Google’s Android operating system may designed for low-power devices with touchscreens including smartphones and tablets. But that doesn’t mean you can’t run it on a laptop or desktop computer.
While Android has officially supported Intel’s low-power smartphone chips for a while, there’s also an unofficial Android-x86 project which ports Google’s mobile operating system to run on standard PC hardware.
When Google released Android 4.3 last week, the team wasted no time getting it up and running on x86 hardware. A test build of Android 4.3 for x86 is already available.
The test build is based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean source, and features a 3.10.2 kernel and support for hardware-accelerated graphics on devices with AMD Radeon and Intel graphics chipsets.
This is still a test build and not everything works. Suspend and resume aren’t yet supported, and there’s no Superuser (root) access. Most other features seem to work.
You can take a test build for a spin by downloading a liveCD image from the Android-x86 page. Or just check out this video of the software running on a Acer Aspire 522 mini-laptop with an AMD C-50 processor.