via minipc.jpg

Neo-ITX running at 800Mhz... (via VIA)

 

Mini PCs have been gaining momentum in popularity since Raspberry Pi made it easy for hobbyists to develop home projects with relative ease and on the cheap. VIA Technologies has jumped on the mini PC bandwagon and is set to release their new all-in-one (has everything on it including the GPU and CPU) board known as the APC Android PC system. The board is considerably better than the Raspberry Pi (model B) although it costs a bit more with an initial price tag of around $49 US which includes an VIA WonderMedia ARM 11 SoC running at 800MHz, 2GB of flash memory for storage and 512MB of DDR3 ram. The board comes crammed with ports to connect the PC to TVs or monitors including HDMI and VGA (capable of 720P HD video) along with 4 USB 2.0 I/O connections and a 10/100 Ethernet connection.

 

The Neo-ITX board is optimized to take advantage of keyboard and mouse inputs, which makes navigating the boards customized Android 2.3 OS (which is already pre-installed) easy and more efficient. Those looking to use the APC as a media center PC will be pleased to know that it can be mounted into any Mini-ITX or microATX form factor case and only consumes a scant 4 watts of power when idle and 13.5 watts under full load. This isn’t VIA’s first mini PC however, as the company has previously released the popular APC Rock, Paper (a Rock board housed inside of a recycled cardboard/aluminum housing) and 8750 earlier this year and included JTAG and GPIO headers for DIY projects such as home automation and robotics. What sets VIA’s new board above the Raspberry Pi (even though the Pi is smaller) is not only faster hardware but all the aforementioned connections which gives users more options regarding peripherals that can be connected including Wi-Fi via a USB dongle. Sure, the Pi runs a Linux-based OS (for those no-nonsense minimalistic users) but surely, modifications will be done sometime in the near future to run just about any OS on the APC. Via has set the new APC Android based mini PC for some time in July. Those interested in knowing exactly when they can pre-order the board can sign up at the company’s website for notifications.

 

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