Tuesday, June 12th 2012

VIA's $49 APC Listed for Pre-Order, Sells Out

VIA listed the US $49 Android mini-PC (APC) system board for pre-order. The product sold out in a few hours following staggering demand. VIA announced that all pre-orders will be shipped starting early-July, and the company is working hard to make the product available through local distributors around the world, to eliminate shipping costs to the end-users. Announced the APC back in May, the APC is a neo-ITX system board that can fit into most ITX and ATX chassis, and can be powered both by external 2-pin DC input, and internal 4-pin ATX input. The board seats an ARM-based SoC, which drives Google's Android 2.3 operating system, modified for conventional PC interfaces.
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37 Comments on VIA's $49 APC Listed for Pre-Order, Sells Out

#1
jigar2speed
If only it had 1GB Ram, i would have pulled the trigger.
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#2
Chevalr1c
That OS probably uses less than ~100 MB when idle, so no real need for 1 GiB.
Posted on Reply
#3
Mussels
Moderprator
by: Chevalr1c
That OS probably uses less than ~100 MB when idle, so no real need for 1 GiB.
bitch please, windows XP uses less than 100MB of ram when idle.

android can run on a crumpet.
Posted on Reply
#4
jigar2speed
by: Chevalr1c
That OS probably uses less than ~100 MB when idle, so no real need for 1 GiB.
Agreed a clean setup should be fine with 512MB ram but the above post was with reference to my experience using optimus 2x which has been sluggish due to lot of applications starting themselves in the background.
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#5
HossHuge


It would be sweet if you could mount this somewhere inside your case (along with the computer that you already have)
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#7
Mussels
Moderprator
micro SDHC, of course. and DC power input.
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#8
HossHuge
So it could be connected to something like this?

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#9
Chevalr1c
by: Mussels
bitch please, windows XP uses less than 100MB of ram when idle.

android can run on a crumpet.
Rough estimate, sir. :) Never used any Linux distro for ARM (that includes Android).

by: jigar2speed
Agreed a clean setup should be fine with 512MB ram but the above post was with reference to my experience using optimus 2x which has been sluggish due to lot of applications starting themselves in the background.
Then don't start them all in the background. :) Or are you like those people who are filling half their screen with systray applications and toolbars etc. and then complain their system is slow? ;)
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#12
Completely Bonkers
Shame there is no second RJ45/ethernet port. We could then use this for router/NAS/telephone PBX. Shame!
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#13
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Completely Bonkers
Shame there is no second RJ45/ethernet port. We could then use this for router/NAS/telephone PBX. Shame!
It might be able to to it using USB-dongles or maybe an Eye-fi. I mean WiFi USB dongles are officially supported (at least some chips are) so it doesn't feel too far fetched that it's possible to add a second RJ45 port. But would that require additional software or is Android capable of doing that "out of the box"?

ANyway, about that power plug:
APC comes with a 13.5W, 9V/1.5A power adaptor. Just plug it in and the system runs.
Posted on Reply
#14
digibucc
i don't know of any routing software on android - but i am sure it is possible to do, especially considering the potential for linux hacking on the device.

a usb ethernet to receive the connection and one rj-45 to a switch would then make it a router. fun at least :)
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#15
ironwolf
Can't wait to see the custom cases people build for this!
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#16
TheMailMan78
Big Member
Do they make cases for this thing?
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#17
Mussels
Moderprator
by: TheMailMan78
Do they make cases for this thing?
ITX and ATX compatible.
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#18
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: Mussels
ITX and ATX compatible.
That just seems so big for such a small PCB ya know?
Posted on Reply
#19
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
mini itx case would be good enough for this.
but a custom built one will be the best bet considering you dont need anything else.

but how will this support a touchscreen?
i can imagine many people using this getup in their cars.


and 800MHz CPU?
Posted on Reply
#20
TRWOV
wow, a VIA SoC that isn't overpriced??? I was eyeing the Rasberry Pi for my car PC but I might take this instead.
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#21
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: de.das.dude

but how will this support a touchscreen?
i can imagine many people using this getup in their cars.
It doesnt:

[quote=""FAQ"]Q: Does APC support touch screens and touch functions?

