Ready or not, here comes the $49 Android PC.
Taiwanese chipset vendor Via Technologies Inc. is hawking a $49 PC system that runs Google Inc.'s Android operating system and is scheduled to start shipping in July.
Like the Raspberry Pi—the $25 single board computer developed in the UK—Via's APC Android PC System comes in the form of a motherboard that can be connected to a TV or monitor. The system also features a custom build of Android that has been optimized for keyboard and mouse input, and comes with a browser and a selection of preinstalled apps, according to a statement released by Via Tuesday (May 22).
APC is powered by an ARM11-based processor from WonderMedia, Via's low-cost processor subsidiary. The system integrates memory, storage and a full set of consumer I/O features in a small footprint Neo-ITX motherboard, according to Via.
The APC motherboard measures 17 centimeters by 8.5 centimeters and can be housed in any standard Mini-ITX or microATX chassis, Via said. The company is targeting the system at both do-it-yourself computer enthusiasts and OEMs looking to get their systems to market quickly.
"Like a bicycle for your mind, APC will enable more people than ever before to explore the vast online universe," said Richard Brown, vice president of marketing at Via, in a statement.
Via claims APC consumes only 4 watts when operating at idle power and 13.5 watts at maximum load—10 times less than a standard PC system. It also offers hardware acceleration for demanding video formats, according to Via.
Key features of the APC, as listed by Via:
• Optimized Android OS
• HD TV support
• Hardware acceleration of the most demanding video formats
• VGA and HDMI display ports
• Four USB 2.0 ports
• One microSD slot
• One 10/100 Ethernet port
• Audio-out/ Mic-in
• VIA WonderMedia ARM 11 SoC
• 2GB NAND Flash
• 512 DDR3 SDRAM
• 15W power adapter
Based on the ultra compact new Neo-ITX form factor, APC measures 17cm x 8.5cm.