$89 Android Mini PC with 1.6 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU

Chinese factories have been cranking out USB thumb drive-sized mini PCs in a range of configurations for the last few months. The MK802 has gotten a lot of attention, but there’s a new model coming soon which has a significantly faster processor.

Mini PC

The new Mini PC is powered by a 1.6 GHz Rockchip RK3066 ARM Cortex-A9 dual core processor with Mali 400 graphics. It has 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage.

It isn’t widely available yet, but I received a tip from a guy in South Africa named Reno Botes saying that it’ll cost about $89 US. He’s already taking orders from wholesalers, but the original manufacturer is also expected to start selling directly to consumers soon.

Update: OvalElephant is now taking orders in the US for $90 for a device based on the same design

Botes has posted details about the new device on a YouTube page. It has 802.11n WiFi, a microSD card slot, a USB 2.0 port, and a microUSB port, as well as an HDMI connector.

RK3066 mini PC specs

The device ships with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich software and comes with the Google Play Store and Adobe Flash Player preloaded.

If you don’t want to wait for this new model to hit the streets, there are a few other ARM Cortex-A9 mini PCs available from AliExpress for $70 to $90. But most of those models seem to have 512MB of RAM rather than 1GB.

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    Now, we are talking.

  • cnxsoft

    If this device is real, this is a completely new platform. The sticks on Aliexpress are based on Renesas EV2 Cortex A9 @ 533 MHz (even if the description says other otherwise). I’ve heard people tried Cortex A9, but add to limit the frequency to 600 MHz or it would overheat, and this guy claims he has mini PC with a dual core Cortex A9 @ 1.6 Ghz is hard to believe. I hope to be proven wrong.

    • cnxsoft

      Unless he did not use a Chinese SoC, but in that case the price is extremely aggressive.

    • n8dgr8

      Bah, I hope this isnt something stupid like 600MHz * 2 (CPU cores) + 400 MHz Mali graphics = 1.6 GHz.

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

      I’ve just updated the post with a photo Reno sent me. It looks like this device uses a Rockchip RK3066 which does seem to be running at speeds up to 1.6 GHz.

      • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

        The RK3066 would be ideal for this task. It is cheap, dual core, has a standard GPU so it will be hackable.

  • http://twitter.com/mikecui Mike Cui

    maybe this can run counter strike portable with ease

    • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

      as long as it runs on Android or linux on ARM :))))))))

  • Devlon Macormister

    wow, thats what i was waiting for to set up a mini linux server in my house

    • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

      I am also considering this to be my low-power home, Linux server.

      This should work well in tandem with a NAS. 1GB is plenty for running server software, large-scale storage can be provided by the NAS.

  • Robert Jakiel

    If this is indeed true then I have found my next toy. Next on the list is the ODROID-X quad Exynos.

  • Reno Botes

    Hey guys. I can answer most of the questions. There is a limited amount that will be offered to buyers in areas where the manufacturer does not have wholesale partners as yet. I am helping him promote the product and can take orders. Payment will be made directly to the manufacturer. First items can be shipped on Monday.

    They used to sell, and still do actually, the mk802. He bought his own mould and created this device. He only gave me the go-ahead to promote it for him yesterday so I still need some info from him too.

    The benchmark scores speak for themselves 5556 compared to my mk802′s 2000. He has tested it in the Chinese climate without problems. He says the items did not heat up like the mk802 devices.

    • Radu

      How about Linux support? Anything available for it? Are the drivers open sourced?

      • Reno Botes

        No Linux support just yet.

      • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

        Linux support is going to be very important for this device.

        Android is nice if you want to use it as “TV-smartener” but not enough if you want to use it as a home server or a desktop machine.

        This device should absolutely be capable of the latter two roles and that will require good Linux support.

      • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

        The RK3066 has a Mali-400 GPU. That is fairly well supported under Linux.

        Hopefully, other hw parts as well.

        If this starts to sell, this will get Linux support fairly quickly, since this can be used as a fairly usable Linux desktop.

    • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

      Is there any information on the speed of the DDR3 RAM modules?

  • etobare

    rk3066? agree with a couple of comments, now the pc-on-a-stick gets really interesting. a10 is cheap and nice, but too slow (for me)

    • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

      Yes, this should be plenty powerful for a Linux desktop or a powerful Android device.

  • saxonrix

    im looking forward to this. Been waiting for a dual core one since Cotton Candy, but doesnt look like that particular device is happening any time too… But this one could be good. Will give it a few weeks though for the reviews to start rolling in!

    • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

      Also, the Cotton Candy was for $200 which is waaay to much.

      $89 for a dual-core stick with 1Ghz is a deal.

  • Axe Teve

    Thanks Brad, You are the first on entire internet on this. You have even beaten the Chinese. :D

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    Do we know anything about the speed of the RAM onboard?

    If this has speedy DDR3 RAM, then it could really work well as a Linux desktop computer.

    Even the Allwinner A10 could work well in that role when paired with fast RAM so this could be really great.

