Diminutive Android PCs Are Selling for Under $75

by Ostatic Staff - May. 18, 2012

If you thought the Raspberry Pi was the only tiny, ultra-inexpensive, pocketable computer running an open source operating system, think again. Not only is the OLPC effort showing signs of new life, but a number of Chinese web sites are now offering Android-based MK802 computers in thumbdrive-style form factors (shown here) for under $75. The prices even earn you free shipping if you happen to live in one of several Asian countries. Is there a market for these?

 A post from CNX software notes that these Android-based, thumbdrive-style mini PCs are available on AliExpress for $74, which includes shipping. The devices have ARM processors and run the Android 4.0 operating system. They also have onboard GPUs that enable 1080p video through HDMI. And, you apparently get 512MB of RAM complemented by 4GB of storage available through a microSD slot. The mini PCs are also WiFi-ready, and have a standard USB slot.

These Android devices are already being compared to the Cotton Candy mini computers that run either Android or Ubuntu, but the Cotton Candy systems run for $199. If nothing else, all of these devices are illustrating that the price points for very powerful miniature computers can be driven very low--well under the $100 price point that the OLPC project originally targeted.

The Raspberry Pi, available in $25 and $35 versions, has really driven this point home, and the educational market and the opportunity to put computers in the hands of children who couldn't previously afford them is a point of focus at the Raspberry Pi project. Would you go for one of these pocketable Android devices at under $75?

Photo Credit: CNX Software