Mini PCs

Google kills off Chromecast local streaming apps – for now


Chromecast has become arguably the second-most popular mini PC on the planet after the Raspberry Pi with its low-cost and ability to stream video from the web, controlled by a PC, tablet or smartphone.
However, not long after its launch, developers found a way to add in the one missing feature many users were looking for – the ability to stream local video content.… Read more

A20 mini PC combines Allwinner A20 CPU with Android 4.2.2 OS


It’s arguably the smallest STB stick mini PC chassis going around but the MK805-style build is getting another run here, these days called the A20 and combines Allwinner’s A20 dual-core Cortex A7 SoC CPU with the latest (for mini PCs) Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system.
Despite its diminutive size, the A20 is surprisingly well stocked with extras. The internal storage can be expanded via MicroSD card slot, good for cards up to 32GB.… Read more

How to measure power consumption of a mini PC


WARNING: Electricity can be dangerous if you don’t treat it with respect. If you follow the circuit, it will work but because we can’t control how you use it, this info comes with no warranty whatsoever – you use it at your own risk.
Quite often, the simplest way to measure power consumption of a mini PC is to simply throw an AC power meter onto the power brick feeding your device and take a look at the reading.… Read more

How much power does my mini PC use?


There are a few misunderstandings around when it comes to mini PCs and the amount of power they consume.
While you can get a basic ‘order of magnitude’ idea of the power required by looking at the power brick rating, that will only give you a worst-case scenario.
Most TV stick and STB mini PCs come with either a direct-connect AC power brick or a USB phone charger-style power brick, either way, usually with a rating of 5VDC/2A.… Read more

MK819 dual-core STB mini PC sells online for $36?


Somehow we managed to miss this MK819 dual-core set-top-box style mini PC, despite thinking we’d already covered it. However, looking into it, we’ve found it selling on eBay for just $36.99, including shipping.
It’s a compact Apple TV style model with just a slightly higher profile. It’s powered by the first-generation Rockchip RK3066 dual-core Cortex A9 SoC CPU with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of on-board flash, preloaded with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system.… Read more

How to improve Wi-Fi speed


For most of us, creating a Wi-Fi home network is pretty much a case of buying a wireless ADSL router, plugging it into the phone line and plonking it down in the corner. We then grab our wireless device, switch on the Wi-Fi adapter, get a signal, log in and away we go. However, the transmission of radio waves (for that’s what a Wi-Fi access point is really doing) is a bit of a black art and just because you’re “getting a signal” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a high-quality one.… Read more

Mini PC crossroads – is ROM development too rushed?


It’s worth remembering that the mini PC craze is only a bit more than a year old, thanks to the near-together but unrelated launches of the Raspberry Pi and the MK802 mini PCs. But these days with many more models now available, you read through the forums and the main complaints aren’t generally a lack of features or RAM or flash storage or extras.… Read more

New Finless ROM 1.5 for MINIX NEO X7 STB mini PC


After a enforced hiatus, custom mini PC ROM maker, Finless Bob, is back on the job and has just released a new Finless ROM 1.5 release, this time for the popular MINIX NEO X7 STB mini PC.
The administrator has been impressed with the MINIX ROMs of late, using the Neo X7 release as the basis for another Finless ROM 1.5 for the iMito QX1.… Read more