When the buzz heightened around cheap little micro-computers like the $35 Raspberry Pi, some wondered how useful these they would actually be in the real world. Well, seems we have our answer, as the last few months have seen a number of new Android-based micro-computers trying to enter the market.
Among the crop of new or coming Android stick PCs, including the $49 APC, $74 MK802 and the $80 Androstick, is Infinitec's Pocket TV. The main selling point is that the Pocket TV can turn practically any television into an Android 4.0 smart TV.
Less limited than its competitors, this little dongle belies the fully functioning micro-computer inside, which plugs into HDMI televisions and monitors for access to NAS data, locally stored digital content, streaming or Google Play apps. for 1080P vids, music, games, web browsers, social networks, maps, documents and more.
The latest version doubles the RAM to 1GB to boost performance — although no one in their right mind would confuse these specs with those of an advanced desktop:
No matter. This isn't meant to be a household's main computer. It's firmly in the TV/digital entertainment camp, as evidenced by its remote control options. Customers can get a standard IR remote (included) or upgrade to an smart Air Remote, which comes with a built-in gyroscope for movement-based nav. Just like the media-streaming Nexus Q, the Pocket TV can also be controlled by Android mobile devices, not to mention iOS gadgets too.
Speaking of the Q, consumers wanting Android in the living room might have to face a tough choice: Support more expensive American-made devices, like the streaming-only $300 Nexus Q, or go for a (far) less expensive alternative like the computer-on-a-stick Pocket TV, which starts pre-orders off at $99. (It's $160, full retail.) For now, it's slated to launch with Ice Cream Sandwich, but it's only a matter of time before it gets with the Jelly Bean goodness. And whenever that happens, this could become a pretty killer solution.
There's only 7 days left in this Kickstarter campaign, which has already reached full funding with a scheduled fall ship date. So if you're interested in this, you'll want to hop over there and get yours in. If you're not sure, check out the demo vids below and see if they help make up your mind.
And, of course, the marketing shpiel. (A little outdated now, but still a good overview)