$74 MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC: First impressions (video)

The MK802 is a tiny computer that fits in the palm of your hands. It looks like a slightly bulky USB flash drive, but it actually has a processor, RAM, storage, and I/O ports, which make it a Mini PC.

Designed to run Google Android 4.0, the MK802 has a 1.5 GHz Allwinner A10 ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage.

There’s also a microSD card slot for extra storage, a mini HDMI port for connecting an external display, a full-sized USB port for a keyboard, mouse, or other accessory. The device also has a mini USB port which you can use to power the MK802, connect it to a computer, or plug in peripherals.

You can pick one up from AliExpress for just $74. The seller also has a model with 1GB of RAM for $84. I ordered one about three weeks ago, and after waiting most of a month for the package to arrive (free shipping is the only option), it arrived last night.

Update: While the MK802 is still one of the most popular Android mini PC sticks, it’s hardly alone. In the months following publication of this article, Chinese manufacturers have produced many other devices with more memory or storage, faster processors, or other improvements. 

MK802 PC on a Stick

I knew the little computer was small, but when I opened the box I was surprised at just how light it was. A postage scale confirms that the MK802 weighs just 0.9 ounces.

Inside the box you’ll find the Mini PC, a mini HDMI to HDMI cable, a mini USB to USB cable, a mini USB to USB adapter (so you can use two full-sized USB ports instead of one), and a power adapter.

There’s no power switch on the MK802. You turn it on by plugging in either the power cord or by connecting the mini USB cable to a power source (such as a PC or a wall jack).

Unfortunately that means that you turn off the device by unplugging the power cable. I haven’t found a way to shut down the MK802 properly or enable any sort of sleep mode. I suspect there may be third party apps that will let you shut down the device without unplugging it though.

I plugged in a Logitech receiver for the wireless keyboard and mouse I typically use with my desktop PC and the Mini PC recognized them immediately. Since the keyboard and mouse share a receiver, I only had to use one USB port for both peripherals.

If you plug in a mouse, but no keyboard, the on-screen Android keyboard will be accessible. This lets you enter text without a physical keyboard — so you can connect the Mini PC to a television and use a wireless air mouse as a remote control.

Not only does the MK802 come with Google Android 4.0, it also comes with the Android Market preloaded. I don’t know if the Mini PC is actually a Google Certified device, but I’m not complaining.

After connecting to my WiFi network and downloading a few apps from the Market, Android automatically updated the app to the new Google Play Store.

The official Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube apps also came pre-installed, as well as a few apps designed for the Chinese market including apps for online video sites including Youku.

The Allwinner A10 CPU is a processor that typically shows up in low-cost Android tablets such as the Coby Kyros MID9742.

Since the MK802 doesn’t have a display it can be much smaller than a tablet or even an Android smartphone — and much cheaper as well.

But since this is a budget CPU, it’s not exactly a speed demon. While you can surf the web, play games, and watch web video on the MK802, some tasks feel a little sluggish. Web browsing, for instance, is kind of slow.

The computer also gets rather warm to the touch after it’s been on for a few minutes. I’m a little worried that it could overheat if used for an extended period — but I haven’t used it long enough to know if that’s a real risk.

I wouldn’t recommend this as a primary computer for most folks. But if you’re looking for an Android box that will let you stream Netflix or YouTube on your TV, do some light web surfing, or play some games you could certainly do a lot worse.

It would be nice, though, if there was a way to put the MK802 into a sort of sleep mode when it’s not in use. Right now you have to wait for the entire operating system to boot before you can do anything.

The MK802 could also make a decent, inexpensive computer for someone who doesn’t need a very fast PC or the ability to run Windows apps.

Of course, if you really do need to run Windows apps… there’s a way to do that. The MK802 can run remote desktop software such as LogMeIn, Splashtop, TeamViewer, or PocketCloud to remote control a Windows PC. You can also use the OnLive app or similar software to stream console-quality video games to the MK802 over the internet.

