At first, it seemed the mini PC would be defined by the USB stick style format but in recent times, it’s the AppleTV box that’s become more prevalent among the compact computer makers and this CS838 is yet another example.
It looks pretty much to be a twin of ENY Technology’s EM6 with its Amlogic dual-core AML8726-MX Cortex A9 SoC CPU, accompanied by 1GB of RAM and 8GB of flash storage, preloaded with Android 4.2. That chip comes with ARM’s dual-core Mali-400 MP2 graphics engine for passable gaming speed.
What we like about this one is what impressed us with the EM6 – it’s loaded up with four USB2.0 ports, which is a great effort given its compact chassis. You also get an SD card slot, good for up to 32GB per card. It does video through its HDMI port as well as composite A/V via a 3.5mm TRRS (tip-ring-ring-sleeve) socket, but you also get what appears to be optical S/PDIF digital audio output as well. Networking is well covered too with RJ45 Fast Ethernet and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. The only thing missing is an external Wi-Fi antenna. And Bluetooth.
The nice extra though here is the remote control, which looks quite functional and isn’t a tiny membrane-switch style. You can find this one online from retailers like Aliexpress for around $75 including shipping.
|Processor||Amlogic AML8726-MX dual-core Cortex A9|
|Clock||Up to TBC|
|GPU type||ARM Mali-400 MP2|
|Operating system||Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)|
|External storage||SD card, up to 32GB|
|Wi-Fi connectivity||802.11b/g/n, RJ45 Fast Ethernet|
|No./type of USB ports||4 x USB2.0|
|HDMI form factor||Yes (plus composite AV)|
|Announce Date||March 2013|
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