    • http://www.EnvyThisStuff.com/ EnvyThisStuff

      It is claimed to have DDR3, just as other units already available have.

  • daniel

    can it output DTS Sound Or 5.1 Sound Channels?
    Does It Include maybe an optical output?

    thx in advanced.

  • daniel

    another question,
    Does This Stick Support 3TB WD External Drive?

    • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

      I don’t see why not but the external drive will certainly have to have an independent power source, because the stick will not be able to feed it.

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

      That certainly looks like the same device, but it says Allwinner rather than Rockchip. Like you said, though, that could just be for SEO purposes… so that people will find this when looking for similar devices.

      • Reno Botes

        I will send real photo’s as soon as I receive them. Should have it by friday.

      • Reno Botes

        Updated video here. Still no hands on video but I am still waiting. The device had a firmware update from the prototype and is getting a much better benchmark score now – http://youtu.be/tQtXoxZcrSM

    • saxonrix

      Hmmm, seems a little suspect at the moment. The fact theres no demo etc, they really should release demo’s prior to releasing for sale.

    • Javi Metal

      AllWinner? I see even the picture about how to connect and characteristic table is supicious similar than ZERO Devices produts. AllWinner is going to launch a dual core this year, maybe wait a little for a real CPU is better…

      • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

        Allwinner is rumored to go quad-core immediately (although with A7 cores) and leave out dual-core completely.

      • http://www.EnvyThisStuff.com/ EnvyThisStuff

        We’ve heard this too, however, “immediately” could be months still. Plus even if immediate=today, although these mini PCs are coming to market with blazing production, it would still be months for them to do it (we consider months — let’s say 2 — to be blazing :) So yes, probably not talking about even a year, but having it before 2013 and in a unit is super pushing it. And that is still 4.5 months away with current goodies to play with! :)

  • Javi Metal

    If I don’t see I don’t believe. Anyway give me an Amlogic or AllWinner. Rockchip products are always rubbish, wifi will not work well, or the device frozen on the “Android Logo”, or “the power light don’t change” or… same than MTK CPUs for chinese mobile phones. My oppinion is wait for similar product with Amlogic or AllWinner CPU.

    • http://www.EnvyThisStuff.com/ EnvyThisStuff

      Those same problems occur with the MK802.

  • Antexity Antexity

    Hi Reno,

    I am assuming you are the contact in selling the new Cortex Stick. I would love the opportunity to acquire one from you early instead of the manufacturers as well have permission to become a wholesaler here in Canada and on Ebay, Please let me know Thanks

    - Jonathan Donais

    • Reno Botes

      Leave me a message on youtube. My email is there too.

      • Reno Botes

        Please see my updated videos here. It runs 3G modem with no setup, plug n play. Also has XBMC support straight out of the box – see all my videos here – http://youtu.be/MgRqcF5QK5c

      • deadhp1

        I’m not so sure about XBMC support. Can XBMC run? Yes.
        Does it run with hardware decoding? NO.

        They do include a Launcher called XbmcRK, but that is only a launcher and is NOT XBMC.

        I have tested the xda nightly build of XBMC and in software mode XBMC can decode sd avi files without difficulty. I used it for hours on that. Hardware decoding will eventually come to the xbmc android port and it will be great.

  • Dick

    I believe the one posted aliexpress is a fake one as Allwinner doesn’t have a dual core Soc. They will go directly to quad core after A10. The post is a mixture of picture of MK802 and other stuff. Beware. Ask more questions to the seller.

  • Scotland

    This is exciting news – can hardly wait for dual core and quad core mini PC sticks.

  • http://www.EnvyThisStuff.com/ EnvyThisStuff

    We hope to begin selling this, but, have a great many questions about the unit too. That said, remember, this same cat and mouse game went on (and even continues) with the MK802, so let’s all see how this pans out. In the meantime, we hope to have some units in our hands in a few days to see what is what for some of it.

  • Axe Teve

    Brad, When are you getting the review unit?

  • Axe Teve

    I’m surprised, How come no Chinese blog has covered this? Strange.

    • http://www.EnvyThisStuff.com/ EnvyThisStuff

      This is insane competitive. They’re going to sell either way and I don’t blame them for doing it this way but am surprised there was no serious leaks (Brad is it :). Anyway, this is going to break open by middle of next week IMO, so stay tuned.

  • Oval_Elephant

    We are a USA based distributor and are taking Pre-Orders for the New Dual-Core Android Mini PC for $89.99. Shipping begins September 7. Limited quantity. http://www.ovalelephant.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=2077

  • Philip

    Looks like things have happened since this was published. 8gigs of storage is the standard and the cost less than sixty bucks. Search for MK808 and you get lots of devices out there.

  • Andrew.best

    I bought Infinitec’s Pocket TV and I am pretty happy with my purchase. Not the most powerful device, but their customer support is good, and I find their UI to be very good too. There is this 40% discount coupon for the Pocket TV which I think is a very competitive price point (approx $85). The coupon is FPTVC01