VIA unveils the APC $49 Android PC

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Systems | May 22, 2012 - 05:22 PM |
Tagged: VIA, htpc, APC

VIA tops Gingerbread with a banana for some reason. They also unveil a $49 system powered by Android 2.3 which has been customized for mouse and keyboard support. The system draws between 4 and 13.5 watts (idle and load respectively) and can be mounted into any standard Mini-ITX or microATX chassis as well as chassis for the new Neo-ITX standard.

I guess VIA wants to be more than just Android-in-law to HTC.

It seems as though the low powered computing market is continuing to be eaten by ARM with devices such as VIA’s just announced APC Android PC. The APC seems to be aimed at the home theatre and enthusiast markets. VIA also hopes that the low price point will introduce more people to computing.

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Apparently VIA prefers bananas to Apples.

The APC is powered by an 800MHz VIA ARM11 system-on-a-chip with 512 MB of DDR3 RAM. 2GB of flash memory is embedded on the device which can be expanded by a microSD card slot. It may also be possible to install extra memory through one of the four USB2.0 ports on the device although that is not explicitly stated in the press release. Display output will be limited to 720p. Power usage will vary between 4 and 13.5 watts depending on load.

VIA is also promoting the device for its Neo-ITX form factor. The APC is 17cm x 8.5cm in dimensions -- which is just under 6 3/4” by 3 3/8” for you non-Metrics -- and can mount in Mini-ITX or microATX cases. It apparently is also smaller than a banana.

The APC is expected to ship this July for $49.

Source: VIA

May 22, 2012 | 11:19 PM - Posted by collie man (not verified)

sooooo, ummmm, is this what we wanted the raspberry Pi to be? It looks like. Ask and ye shall receive

May 23, 2012 | 12:11 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Not exactly, but it's definitely an alternative (and it'll probably be easier to get ahold of!) :D

May 23, 2012 | 02:11 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

But 720p output rather than Raspberry Pi's 1080p.

Except for raw availability... the main advantages of the APC over the Raspberry Pi is basically just its Neo-ITX form factor and Android.

May 23, 2012 | 02:51 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Yeah Android was an odd choice. Shouldn't be too long before someone mods a linux distro to run on this though.

May 23, 2012 | 07:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Are they stupid? ARM11? I can not understand this company. Wait. I can. From being the top chipset manufacturer they ended up being nobody in less than a decade. I think I understand them now.

They have wondermedia right? They just announced WM8850 an A9 compatible right? And they are introducing an ARM11 product? It is like Nvidia announcing a new 9800GTX+ card today!

May 23, 2012 | 08:36 AM - Posted by atrentphillips (not verified)

Nice, but other than the Pandaboard, most of these small ARM boards tend to be a little too light on RAM. A gig or more,possibly expandable, could make some of these little boards more interesting.

For the price, it looks like fun, put something closer to the Pandaboard specs (or even the newer Beagle Board) might make it more useful.

Note: I LOVE the VGA connector ! Why should one need a NEW monitor for a computer /w a $50 board ? :)


May 23, 2012 | 03:59 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Cards like these need to get the chipset to support CableCards so that they can be used with digital cable systems.


May 24, 2012 | 02:16 AM - Posted by Jon Pennington (not verified)

I love this form factor, though it's a little strange that the board costs less than a Mini ITX case to put it in. There are two disappointing things: weaksauce processor and presumably no HDCP support (Via is pretty stingy these days). If those were fixed, one had access to the full Play store, and could then run Netflix and Hulu+ apps, I'd be all over it.

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