I suspect the little computer may also be able to run other operating systems. There’s been some progress in porting Ubuntu Linux to run on devices with Allwinner A10 processors.

Update: Yup. You can run Ubuntu, Fedora, Puppy, and other Linux distributions on the MK802. 

For those content with Android… but looking for a little more control over the operating system, you may be pleased to know that the Android 4.0 Mini PC appears to be pre-rooted. Titanium Backup and other apps that require root access run without any modifications to the computer.

I ordered my MK802 from AliExpress seller Rikomagic Store. But a number of other sellers are offering similar devices for similar prices.

You can also order a Zero Devices Z802 from AsiaPads for $76, or get a model with 1GB of RAM for $70 from OEM Systems Company through Amazon.

Latest MK802 news

Here are some of the most recent Liliputing articles about the MK802.

  • Paupseco

    Hey Brad thanks for doing a review on the MK802 mini PC, I noticed you said in your first video that it takes a long time to ship, what timeframe are we talking about and do you know if they ship to Canada?

    Thank you

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      It took about three weeks, but the seller says 25 days. They’re also currently out of stock, but expect to get some more in next week, so it might take as long as a month.

      You should probably contact them directly about shipping to Canada. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t do that though. 

      • Bk83

        Brad something that I am really interested in, is the is it able to support a webcam? plug in play? Could you demo for us possibly? g talk or tango, that would be so awesome if you could give some insight into that.  Also do you have the 512mb version or 1 gb ram version?

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      Oh, and I wouldn’t call this a review… more of a preview. 

  • http://twitter.com/Japster24 Japster24

    (duplicate question from G+): Any way you can connect your phone to it (via bluetooth or wifi application) and use it as a multi-touch remote?  THAT would make it worth it to me. 

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      None that I’m aware of. There’s WiFi, but no Bluetooth… let me know if you find an app that lets you remote control an Android device from another device over WiFi and I’ll look into it. 

      • Rk

        If we can get root we could use Droidmote server/client. It’s only a matter of time for root…

        Does the device support USB host? Thinking of buying a external 2TB drive and fitting this inside the case to have a portable 2TB media library/player… :)

      • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

        Yep, plugged in a USB flash drive and it recognized it. 

        As for root access… it comes pre-rooted. 

      • Vishnu

        Have you guys tried this
        https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=berserker.android.apps.blueputdroid&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImJlcnNlcmtlci5hbmRyb2lkLmFwcHMuYmx1ZXB1dGRyb2lkIl0.

        The app is called blueputdroid and I have used successfully before between bluetooth devices. I am not sure if this is what you guys are talking about, but if you are, hope I am helpful…

      • Leokesler

        @bradlinder:disqus  , about the speed of HD, do you have a way to make a benchmark and tell us what is the speed of HD transfer plugged by USB ? Thanks and excuse me my bad english.

      • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

        I use AndroMouse Lite in Google Play for using any Android phone/tabet as a remote mouse/keyboard for any other Android device over WiFi or Bluetooth (the MK802 would need a $2 USB Bluetooth adapter if that works on Android 4 since it does not come with built-in Bluetooth). I found AndroMouse just doing a search for mouse/keyboard etc in Google Play, there are probably other apps for that.

  • Kongoschmongo

    Could you please tryout Blu-Ray playback?

  • MJamus

    Have you tried connecting to a Windows computer using RDP?  I’m curious if this could act as a cheap Wyse terminal replacement.

  • ChiuK

    Are there any Import Fees to the States?

  • Cobey

    How is the app selection in Play?  Interested to know if apps like Facebook, HBO Go, Xfinity Play, and the like show up as available.

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      HBO Go, yes. Xfinity Play, yes. Facebook, no… but it comes with the Facebook app preinstalled, so that’s not a big problem.

      Oddly the WordPress app isn’t available from the Play Store.

