The FXI Cotton Candy is getting a lot of attention as a PC on a stick that will be available soon for just $200. But a Chinese manufacturer has beat the Cotton Candy to market with a $74 USB thumb-drive sized computer.

The Model MK802 is available from AliExpress for $74, or even less if you order in bulk. The little computer looks like a portable storage device, but it has a 1.5 GHz Allwiner A10 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage. It ships with Google Android 4.0 software, but theoretically you should be able to install Ubuntu or other operating systems.

Update 6/6/2012: My MK802 has arrived from China, and I’ve started putting the little computer through its paces

Update: A number of other sellers are now offering the same product at AliExpress for $65 and up. I’m not sure if all these sellers are legit, but some are offering much faster shipping than the original listing. The Rikomagic store also offers an MK802 model with 1GB of RAM for $84.

AsiaPads is also taking orders for a similar model called the Zero Devices Z802. There are more details below.

MK802 PC on a stick

You don’t get all the same features from the MK802 as you do from the Cotton Candy. The little guy has an HDMI port rather than an HDMI connector. That means that you can connect an external display, but you’ll need a cable. You can’t simply plug the device right into the back of a monitor or TV like you can with the Cotton Candy.

The Cotton Candy also has a 1.2 GHz Samsung Exynos dual core processor while the M802 has a 1.5 GHz single core chip.

The MK802 has a microSD card slot for extra storage space and USB host support for peripherals. There’s one full-sized USB port and a micro USB port.

It also features 802.11b/g WiFi and support for HD video playback in a variety of media formats.

The computer (which is marketed as an Internet TV device) measures 3.5″ x 1.4″ x 0.5 and weighs about 7 ounces.

The MK802 isn’t the only device of this type making the rounds. A company called Zero Devices is preparing to launch something called the Z802 which looks nearly identical… except for the Zero Devices logo on the front of the device. That model appears to be available for pre-order from some sources for about $89 $76.

Update: ARMDevices has posted a video showing a similar model (with 1GB of RAM instead of 512MB) in action. The video also shows what the little computer looks like when you take the mainboard out of its case.

via CNX Software

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18 replies on “$74 PC on a stick features Allwinner A10 CPU, Android 4.0”

  1. The GPU is not Mali 400, its some ‘
    2D/ 3D/ OpenGL ES2.0(AMD Z430)/ OpenVG1.1(AMD Z160)@27M Tri/sec’. I don’t know why they mention 2 chips for it

  2. Some YouTube Videos for the MK802
    MK802: the $74 Android PC-on-a-stick Walkthrough/Review:

     MK802: the $74 Android PC-on-a-stick Product Unboxing:

    1. look at my reply, you will see two versions.

      512 mb RAM not available

      1gb RAM is available 

  3. Give me a mobilephone with HDMI-out and USB-in (for keyboard etc) and I’ll be happy with that.

  4. I just ordered my Zero Devices Z802 – I really like this new item!

  5. Yea, having trouble visualizing the intended use.  It has no input devices and only a pair of USB ports and it isn’t even clear both can be host ports.  So if it only has one that gets eaten up by a keyboard/mouse receiver and where do you connect storage?  Adding a USB hub kinda defeats the entire point of the product.

    Needed Bluetooth, lots of BT input devices out there.  And an IR receiver would be icing.  An Ethernet port would have been really handy even if they had to include a dongle to keep the size of the gadget itself small enough to attract attention.  The SoC supports it so all they would have needed to add is a connector with integrated magnetics. A diskless media player on wired ethernet is a lot more reliable.

    And why oh why does everyone have to use MIcroSD?  Yes it is a small gadget but there is room enough for a full SD slot, isn’t there?  That way you can use either size.

    1.  Here’s a possible use for it: It basically turns any regular LCD monitor with USB ports into an computer by itself.

      Also, can turn any TV into a internet connected TV with wifi.

      1. One thing that the FXI Cotton Candy can do that I’m not sure these alternatives can do is that when plugged into the USB port of say a laptop, it’ll boot up like a virtual machine and you can run it on top of your laptop OS.

        So could come in handy for say safer web browsing, working on projects you might want to port to ARM devices, etc.

        Meaning it could be added value for the higher price offerings that the lower price versions may not offer.  So should probably wait till the detailed reviews can be made.

  6. wow for that much you might as well spend the little bit of extra money and get a screen and a touch digitizer with it.

      1. Well when it only has the basic hardware I don’t really think it is worth it. I would have been in at $50 but for $74 I’d expect slightly better specs. I might as well spend a meager $2.95 more and get it as a tablet and buy a cable for it from cmple. Besides that it kind of ticks me off that they advertise this as 1.5ghz the processor doesn’t run at 1.5ghz at stock you have to overclock you are lucky to OC to 1.2.

        1. Check this link for more details on the Allwinner A10

          The 1.2GHz should be more it’s target clock speed and not a over clock, but it should be remembered it’s based on the older Cortex A8 architecture and is single core.  So performance is less than similar clocked chips based on the newer architectures, especially when it comes to multitasking.

          However, this is one of the few ARM platforms with available GPL Linux kernel source code for helping to support Linux ports.  So you can insert a microSD card with Ubuntu, Debian or your other favorite Linux distribution and have yourself a Linux PC.

          While the device hasn’t been tested but it may already come with what is needed to run it at 1.5GHz… At least with the default Android 4.0 it’s suppose to come with…

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