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May 22, 2012

VIA's $49 Tiny Android PC




Miniature PC systems are bound to become better-known after the Raspberry Pi phenomenon, so we think VIA might finally get some of the recognition it deserves. 

The company has launched the APC 8750, where APC stands for Android PC (personal computer). Sure, the name isn't really accurate, since there is no case. This is more of a half-size mini-ITX motherboard than anything else really. VIA calls the new motherboard size neo-ITX  (170 x 85mm / 6.69 x 3.34 inchs). At any rate, one can simply buy a mini PC chassis separately. Sure, it will add to the cost, but at $49 (38.37 Euro) the APC 8750 is more than cheap enough for an extra buck to be worth it. Of course, you'll also have to buy an USB stick or a memory card for storage, since there are only 2 GB included. 

Speaking of which, Android 2.3 is loaded on that NAND Flash and works thanks to a VIA 800 MHz processor, 512 MB of DDR3 memory and a 2D/3D Graphics chip with up to 720p video quality support. Other specs include 10/100 Ethernet, USB 2.0 (four slots), VGA, HDMI, a microSD card slot and audio/mic ports. All in all, this should be enough for VIA to get a good feel of the mini PC market and if there is any point in making a grab for it. 

Potential competition may be found in Stealth's LittlePC, the Giada Uni-Box and the A51, also made by Giada. More miniature personal computers can be found here. If VIA succeeds in drawing enough customers to its side of the fence, it is fairly certain that a stronger version of the neo-ITX motherboard will eventually be created and released. We will see what is what from July onwards, since that is when this first iteration is scheduled to start its journey.





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