Mini PC brand Tronsmart has taken the aging MK808 chassis and installed a rotating external antenna onto it, launching it onto the market as the Tronsmart MK908II.
Like the original MK908, the MK908II features Rockchip’s RK3188 quad-core Cortex A9 SoC CPU, equipped with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 8GB of on-board flash, preloaded with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system. At this stage, we don’t know whether or not this kernel is built on the Rockchip SDK2.0, which delivers better and smoother performance from the CPU. We also don’t know if there are options to provide 16GB of on-board flash.
Either way, the MK908II comes with a MicroSD card slot, good for cards up to 32GB and there are two USB ports – one standard Type-A plus a microUSB OTG option.
Being a brand-new release, the wireless connectivity here is top-drawer with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (802.11ac might’ve been nice but we’ve not seen this on any mini PC as yet).
According to androidpc.es, it’s only available from Aliexpress retailers selling for around $75 – we’ve only seen it from one or two resellers at this stage, so it looks to have only just hit the market. Still, it’s about $15-20 more expensive than the cheapest RK3188-powered TV stick we’ve seen so far but we have to admit to being fans of this chassis, despite the fact that it’s been around for a year or so.
It’s the only current TV stick chassis design that incorporates an HDMI socket rather than plug – and for use on big-screen TVs, we think that’s important. Plugging a TV stick straight into the HDMI port on a TV, particularly if the HDMI port is oriented horizontally, will put significant pressure on the socket. We think it’s why many – but not all – TV stick providers using the plug-based chassis also provide a short HDMI extension cable.
Having the HDMI socket eliminates that problem – mainly because you have to use a cable. The one drawback is that because of the small size of the MK908II, it continues the MK808 tradition of using the less-common miniHDMI socket rather than the full-sized version. Still, it also makes for a more compact unit.
It’ll be interesting to see how this one sells and whether we might see a lower-cost RK3066 dual-core version of it.
|Processor||Rockchip RK3188 quad-core Cortex A9|
|Clock||Up to 1.8GHz|
|GPU type||ARM Mali-400 MP4|
|Operating system||Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)|
|External storage||MicroSD, up to 32GB|
|No./type of USB ports||1 x USB2.0 host, 1 x microUSB OTG|
|HDMI form factor||Yes|
|Dimensions||87 x 47 x 15mm|
|Weight||< 50 grams|
|Announce Date||August 2013|
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