A: No, APC has been designed to be used with a mouse and keyboard for better productivity on a large screen monitor.[/quote]Which is a bit of a letdown but it might come some revisions that does support it. I wonder how it works with these kinds of monitors though. If someone can make some drivers for android it could work. :P

[QUOTE=TRWOV, post: 2652043"]wow, a VIA SoC that isn't overpriced??? I was eyeing the Rasberry Pi for my car PC but I might take this instead.[/quote]Overpriced if you could find them. BUt honestly a lot of them are used in industrial stuff (afaik) and there's a step up on price for that.
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#22
Mussels
Moderprator
by: de.das.dude
mini itx case would be good enough for this.
but a custom built one will be the best bet considering you dont need anything else.

but how will this support a touchscreen?
i can imagine many people using this getup in their cars.


and 800MHz CPU?
android can work with mice and keyboards. clearly, this has a custom ROM designed for it.
Posted on Reply
#23
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
by: Frick
It doesnt:



Which is a bit of a letdown but it might come some revisions that does support it. I wonder how it works with these kinds of monitors though. If someone can make some drivers for android it could work. :P



Overpriced if you could find them. BUt honestly a lot of them are used in industrial stuff (afaik) and there's a step up on price for that.
those monitors will work, most monitors are based off the VGA spec nowadays. even car monitors AFAIK

but the touch part probably wont work :p
Posted on Reply
#24
faramir
How long will it take before somebody finally comes up with a similar system based around telephone hardware (meaning more RAM, more powerful CPU ...) ? You know, if they can squeeze it into a candybar they they can surely make larger version of it that costs considerably less.

This way we would finally have decent multicore (the upcoming more powerful versions of quad core Krait S4 come to mind) desktop system that consumes less power than Atom/Brazos motherboard, yet delivers better performance and costs less than $100 to boot (motherboard with integrated CPU and GPU, RAM, chassis). Quiet and affordable desktop that can serve as media hub, gameplay box, server, router or office computer ...


Something along the lines of:
- APQ8064 CPU with Adreno 320 GPU running at 1.7+ GHz (with its built-in WiFi)
- 1 GB RAM + SO0-DIMM expansion slot (or two expansion slots if that is cheaper)
- SD card reader that supports all the new uber-sized card types
- SATA controller (hopefully with support for at least 2 internal connectors + 1 eSATA)
- two ethernet connectors (1 gbps support would be nice on one port at least)
- HDMI and VGA video output
- 5+1 sound
- a handful of USB ports (3.0 would be nice)
- in an ITX-sized box with a built-in PSU (given 13.5W power consumption of this board I take 50W would be more than enough yet very cheap to manufacture, due to smaller dimensions and lower specs should be cheaper to produce than cheapest ATX boxes)


If above board with PSU costs $50 and bottom of the barrel ATX case with "480W" (read: 200W) PSU and plenty of connectors costs $30 (clickety-click: LOGISYS Computer CS305BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower... ), then $100 with above specs should definitely be doable. Such a system would undoubtedly sell much better than this toy board too and given VIA's lousy performance in x86 market this might just be the way to save the company and spearhead the non-x86 PC revolution that IT analytics predict for ~2015.

M$ will have a suitable operating system out in less than 6 months, Android should be trivial to get running plus there woudl always be the straight Linux/*BSD for ARM alternatives. The first to come up with something decent is likely to be the one to reap most benefits before otthers catch up with.
Posted on Reply
#25
Chevalr1c
And it is a bummer that I am no way in a position to start a company building computers like that. Else I might have been first, lol.

Anyway, ARM is coming.
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