Which mini PC – MK809III or MK802IV?

mk802ivmk809iiiThere are plenty of mini PCs on the market and two that often seem to come up in decisions are the MK809III and the Rikomagic MK802iV.

These two are so close in their features and specs that it’s almost redundant having them side-by-side in our table below. They’re both built around the quad-cor Rockchip RK3188 SoC CPU; they both have 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 8GB of flash and preloaded with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) OS. And they both have a MicroSD card slot, good for cards up to 32GB.

They both have 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, but the difference here is the MK802IV uses Realtek’s RTL8188; the MK809III uses the AP6210.

The main thing is to look for is issues with wireless – we recently looked at a Rikomagic fix for the MK802IV’s Wi-Fi, which involved moving the internal antenna to the other side of the case shell. As both of these are internal antenna models, placement of the antenna is critical to getting and maintaining good signal and Wi-Fi connection.

The other thing is be careful about cross-flashing ROMs, particularly given these device seem very similar. While they use the same CPU, from what we can gather, they use different Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chipsets and flashing a different ROM might get you a newer version of Android (if that’s your goal) but you might find the wireless functions stop working. This thread at freaktab.com is a good example of what can go wrong.

So the choice – MK809III or MK802IV? We’d be looking for one that has been updated to SDK2.0 firmware, the new update from Rockchip that gives the RK3188 some decent extra speed. However, at this stage, we’re not sure if either of these have had that update – or will get it. Our preference would be one that uses the AP6330 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chip – it offers dual-band (2.4/5GHz) wireless.

ProcessorRockchip RK3188 quad-core Cortex A9Rockchip RK3188 quad-core Cortex A9
ClockUp to 1.8GHzUp to 1.8GHz
GPU typeARM Mali-400 MP4ARM Mali-400 MP4
Operating systemAndroid 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
Internal storage8GB8GB
External storageMicroSD, up to 32GBMicroSD, up to 32GB
Wi-Fi connectivityAP6210 802.11b/g/nRealtek RTL8188 802.11b/g/n
No./type of USB ports1 x USB2.0 Host, 1 x microUSB OTG1 x USB2.0 Host, 1 x microUSB OTG
HDMI form factor1.41.4
Announce DateJuly 2013April 2013

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