What if Android was designed as an operating system for laptop and desktop computers rather than for smartphones and tablets? Then it would probably look a lot like Remix OS.

This custom version of Android was developed by Chinese startup Jide, a company founded by former Google employees. Earlier this year they launched a tablet called the Remix Ultra which looks a lot like a Microsoft Surface. But what really makes it special is that it was the first device to ship with Remix OS, a version of Android with a taskbar, support for running multiple apps in multi-window mode, and a number of other tweaks.

More recently the company launched a Kickstarter campaign for a mini desktop PC called the Remix Mini. The goal was to raise $50 thousand in crowdfunding. After just a few weeks, the project has already raised more than $1 million.

remix mini_09

The Remix Ultra tablet also went through Kickstarter on its way to an official launch. But that project raised $210 thousand from 1,278 backers while the Remix Mini has raised far more money from more than 14,000 backers. And the Kickstarter campaign doesn’t close for another three weeks.

So why’s the new model so much more successful? Are people more interested in running Android-as-a-desktop-OS on a real desktop-style computer than on a tablet with a keyboard? Maybe. Price probably plays a major role though.

Jide offered a limited number of tablets for $39 or $199. But after those promotions were finished, the price went up to $349.

Early backers of the Remix Mini campaign were able to reserve a mini PC for as little as $20. That pledge level is sold out, but you can still snag a Remix Mini for as little as $30 (or a model with better specs for $40 or more).

The Remix Mini, by the way, features a 1.2 GHz Allwinner H64 ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor, up to 2GB of RAM, up to 16GB of RAM, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, and works with HDMI monitors or TVs. The little PC measures about 4.9″ x 3.5″ x 1″.

remix mini_07

Jide may also be a higher profile company this summer than it was earlier this year when it launched its first Kickstarter campaign. Remix OS is now shipping on a growing number of devices, including products made by third-party manufacturers such as Cube.

Want to try Remix OS on a tablet you might already own? The company released a ROM for the Google Nexus 10 in July and this week the company released a Nexus 9 ROM.

Meanwhile, development of the operating system continues. Remix OS 1.5 was released in July, featuring an Android 5.0 base and updates affecting multitasking, notifications, default email apps, and more. And Remix OS 2.0 is on the way.

Among other things, the next version of the operating system includes a dramatically improved file manager that lets you open multiple windows, drag and drop files from one window to another, and resize windows by dragging their edges.

There are also updates to the notifications, settings, screenshot utility, and other features, as shown in this demo video:

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22 replies on “Remix Mini Android PC raises over $1 million on Kickstarter”

    1. So get an old Nokia N900 or a Sharp Netwalker. Physical keyboard for phones is dead, and 5-6″ is now phone category, don’t hold your breath for a clam-shell design in this size. Even tablets are getting bigger, 10->12->13″. Or you could get a Sony Vaio P or Fujitsu U810, and install linux on it (Windows won’t run on reasonable speed on those old netbooks).

  1. Wasted cash could be helping the poor and sick somewhere. Or to education or clean energy. Just say no to android and its derivatives. Until apps have strict segmented ram and flash access its best to steer way clear of android.

    1. So what do you suggest? IPhones (for more wasted money) or WP (for 1/10th of useful apps)? Or a Nokia 1100 since a phone is supposed to make calls, and that’s it?

    1. yes we read you…lol But again, that may change before final delivery or after, who know. It’s just the baby right now.

      1. How do you figure that kodi support will change before final delivery? Everything mentioned by the remix mini team on kickstarter states that they’re sticking with the allwinner H64 chip and that’s not a kodi supported chip. Maybe they’ll use something that’s kodi supported down the road, but with the 1st and 2nd gen remix mini’s, I don’t see how that’ll be possible.

  2. I can’t see the draw to products like this. Is it just novelty, or does a basic pc under a certain cost allow for something else to happen? My opinion is that Intel rules all devices plugged into wall power. Haswell celeron is an amazing value (performance/price).

    1. In case you haven’t noticed, Windows is dying and Linux was never really “born” on the desktop. This leaves OS X and Chrome OS as your only options. If you have a personal investement as a user of the Android ecosystem something like this could be quite attractive. Sadly Google makes no effort to make this easy so Jide, Mobile Media Ventures (Console OS), etc. have to jump through a lot of hoops. I guess Google doesn’t want to cannibalize Chrome OS.

      1. While I disagree with much of what you say, you got one thing right – Google really screwed up big-time (and continues to screw up) by pushing Chrome OS while preventing Android from touching the desktop. Just keep one thing in mind either way, Google WILL spy on you.

      2. Windows 10 alone is rocketing past all OS X installs, so much for “dying”. What’s the market share of ChromeOS? It’s yet to even register on the stats.

        And a browser-only OS is not an option for me and many others.

  3. This seems like it is right in the Liliputing wheelhouse. I bought in the first couple days of the campaign at the $40 level as well. That cover photo on the campaign page shows the the monitor, keyboard and mouse prominently. Hopefully the backers know that all they are getting is the little box under the monitor (plus hdmi cables now that they passed the $1m stretch goal.)

    1. We know, and hope for more than the hdmi going forward! But for the price, and $15 shipping to the us I went for 2 of the $40 models.

  4. Getting the $40 version. Hoping it is good enough to replace the older desktop for two grandparents. They already have Android tablets and phones. So using the same applications with a desktop look and feel should help with emails, letters, and such. Tablets are good for consuming, but desktops are better for production of content.

      1. Are you sure? On Jide’s official remix forum, users have indicated that XBMC/Kodi does indeed work on Remix OS. If you don’t mind me asking, what’s your source? Thanks!

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