      If you can get these apps from other sources I’m pretty sure they’ll run fine, as the Facebook app shows. But the Play Store isn’t showing all available apps. 

      • Cobey

        Thanks Brad!  Is it root access available out of the box by chance?

      • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

        As it happens… yes. Yes it is.

        I haven’t had much luck configuring SuperSU or SuperUser apps yet, but Titanium Backup, ROM Toolbox and a few other apps are at least partially functional. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IMKZUY3WNZRSUCWGXUAQQDBUCE First

    Brad – I have a question.

    There are tablets out there having these same specs and selling for $100. This MK802 does not have most of those components – so why is he selling them for $74?

    I’m guessing that the entire unit wont cost more than $40.

    Am I missing something here – or is he just taking advantage of a popular trend?

    • Cobey

      Good point.  For $15 more, one can pick up an iRulu 7″ tablet with pretty much the same specs.

      • CyberGusa

        The iRulu is using a IMAPX210 1GHz processor, while this device is using a Allwinner A10 over clocked to 1.5GHz…  Different SoC, which means different specifications and costs.

        Also, be careful of going only by the clock speed as performance can vary significantly between ARM SoC’s depending on configuration, especially with different GPUs, and based on which Cortex they’re based on.

      • Cobey

        Hmmm.  Interesting.  I pulled the spec from the multiple Amazon listings:  
        http://www.amazon.com/Allwinner-Capacitive-Touchscreen-Internet-Capacity/dp/B007KZQVN8/ref=cm_lmf_tit_4

        300MHz slower, yes, but the A10 is supposed to be able to run 1-1.5Ghz as I understand it.  

      • CyberGusa

        Wouldn’t be the first time Amazon had the wrong information.

        While this specific USB dongle device is listed at 1.5GHz, which is quite a bit faster than 1GHz the other device is listed at anyway.

        The rated clock speed for the A10 is 1.2GHz, but they either under clock for lower price and better run time or they over clock.

        Mind with a USB powered device there’s no need to worry about run time.

    • CyberGusa

       Production yields often is a variable for unit costs, the more they make then the cheaper they can offer each unit but the fewer then the higher the unit cost and this doesn’t seem to be high yield given the long ship dates and low stock quantities.

      Another factor is size, a 7″ tablet has a lot more room but a USB dongle is pretty small even for a ARM system.  So takes more effort to get everything inside and working properly.

      They also have to cover R&D costs for a new product during the first production runs and it takes awhile before they can lower the costs.

      Then there’s good old profit, the people making this have to make it worth their time and effort. 

      So combine all the factors and it can easily more than double the price from the expected costs.

      Mind other similar products are priced even higher, like the FXI Cotton Candy.

    • https://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/AX05DBU8IRUWY?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_cd_et_pdp C. Schmidt

      Watch it made – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkR6_7cw4p8 Pay attention to the interview at the end.

  • Bk83

    Brad something that I am really interested in, is the is it able to support a webcam? plug in play? Could you demo for us possibly? Google talk app or tango app, that would be so awesome if you could give some insight into that.  Also do you have the 512mb version or 1 gb ram version?

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      If Android 4 supports USB webcams then yes it can do it.

  • philpo99

    How about loading up xbmc and maybe even xbmcbuntu?  It would make a nice way to turn your TV into a really smart TV…
    And is there any practical limit on the video resolution – would it be capable of showing a full-HD movie?

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      It’ll probably be a while before I can try any Linux distros, but I’ll try more multimedia apps soon.

      As for video formats — it natively supports 1080p (and purportedly 2160p) videos in selected formats such as mp4 and h.264. Most of my videos are in divx, which it doesn’t handle well, but the few 

      So far I’ve had the most luck with straming vidoe. 

      • P

        If you get a chance try xbmcbuntu distro if that thing runs on it decently then I’m sold and I know many others will to make this a HTPC

      • Gabriel Borges

        Oh yeah… I really would like to know if XBMC can run on it as well! But I think a XBMC port to it should not be that difficult.

