide screen tv something like height years ago. I had to change it when we switched to digital HD signal … I don’t want to pay for cable TV and this TV had only an analog tuner. :)

      For YouTube and TED I am using Android applications available from the Google Play store for free. Flash is available for Android but Adobe announced it will not be supported anymore so I try to avoid using It.

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