VIA intros $49 Android-based PC, launching in July

By on May 22, 2012, 1:30 PM

VIA Technologies has been in the business of manufacturing inexpensive computers ever since they acquired a majority of microprocessor developer Cyrix in the late 90s. When the latest tiny PC trend kicked off with the likes of Raspberry Pi and FXI, we knew it would just be a matter of time before VIA played their hand. That time is now as the company has announced their APC, an Android-powered PC that will sell for just $49.

The APC measures in at 6.7-inches by 3.3-inches and looks more like a super tiny motherboard than say, FXI’s Cotton Candy PC-on-a-stick. The PCB uses the Neo-ITX form factor although it can be installed in a Mini-ITX or microATX chassis.

At the heart of the system is an ARM11 SoC from Wondermedia. The WM8750 is clocked at 800MHz and will run a tweaked version of Android 2.3. There’s also 512MB of DDR3 memory and 2GB of on-board flash storage for the operating system. 

And since this is more computer-like than most other small solutions, there is a BIOS chip, audio controller, Ethernet controller, HDMI port, VGA-out connection, four USB 2.0 ports and a microSD card slot. The system can be powered through a rear-mounted 12v connector or internally via (no pun intended) 4-pin 12v connector. At full load, the APC consumed only 13.5W and sips around 4W at idle.

VIA will begin taking pre-orders in the near future with plans to ship the APC in July.

User Comments: 6

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mosu said:

Looks like a test board to me, but without expansion ports.I really would like an ARM v8 solution with more graphic muscle and some expansion, eventually wireless on board.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Definitely an interesting little gadget. I'll probably end up getting one, that way my Raspberry Pi and Arduino boards have a new playmate.

I kinda like the thought that I may be able to leverage the Android marketplace... Guess we'll see how it develops.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

I would pass on the WMT chipset..

Zeromus said:

Oh cool it's ATX compatible. Wow that thing rocks, gonna get the Cosmos II computer case and install this into it

Guest said:

Only 512MB ram? My phone has more. Make it 2-4Gb and/or expandable and then there will be more interest. Also more storage options than uSD, there is no excuse for lack of expandability if they're designing it to fit into a mitx or uatx case.

Guest said:

These don't require a lot of RAM. Its more comparable to an android phone than ChromeOS, by way of comparison.

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