  • David Vincent

    i’m interested to see how citrix receiver or the onlive desktop would work on this.. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Compton/1672257888 Ben Compton

      We will know shortly… Plan on putting it on my blog at http://www.bc5k.com.. Device should be in tomorrow… Also will put view through its paces as well.

  • Guest

    Can this thing play 10 bit encoded h.264 videos?

  • Miguel Alcaíno

    Hello Brad.

    Can you tell me abiout the connectivity on this device… because I’ve been reading that is bad. I’ve read that the conection is really bad on this devices… sometimes it connects and sometimes not. Can you tell me how about that?Can you check out this page http://www.mk802.net/ ? There says these things about the MK802 VS Z802

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      I haven’t had any problems with WiFi at all.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/IMKZUY3WNZRSUCWGXUAQQDBUCE First

       Looks like that site was setup to defame the MK802. Competition among the Chinese.

  • Zashraf

    Does it support external touch screen monitor

  • Joe

    Looks like a device for people who like spending wasting time getting things to work and eventually just give up.

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      It could evt ship with full multi-boot of Android 5 (with desktop mode and Google TV), Chrome OS, Ubuntu and even Windows RT if Microsoft will allow it. The Bill of Materials is about $20 I think. So look for it to sell sub-$49 at retail quite soon, even perhaps with a dual-core processor and more memory bandwidth (perhaps also a 2GB RAM option for a few dollars more)

  • Oval_Elephant
  • http://www.01com.com/imoncall-remote-support it support

    Right now i am using this Android mini pc and i would say, it’s awesome but sometime it’s having problem,in playing HD videos.

  • Oval_Elephant

    I have the MK802 in 512MB ($68USD) & 1GB ($74USD) DDR3 RAM. Our website has been updated. Here is a link:
    http://www.ovalelephant.com/p-2059-mk802-mini-pc-android-linux–1gb-ram

    We also have the Lenovo wireless keyboard/mouse and microSD if needed.
    International shipping.

  • tkrakus

    This little guy seems much cheaper than the “Pocket TV” (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/484889112/the-pocket-tv-makes-any-tv-a-smart-tv/) and with very similar features

  • travishu

    do you have DDR3 1G mini PC?

  • borjee

    Does it output 720 or 1080 resolution?

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      It seems to default to 720p… but I’m not sure if that means it *can’t* handle 1080p.

  • protaginets

    I am finding it very difficult to order this product. Tried twice, both times my order was cancelled because I refuse to send them scans of my passport or bank statements. For a $75 product? Don’t have to do this for Newegg or Amazon. Just for AliExpress.

  • darmayasa

    The problem is the hdmi port. Most monitor today not include HDMI port. Buy this PC and also buy a new monitor will be awfull. If this PC can use Sub-DB15 standar vga port < I think I will replace all may station with this mechine…

    • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.marsh.5872 Nathan Marsh

      You can use HDMI-DVI cable but you will lose audio so need to use optical/coaxial. If your monitor only has VGA it’s time to replace it.

  • Dan

    Unfortunately I can’t make the logitech k700 wireless keyboard/touchpad work with mk802. Do you know if it is compatible?

  • hblud

    What type of HDMI cable is that? You say that it is a mini HDMI to HDMI but in the video it looks like a micro HDMI to mini HDMI. Does someone mind clearing that up for me?

  • JM

    How about the Dish Online and Hulu Plus apps?

  • Josh

    Do the Dish Online and Hulu Plus apps work? Thanks.

  • Bipbip

    Try this free shipping opportunity:
    http://dx.com/p/android-4-0-mini-pc-google-tv-player-w-wifi-allwinner-a10-cortex-a8-tf-hdmi-white-4gb-137012?item=26

    The forums will also anwer many of your questions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ArchiPi Peter Zsolt

    Is compatible with application like SKYPE ? Video-call with a webcam? Can you try if SKYPE works with video-call? Thanks!

