Q&A: Any Android 4.3 mini PCs yet?

androidlogoQ: Are there any Android 4.3 mini PCs yet?

A: Short answer, no. At this stage, it will likely take the mini PC developers a few weeks to work out the new additions to the latest release of Google’s Jelly Bean operating system and what needs to be done to make it work.

In addition, the CPU makers like Rockchip and Allwinner will also need to qualify their chips to ensure they work correctly with the new operating system. With Android 4.3 now available, it’s likely we’ll see something probably by October, but we’ll be surprised in there’s anything before then.

At this stage, we’re not sure just how much benefit Android 4.3 will provide to mini PCs – it depends on the mini PC, the CPU its based on and the device drivers are compiled into the operating system itself.

The other question Android 4.3 raises is will there be any Android 4.3 updates for existing mini PCs? The answer here is likely to be yes, but only for some. I certainly wouldn’t expect anything for older single-core CPU-based models. Ultimately, it will depend on the generosity of the mini PC maker. You may see some late-model dual-core and quad-core mini PCs get an update, but how well it performs will depend on the amount of R&D the vendor puts into it.

Ultimately, you may find that the previous Android 4.1 or 4.2 ROM firmware performs better than the new Android 4.3 ROM simply through extra quality assurance. It may well work better but you need to be prepared that it might not.

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