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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Pretty cool and cheap as hell, but...
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 10th Sep 2012 08:59 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

...I'll pass on a machine from Taiwan/China. It's bad enough the core parts are often outsourced and made there.

And I can't be the only one who thinks Android would probably suck with a normal keyboard/mouse/screen... what is up with OEMs' fascination with Android? It's good for phones and probably tablet computers, but for anything else a standard Linux distro would be best. I guess the ridiculously low system specs must play a role here.

Reply Score: 1

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

...I'll pass on a machine from Taiwan/China. It's bad enough the core parts are often outsourced and made there.


WTF?

Don't you realise all computers, tablets and phones are made in Taiwan and China?

Reply Parent Score: 6

Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Nearly all. My Galaxy Ace was made in Vietnam, though I guess at least some parts were made in Taiwan or China.

Reply Parent Score: 2

KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

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.

Reply Parent Score: 3

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

That's a very good point. I admit, I do like Android--my cell phone runs it and I think it fits well on phones--but IMO its use really is limited. It can be nice on tablet computers too I'm sure, but the problem there is that KDE also has an interface designed for such devices and--while I don't know how it is (never really gave it a full trial)--you never know, it might be a better choice on such hardware. And at least in some cases, it would be better. Especially its package management and upgrade-ability.

What I really dislike about Android is that you have to play by the device manufacturer's rules. You get system updates when they push them out, and I haven't seen even one motherf--king update in the entire time I've owned my phone (a full year on the 18th of next month). Sure, sure--install a custom mod. Sounds great, and I really do wish I could, but I looked up info on my particular phone (LG Optimus V) and didn't find a definite, fail-proof answer on how to do it. Rooting? Same thing.

Even worse, potential directions automatically assumed the Android user has a Windows PC, and gives Windows commands (which are completely useless for someone who has been using Linux exclusively since 2006 and no longer has a copy of Windows, or even wants to run it). And even if that was an option, I'm not sure it would be a good idea to risk bricking my phone at this time (no money for a replacement).

One of my biggest annoyances is that pre-installed programs cannot be uninstalled, and updates to them waste even space; the original version always exists in full on the device, wasting space, and "updates" are applied by wasting more space on top of that, with no capability to replace the old version's files. And even worse, every update seems to waste even more space. I've been running low on space on my phone for months now, and it only gets worse with every single program update--especially for those that came with the phone.

Edited 2012-09-12 06:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

...I'll pass on a machine from Taiwan/China. It's bad enough the core parts are often outsourced and made there.
[...] what is up with OEMs' fascination with Android?

Generally, VIA ~= HTC more or less.

Oh, and that "non-bad" machine you typed your post on ...made in ~China. As are most of our consumer toys for quite some time - at this point they are better than us at doing them.

Reply Parent Score: 2