VIA is following up the $49 APC computer board with a more powerful APC Rock board which is available for pre-order for $79. You can also opt for a $99 APC Paper, which is basically the rock covered in a recycled cardboard and aluminum case designed to make the system look like a book.

APC Rock

While the original APC system featured a low power ARM11 processor, the Rock and Paper sport more powerful ARM Cortex-A9 chips.

These system still aren’t speed demons. But they should offer better performance than you’d get from an ARM11 chip.

The APC Rock and Paper feature 800 MHz VIA WonderMedia WM8950 processors and Mali 400 graphics, 512MB of memory, and 4GB of built-in storage.

You also get a microSD card slot which you can use for extra storage, as well as USB ports for connecting flash drives, hard disks, or other peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse, or video game controller.


Both the Rock and Paper have HDMI ports, and the Rock has a VGA port as well. They also feature 10/100 Ethernet and audio jacks. If you want to use WiFi, you’ll need to connect a USB WiFi adapter.

The Rock is a Neo-ITX board which measures 6.7″ x 3.3″ and the Paper isn’t much bigger, at 8″ x 3.9″ x 1.1″.

Like the original APC board, these devices are aimed at developers and hobbyists, and in addition to an array of full-sized ports, the Rock and Paper include JTAG headers, GPIO pins, and other goodies that you can use to connect hardware to the board if you plan to build a robot, home automation system, or any other sort of DIY electronics.

Both devices ship with Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but VIA offers source code for the bootloader and kernel as well as other documentation which could help developers port other software to run on the mini-computers.

VIA is taking pre-orders for the APC Rock and APC Paper now, and plans to ship the first devices in March, 2013.


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14 replies on “VIA launches APC Paper $99 Android PC and Rock $79 board”

  1. The APC line is a joke. I have 2 original 8750 units. Wasted my money just in time to miss the new hardware. VIA support is nonexistent, and the “OS” supplied is beyond a bad joke. It’s totally useless. Buy nearly anything else and be more satisfied. Guarantee it.

  2. Disappointing APC support from VIA problematic.
    I got an APC and a Raspberry Pi.
    APC was stuck with Android 2.3, difficult to get Play Market working as well.
    Linux non-existent apart from Raspberry Pi “Raspian” being ported by Pi people.
    To add insult to injury I got charged Customs as well, no bargain at all.
    Raspberry has tons going for it, lots of distros, how to’s, clearer development path.
    I already bought the upgraded one!
    When “Paper” clearly supported, reasonable software etc., maybe, but not before

  3. Dual core A15 and a SATA port in this form factor = low power ARM Linux desktop. I have a spare Mini-ITX case waiting, I just need a board. Please ensure that VIA is not in charge of the Linux video driver.

    1. Yea, the Rock could really compensate for lack of VGA by sporting one or more SATA connectors.

  4. I wish other ARM vendors would use this NeoITX form factor or that the industry would come up with a new small device board/case standard (for smaller than mini-ITX). I like that it is compatible with mini-ITX. Otherwise, none of the ARM developer boards are in any standard size as far as I know (could be wrong).

    Otherwise, VIAs hardware is just average to below average (how about an A15 chip and some USB3 ports?) Their support for open source is supposedly not good.

    1. Very few of the ARM boards sold are really meant for everyday use. They are software development and testing boards meant for companies that are considering using the SOC to develop a product. End result being that the sprout ports on every available edge to save on production costs.

  5. Way too expensive. this should cost less than 50$ when you see the hardware. Even the allwinner A10 smokes that .

  6. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that the APC paper has a beautiful ingenious design!

  7. How does this 800Mhz CPU stack up to the million other Rockchips and Cotrex A8 cpus that are out there. I really like the ITX design of this.

Comments are closed.