The FXI Cotton Candy is getting a lot of attention as a PC on a stick that will be available soon for just $200. But a Chinese manufacturer has beat the Cotton Candy to market with a $74 USB thumb-drive sized computer.
The Model MK802 is available from AliExpress for $74, or even less if you order in bulk. The little computer looks like a portable storage device, but it has a 1.5 GHz Allwiner A10 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage. It ships with Google Android 4.0 software, but theoretically you should be able to install Ubuntu or other operating systems.
Update 6/6/2012: My MK802 has arrived from China, and I’ve started putting the little computer through its paces.
Update: A number of other sellers are now offering the same product at AliExpress for $65 and up. I’m not sure if all these sellers are legit, but some are offering much faster shipping than the original listing. The Rikomagic store also offers an MK802 model with 1GB of RAM for $84.
AsiaPads is also taking orders for a similar model called the Zero Devices Z802. There are more details below.
You don’t get all the same features from the MK802 as you do from the Cotton Candy. The little guy has an HDMI port rather than an HDMI connector. That means that you can connect an external display, but you’ll need a cable. You can’t simply plug the device right into the back of a monitor or TV like you can with the Cotton Candy.
The Cotton Candy also has a 1.2 GHz Samsung Exynos dual core processor while the M802 has a 1.5 GHz single core chip.
The MK802 has a microSD card slot for extra storage space and USB host support for peripherals. There’s one full-sized USB port and a micro USB port.
It also features 802.11b/g WiFi and support for HD video playback in a variety of media formats.
The computer (which is marketed as an Internet TV device) measures 3.5″ x 1.4″ x 0.5 and weighs about 7 ounces.
The MK802 isn’t the only device of this type making the rounds. A company called Zero Devices is preparing to launch something called the Z802 which looks nearly identical… except for the Zero Devices logo on the front of the device. That model appears to be available for pre-order from some sources for about
Update: ARMDevices has posted a video showing a similar model (with 1GB of RAM instead of 512MB) in action. The video also shows what the little computer looks like when you take the mainboard out of its case.
via CNX Software