The Zero Devices Z802 is one of a handful of tiny Android-based PCs that look more like USB flash drives than computers. A number of companies are selling nearly identical versions of the little computer, often sold as the “MK802.”
But Zero Devices also plans to launch a second model soon. It’s called the Z900, and while it shares many features with the Z802, it has a distinctive case design.
The Zero Devices Z900 reportedly has a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor with Mali 400 graphics, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage. There’s a microSD card slot for extra storage, built-in 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and HDMI output.
It’s designed to run Google Android 2.3 or Android 4.0, although it’s also possible that other Linux-based operating systems might be able to run on the hardware.
You can power the device through a mini USB port. That’s probably the same port you would use to connect the Z900 to a computer to transfer files.
There’s also a full-sized USB port which you can use to connect a mouse, keyboard, or other peripheral.
One key difference between this model and the Z802/MK802 is that the MK802 devices have Allwinner A10 ARM Cortex-A8 processors while the Z900 has a faster Cortex-A9 chip.
Another big difference is the inclusion of an HDMI connector. This would let you plug the Zero Devices Z900 directly into a monitor or HDTV without any external HDMI cables.
You can do the same thing with the FXI Cotton Candy PC-on-a-stick, but that device costs $199. The Zero Devices Z900 will probably be much cheaper, if it’s anything like its predecessors (which have HDMI ports, but no built-in connectors).
via CNX Software, 4ndroid, and Gocal.nl
ZERO DEVICES Z900 is for sale here: https://www.asiapads.com/product_info.php?cPath=190&products_id=2279
For curious, Zero Devices Z900 can be bought here: https://www.asiapads.com/product_info.php?products_id=2279 (and also Z802).
I want to test out on what I can do with these USB sticks. Raspberry Pi was my first choice but it became too expensive after the skipping and tracking. Plus the specifications aren’t as good as I thought it was, besides being an iPhone 4 graphics killer.
The MK802/Z802 seems like a better choice but after seeing your article, I feel like waiting for the Z900. A better casing and a faster processor is what interests me. I am currently trying to price match a MK802 but I’ll probably just wait for the Z900.
It looks like an interesting hacking project for customized touch screens and android software.
Bard keep us up to date on this. I want to buy one soooooo bad! I’m going to use it on my 50″ HD TV. I want to stream all my content from my PC to it. It runs Android 4.0 so I’ll be using Plex to get all that awesome content.
Still wondering who is designing these things and what their imagined use case is. One USB port isn’t enough. If they had Bluetooth or some other wireless input device option then ok, maybe. And who would stick this thing onto the back of their TV? Really? You can’t power things via HDMI so you would end up with multiple cables hanging way out the back.
And again, what use case are they imagining this product solves? Or, like a lot of no name stuff that floods out of China are they just making it. There is a reason they had a bad rep as creators.
Decide what problem you want to solve first, then design a product to do that. Then if you can imagine different uses that small additional features could allow that one product to also fill without making it uncompetitive, add those.
I’d like to see one of these in a little bit larger case with three USB host ports plus a power/device port and one full size SD slot along with BT and a wired ethernet along with WiFi. Ethernet is important since WiFi is often unreliable when streaming full HD (‘full’ as in a 12+ Mbps stream from a CableCard tuner such as the HD Homerun Prime, not low bit rate HD Internet streaming like Netflix) content, and we now live in an HD world. Wired also is good for web appliance use in a corporate setting. Small enough to just double stick to the back of a display but big enough to have full size ports. With that port count you could hook up any set of input devices plus a storage device, important since requiring a USB hub totally blows the concept of a small device.
Ship it booting Android but also able to bulletproof boot from SD and make an example Linux distro (probably Ubuntu) available as a download to get the ball rolling. Give it enough grunt to run XBMC or a Myth front end. Offer it bare, bundled with a BT keyboard/pointer or with an IR port and a more traditional remote. That covers most of the common set top media uses plus the small web appliance use case.
Include six inch USB and HDMI cables with the idea to connect it to a TV’s input and draw power from the TV’s USB port. If there is an IR port it would be on a short cable intended to reach around to the side/front of the display.
See what I did? I started by imagining what sorts of things I might want to do with a small computer and a display and then worked backward to get a base device that could be sold in a small set of finished products that would cover as many of those uses as practical while remaining small and cheap. Most of these gadgets just throw something out there and hope people will find uses.
The closeup over at Zero Devices shows a full size usb and a mini usb. The full size can clearly be extended on by a hub or similar. And one of the later revisions of HDMI actually provide USB like power for external devices. This do require that one have a TV with up to date HDMI revision support tho. Anyway, you may like the VIA APC. It seems to fit what you describe: https://liliputing.com/2012/05/via-apc-a-49-android-computer-with-an-arm11-cpu.html
Plug in a small four-port USB hub, and you have 3 spare ports for all your USB needs. This is not a big deal. Sheesh.
I wouldn’t regard the direct HDMI connector to be a feature. Much of the time monitors barely have the clearance for a standard HDMI connector, much less a fat USB stick shown here. When they do, they tend to stick out from the monitor in a fashion which invites catastrophe. Finally, stick computers are a perfect match for picoprojectors, but picos tend to use mini and micro HDMI connectors.
That said these are awesome little beasts.
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