Google Android is an operating system that was originally designed for smartphones, but these days it also supports tablets, TVs, smartwatches, and more. It’s not really designed to replace a desktop operating system like Windows or Ubuntu, but there have been a number of attempts to modify the open source Android operating system to make it feel more like a desktop OS.

This year Chinese startup Jide launched Remix OS, which a version of Android with a taskbar, support for multi-window apps, and other desktop-style features.

The first devices to ship with Remix OS were tablets… but you know what kind of hardware makes even more sense for a desktop-style OS? A desktop-style PC.

remix mini_001

Enter the Jide Remix Mini. The folks at Jide launched a Kickstarter campaign for this low-cost, low-power mini PC with Remix OS in July, hoping to raise $50,000.

By the time the campaign ended this week, Jide had raised more than $1.6 million from more than 20,000 people.

That means:

  1. Jide should have more than enough money to ship the first Remix Mini devices in October, as promised.
  2. This campaign was a whole lot more popular than one Jide ran for the Remix Ultra Tablet earlier this year.

The Jide Remix Ultra is an 11.6 inch tablet with an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, a built-in kickstand, and a keyboard cover. It looks a lot like a Microsoft Surface tablet, but it runs Android/Remix OS instead of Windows.

remix mini_03

While the Remix Ultra provided us with an early look at what Remix OS could do, the tablet was priced at about $400 for folks who didn’t manage to score a better price during the early days of the Kickstarter campaign for that device.

The Remix Mini, on the other hand, is a much more affordable device. Backers of the Kickstarter campaign were able to request one for pledges of $20 to $50, depending on the configuration. That price doesn’t include shipping, which adds an extra $15 to $30 to the price.

Still, the Remix Mini offers the cheapest way to try Remix OS (unless you already have a Nexus 9 or Nexus 10 tablet, in which case you can install it as a custom ROM), which might help explain the success of this campaign.

remix mini_07

Now that the Kickstarter campaign has ended, Jide is continuing to take reservations for Remix Mini devices at the company’s website.

The Remix Mini is a small device that measures just 4.9″ x 3.5″ x 1″. But it’s got the heart of a low-power computer, including a 1.5 GHz Allwinner ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor, up to 2GB of RAM, up to 16GB of storage, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and HDMI output. It has two USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet jack, and a headphone jack.

remix mini_08

In other words, all you need to do is plug in a keyboard, mouse, and display to use the Remix Mini like a PC. Then you can fire up a web browser, an Android version of Microsoft Office (or other productivity software), or any other app available from the Google Play Store.

Note that many of those apps are designed for touchscreen displays, but most should also work with keyboard and mouse input. But while Remix OS certainly makes Android feel a bit more like Windows, it’s still just a fancy version of Android. You can’t run Windows apps unless there are Android versions of them available, and while you can resize and reposition some apps, others basically have two modes: full-screen, or smartphone-shaped windows.

remix mini_05

 

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10 replies on “Jide Remix Mini Android PC to ship in October”

  1. Its too bad that they used a SOC with zero support for hardware decoding of h264 and h265 in Kodi. I was excited to get one of these.

    1. It does have hardware h.265 though, it’s one of All Allwinners major selling points for this chip! Don’t see all the fuss with KODI

      1. Yes the chip has hardware decoding of h265, but nobody is writing software that supports their APIs. Maybe it’s because everyone in the open source community hates them for their long list of GPL violations.

        So basically, Kodi doesn’t offer support for hardware decoding of h264 or h265 for this SOC. Pretty much a death knell for an SOC these days.

        1. When you run Kodi on Android, it is supposed to be able to use the video decoding system of Android right? Doesn’t that support this chip for hw decoding h264/5?

          1. Unfortunately not. From what I understand, Kodi uses FFmpeg, and draws hardware decoding support from that. I don’t know enough about Android’s native H264/5 support, but my understanding is that Android’s native support is for software decoding only, and hardware decoding is up to app developers to integrate.

            The problem is that ffmpeg doesn’t offer hardware decoding support for alot of Allwinner SOCs.

            Software decoding of H265 is 100% useless on a CPU this weak. You need a desktop i7 or a Xeon to handle software H265 decoding of 4K video.

            See here: http://kodi.wiki/view/Android_hardware

          1. No i was pretty confused about that too. I suspected it was a lame attempt to insult me?

  2. Conclusion: we want tablets that run Windows and desktops that run Android. Go figure… (I got myself a 2G Remix too).

    1. My conclusion is that every Windows OS that came after Windows XP has been such a complete POS that many, such as myself, am totally sick of Microsoft and Windows. I have already got my name on the list of reservations for one of these JIDE REMIX MINIS. I can hardly wait. I am still trying to keep my Windows Desktop going until then. I HATE Microsoft and I tried Windows 8 for a month, I HATED that, tried a friend’s Win 8.1 for about a week and that was far worse than 8. I WILL NOT even consider Windows 10, since I took one look at it and I realized that it was even more of a POS than 8.1 are. Apples are absurdly priced and I don’t care for them anyway. The ONLY (Desktop based) OS, other than the old Win XP , that I like has been Chrome. I an anxious to just get one of the new JIDE MINIS and forget Microsoft ever existed!!

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