The CX-01 is a USB thumb-drive sized device designed to let you run Android apps on a TV. At one end of the stick there’s an HDMI adapter which lets you plug the device directly into an HDTV. There’s also a full-sized USB port for a keyboard or mouse, and a microUSB port for charging or connecting the CX-01 to a computer.
While the CX-01 is positioned as an internet TV, it’s basically a little computer. It has a 1 GHz Telechips TCC8923 ARM Cortex-A5 processor with Mali 400 graphics, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage. In other words, it’s a lot like the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC — except that model has a Cortex-A8 processor.
The MK802 also sells for $74, while you can pick up a CX-01 at Pandawill for just $53.
On the other hand, the CX-01 doesn’t have a microSD card slot. That means you’re stuck with 4GB of storage unless you plug in a USB flash drive or other storage device. It also means you won’t be able to boot the device from a microSD card slot — something that currently lets you run Ubuntu, Puppy Linux, or other operating systems on the MK802.
While ARM Cortex-A5 chips aren’t all the common, CNX-Software and IT Portal note that they may actually be faster than Cortex-A8 chips in at least some cases.
But the Telechips TCC8923 processor isn’t nearly as common as the Allwinner A10 CPU found in the MK802, which means that there’s currently more of an independent developer community for products like the MK802.
Still, if you’re looking for a cheap device that will let you run Android on your TV for web surfing and smashing a few angry avians against inexplicably green pigs, the $53 CX-01 looks like an interesting option.
How reliable are this China-based Internet stores, like Pandawill? They sell a lot of very cheap stuff, and I guess they must make a reasonable number of successful sales otherwise they would be out of business very quickly, But I can’t help wondering if you’re taking a big chance with your money, especially if they don’t get the order right first time, or the product you buy is damaged or broken in some way.
I’ve never bought from Pandawill, but I’ve used Chinavasion, aliexpress, and a few others. No problems with delivery at all, but be aware that shipping can be very slow (avoid China Post if at all possible). I’ve never had a faulty product, but I suspect that getting a replacement would be an issue – best keep that in mind!
On another note, I’ve had my credit card details ripped twice in the last year, the last time was a few weeks ago and someone used it to run up $3000 at an online gambline site. It would be unfair to blame that on Chinese sites (after all, even “reputable” sites get hacked), but I’d recommend an abundance of caution – use PayPal, get a debit card and only put money on it when you want to buy something, etc.
Thanks for telling us about your experience. I think it pretty much confirms what I was thinking. Okay, if everything goes well with the initial transaction.
I used Paypal for some of the shopping but I stuck to eBay as to that allot of sellers have items from China (or are in China) and paypal of course works.
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