  • yyqfeng

    This is the world’s super-small living room mini-PC.

    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Andrews-4-0-Web-Player-Google-android-TV-BOX-mini-

    smart-finger-computer/709241_590546264. html to welcome you to buy them, the price

    favorably.

  • jasonmccartney0715
  • Dude Love

    Just goes to show how much the average user needs to TRULY spend in order to do everyday tasks such as word processing, web browsing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.marsh.5872 Nathan Marsh

      yeah. Looks good to upgrade a regular non media TV into one. I would be interested in one, but the lack of optical/coaxial ports sways me off. My TV has HDMI but my AV processor doesn’t. Hopefully the next model will be a bit larger box with more outputs. Also all connectors on one side, bit ugly with on each side.

  • ugglee

    can we run Skype on it? if so, do we need a external microphone then?

  • advantage_ed

    Will it be able to play videos from ESPN3.com?

  • http://twitter.com/r00tman ★r00tman★

    Very nice…

  • Cyber32

    Can you configure it to run Chromium OS? Possibly Vanilla?
    http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/ Is there a way to boot it off of a USB or reconfigure it to just be a Chromium OS device? Looking into cheaper options then Chromebooks for training and this might be the solution (we have a surplus of monitors, keyboards and mice). Since we already have a couple of Chromebooks if this was possible it would make it so everyone is looking at the same thing (vs some on Chromium and some on Android 4).
    Thanks

  • ali

    can i use usb bluetooth driver less dungle with this mini pc?!

  • Musali

    Can I plug this into the HDMI port of a blueray player & get it to work? My TV doesnt have a HDMI port.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.marsh.5872 Nathan Marsh

      HDMI port on your Bluray player is a output. The HDMI on the MK802 is a output.

      If your TV doesn’t have HDMI input, you are screwed. Unless it has DVI? HDMI-DVI cables work.

      If yours has component, S-Video, Composite, SCART it’s probably time to look into a new TV.

  • Ales Kus

    dear, do you know if it is possible to use combination of this usb stik with TV and USB camera?

  • Ashish

    So while connecting the wireless keyboard and mouse for use with this device, the wireless dongles for those respective devices go in the usb slot of the MK802? Am I right? I want to connect this device with my television.

  • Scott

    With the USB ports, can you hookup an external drive? I know some Android tablets support them (Toshiba Thrive for one) .

  • Testing

    Hi,
    good review, congratulations :-)
    I want to control the Android mini PC with my laptop. Could be possible ? I don’t want to buy a wireless keyboard with mouse.
    I’ve seen that software like LogMeIn could remote control a PC, but not in the other side, a PC to control the Android mini PC.
    Thank you

    • Mark Coffman

      Hi, I have the same question… Could someone who knows answer this!!!
      It would be best for the industry if these Linux or Android devices could plug into either
      an HDTV using a USB device or vs. plug into a PC as a USB peripheral interacting with
      a PC X-Windows shell or vs. plug into a raw USB 5V power supply and run as a stand alone
      user preprogrammed computing process task with a flashing led for run/completion status.

      Do any or all of these stick devices already do this? Do some of these type devices already do
      this. Does the above device already do this? The above text is hinting that it does but it would
      have to reconfigure the usb interface based on what was user desired. I’d like to know for sure.

      Why have these three separate devices with the confusion that entails, why not add the
      manufactures volume by combining all three type devices?

      I may have a HDTV that I want to make into a computer.
      I may have a library computer I want to use only as a display because its mods are inhibited.
      I may want to risk viruses on a computer CPU I can easily rebuild.
      I may want to build a mini-supercomputer using these devices as the task CPU’s.
      I may want to drive a periperhal electronics board with this as microcontroller.

      Or…I may want to do all of the above.