The VIA APC is a single-board mini-computer with an ARM-based processor and a $49 price tag. It’s basically what you’d get if you designed the popular Raspberry Pi with more input and output options and used a VIA processor instead of a Broadcom chip.
But the $49 price tag is a bit deceptive… since VIA charges $38 to ship the little computer anywhere outside of Asia.
Now VIA’s offering free international shipping — when you buy two units. So instead of spending $87 on one APC computer and shipping, you can spend $98 and get two mini-computers delivered to your door.
The promotion runs through January 2nd, and you can order from the APC.io website.
While the VIA APC isn’t as popular as the Raspberry Pi, there are stories of folks designing interesting projects around this little computer in the APC forum. It ships with Google Android 2.3 and developer have been porting various desktop Linux operating systems to run on the platform.
Most of the interesting hardware projects involving the APC that I’ve seen involve building interesting cases for the computer. But at least one user has used the APC as the foundation for a video game arcade cabinet.
The VIA APC 8750 features an 800 MHz WM8750 ARM11 processor, 512MB of memory, 2GB of built-in storage, HDMI and VGA ports, an Ethernet jack, a microSD card slot, 4 USB 2.0 ports, and an audio jack.
The single-board computer is on a NEO-ITX board, which is compatible with Mini-ITX and MicroATX form factors… which means you may be able to slot the APC into an existing PC case.
If you don’t need two units, you can also save a few bucks by ordering from Newegg. The US retailer charges $66 for a single APC, including shipping.
I like this. Unlike the Raspberry Pi, this actually is compatible with normal cases, and all the ports are organized neatly on one side, and an I/O plate is included. Very cool.
I really don’t understand why it is so complicated for those companies to invent one ARM, single-board mini-computer that it shipped with a full preloaded Ubuntu, We don’t want Android! We already have it in our phones and it’s sucks…
Maybe driver support? (I’m guessing.)
Main problem is that all those cheap mini-computers use ancient ARM CPUs (ARMv6) whereas Ubuntu would require something more up-to-date (ARMv7).
Android doesn’t suck… What kind of BS is that? Ubuntu is not intuitive enough, I use Mint when I use Linux. You can install Linux yourself, you lazy now? In fact, gosh darn it, DO IT YOURSELF! Get on a plane to South East Asia, meet with some companies that put small broads together, design a product and ask Ubuntu for permission to put them on the new boards and sell them online.
This board seemed to have so much promise and fizzled. Where the Raspberry Pi was going to drive education, this was going to be a “PC for everyone.” Such a shame, the TED presentation seemed like they were off to a good start.
The Pi took up all the air in the room. The market was underestimated and they were the biggest name. All these other companies have the means to put adverts in Magazines and on TV and recruit people to build things with the board, this is what you call poor marketing by VIA.
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