Schizophrenia.com

Need a dirt cheap PC?


#1

This is a mini Android PC designed to hook up to your TV:

Has an HDMI output. Works with a USB hub, USB keyboard, and USB mouse. Has ethernet port or WiFi for connectivity. Good for Web surfing, using Google Drive/Docs, watching Netflix, and loads most apps from the Google Play store. No Flash support, however! Costs about $65. If you have an HD monitor and a keyboard mouse, it makes a wonderful little desktop PC. Basically a smartphone without the touchscreen and phone.

Wound up with one as a bit of a lark and it turned out to be incredibly useful in all sorts of roles. Thought I would mention it here.

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#2

That is something I will consider, we need something useful for our TV.
Thanks for mentioning this!


#3

For a 1.6ghz? quadcore that supports 1080p video decoding all the way up to h.265 and VP9, $60 shipped is actually really good.

Those little ARM boxes are fantastic. I’ve got 3 different ones (different brands and chipsets) around the house. They consume like 3 watts at idle/low usage and 10 watts max with heavy usage. They make FANTASTIC media centers for my TVs. They run an application called XBMC which is similar to the software most companies add to TVs and Bluray players calling them SMART.

I usually go for developer boxes (eg. Odroid, cubox-i, raspberry Pi.) because I can install whatever Linux distro I want (I usually go for ArchLinux). Though I usually pay $120+ for the developer ones.

But yea, just a heads up. They are NOT designed to replace a whole PC for things like word processing and stuff. They are really slow compared to a PC (they are only somewhere around 10 to 25 percent as fast as a desktop/laptop). So media playing/storage is pretty much their limit…but damn are they good at that.

Nice find.


#4

We’re really happy with the mini-PC. Had good reviews on Amazon. Only thing to be aware of is that the remote it ships with is well beyond useless. We are using this in its place:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/161327372294

The pics for this item show a USB dongle, but the unit doesn’t ship with it as its not needed because, Bluetooth. There is a nearly identical USB wireless version and sellers tend to use the wrong pic. Some experimentation showed that the Function keys duplicate most of the commands on the hideous remote the PC shipped with.

Anyhow, I bought this for the wife so she could watch Netflix in our bedroom. Decided to play with it on my desk for a week and the little sucker performed like a champ! Was impressed by how easily it converted to a desktop system.

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#5

This is true. You will not be able to use one for DTP or photo editing. They also have no local storage. If you’re expecting an MS Word like word processing experience, you’ll hate this box. If – like me – you are a writer who makes extensive use of Google Drive and cloud storage, an Android PC provides a completely satisfactory experience.

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