Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 9th Sep 2012 21:48 UTC, submitted by Boomshiki
Hardware, Embedded Systems "We've seen a profusion of relatively low-cost PCs and tablets over the last few years, but Taiwanese electronics company Via's APC is cheap even by these standards: it's a $49 low-power desktop computer running a modified version of Android 2.3. Announced today, the APC is meant as a simple way to connect to the internet, so you won't get a great deal of computing power. It contains an 800MHz processor, 512MB of DDR3 memory, 2GB of flash storage, and can connect to a monitor or TV to output a resolution of up to 720p. It also consumes a fraction of a standard desktop's power: 13.5 watts at maximum and only 4 watts when idle."
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what is up with OEMs' fascination with Android? [...] but for anything else a standard Linux distro would be best...

Their fascination with Android over a standard Linux distro might possibly have something to do with the market uptake of each. While this has been "the year of Linux on the desktop" for the last decade and a half with very little to show for it, Android has won millions and millions of OEM installs, and huge market share, and ***consumer mind share*** in a fraction of the time.

Most tech-buying consumers have heard of Android and many have used it. Propose to them a cheap nettop with Android and they might even entertain the idea of buying one. Mention the possibility of a cheap nettop with [insert distro of the month here] and I suspect that after they scratch their head for a second wondering "What's that?", their gaze will soon move on, already caught by some more familiar option.

Even if you or I would jump at the chance.

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