When the Archos TV Connect was unveiled earlier this year, I hadn’t seen anything else quite like it. The Archos TV Connect is an Android-powered device that sits on top of your TV, lets you run Android apps on a big screen, and which features a camera that you can use for shooting photos or videos or making video calls over Skype or other communication apps.
The Archos TV Connect still isn’t available for purchase, but a number of Chinese companies have released Android boxes with cameras since Archos first introduced its device. The latest is the TP-Link TPmini.
The TPmini is designed to sit on top of a flat screen TV and point a camera in your direction. It’s powered by a 1.6 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor and ARM Mali 400 graphics.
TP-Link’s box has 1GB of RAM, 4GB of built-in stroage, and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. You can connect it to your TV through the HMDI 1.3 port, and connect to the internet using WiFi or Ethernet. The box also has a microSD card slot for extra storage and 2 USB 2.0 ports which you can use to connect a keyboard, mouse, gamepad, remote control, or a USB flash drive.
While the Archos TV Connect comes with a wireless remote control, the TPmini does not. But TP-Link does offer a mobile app that lets you control the device from your Android phone or tablet.
The TPmini is expects to go up for pre-sale in China for about $56 soon.
TP-Link is probably best known in the US for the company’s wireless routers and other networking products. But that puts the company ahead of most Chinese Android TV box manufacturers, which aren’t really known in the US for anything at all. It’s not clear if the company has any plans to offer the TPmini through major US retailers, but I suspect it won’t be long before it’s available for purchase through AliExpress or other places where you can order products shipped directly from China.
thanks Chang Lyu!