Kimdecent offers $78 Mini PC with ARM Cortex-A9, Android 4.0

AliExpress seller Kimdecent is offering a USB thumb-drive sized mini computer for $78. It looks a lot like the popular MK802, but while the MK802 has an ARM Cortex-A8 processor, the Kimdecent Androstick is based on a chip with a newer ARM Cortex-A9 design.

If the Androstick looks familiar, that might be thanks to its similarity with the Infinitec Pocket TV — a device that’s garnered a bit of attention due to a popular Kickstarter campaign. It’s likely that both devices are based on the same design, although it’s possible that they could ship with different software.

Kimdecent Androstick

The Kimdecent Androstick has 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, Mali 400 graphics with support for 1080p HD video playback, and an HDMI connector at one end that lets you plug the computer directly into a monitor or HDTV without any adapters.

It also has supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi and has a USB port, a microSD card slot, and a mini USB port. KimDecent also includes a USB cable, power adapter, IR cable, and a small infrared remote control.

While the Androstick ships with Google Android 4.0, I don’t see why it wouldn’t also be able to run Ubuntu or other Linux-based operating systems that support ARM-based chips. But there are a few things you should probably know before plunking down $78 for this little computer.

The good news is that a number of people have already left positive feedback for the seller, indicating that the Androstick is a real product and the seller does actually ship it — something I know some people worry about when ordering from AliExpress.

The less good news is that one of those early customers has posted some initial impressions on his website — and they’re not all good:

  • The DC adapter blew up during first use.
  • The Androstick gets very hot.
  • The Amlogic 8726 processor is described as a 1 GHz CPU, but seems to actually run at 800 MHz.
  • Unlike the MK802, the Androstick isn’t rooted out of the box, so until you find a way to root it, some apps and features may not be available.
  • Out of the box, the remote control only appears to work with the music player, not the video player.

It’s not all bad news though. Apparently YouTube video looks good, some Flash video sites are also handled well. Audio sounds pretty good. And the Androstick was able to handle a variety of USB storage devices as well as a USB mouse and keyboard.

  • toronado455

    Wow. All those vents on it and it still gets hot? So the vents, it seems, were probably an afterthought.

    • CyberGusa

      Air cooling is not very efficient and the surface area of a USB dongle sized device is smaller than a Smart Phone’s and much smaller than a tablet’s. So these things tend to get pretty warm for ARM based devices.

      You’re not meant to hold it though. So the problem is not it getting warm to the touch but rather whether it gets too warm to continue to operate. Though it also depends where it was placed as proper air flow is needed for air cooling otherwise the air can act almost like a insulator and actually trap heat.

      Also consider that the report included a defected DC Adapter, which could have been improperly powering the device and making it run hotter than it should have…

    • monopole

      Having burnt out an MK802 I suspect that I’ll be tacking a heatsink on my next unit (on order at the moment). While venting isn’t a bad idea, a low profile heatsink is a much better idea. Increasing the surface area of the heat dissipation surface does wonders for both emmissive and convective cooling.

  • digi_owl

    The issue of the claimed vs real clock is why i am wary about ordering from Asian sites.

  • Eddie

    Yes, I tested the device for continuous working of more than a week, and it really gets warm, but no problem to touch and no any problem with operation. There are other similar devices in the market that get to lower temperatures, but they exhibit problems even after 30 minutes. I think that the Androstick from Kimdecent is the most mature Android HDMI TV dongle today in the market, and with a reasonable price.

  • Johhny

    You can buy here as well http://www.androstick.com.au in Australia

  • andy

    droidmote server does not work :-( what can i do ?