When the MK802 Android mini PC landed in our laps, it caused more than a ripple of interest. Since then, a swathe of "pendroids" have found their way to market, and the initial waves have died down. While we were at CES, however, we bumped into the man behind the MK802, and he happened to have a new, updated iteration of the Android mini PC. Best of all, he was kind enough to give us one to spend some time with. The specifications speak for themselves, and this time around we're looking at a dual-core 1.6GHz Cortex A9, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of built-in flash (and a microSD slot), WiFi in b/g/n flavors, DLNA support and Bluetooth, all running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. There's also a micro-USB, full-size USB, female HDMI port and 3.5mm audio out.
For anyone who has used one of these types of devices, the two standout features mentioned above should be the audio jack, and the addition of Bluetooth. Why? Because this expands the potential functionality of the device manyfold. Beforehand, the lack of Bluetooth made adding peripherals -- such as a mouse of keyboard -- either difficult, or impractical. However, with Bluetooth, setting up this device to be somewhat useful just got a lot easier. Likewise, with the dedicated audio out, now you can work with sound when the display you are connecting it to (a monitor for example) doesn't have speakers. Read on after the break to hear more of our impressions.
Android Mini PC RK3066 hands-on
The device itself, is more of the same when it comes to design. That's to say that it's largely a small black box with the above mentioned ports. It's slightly shorter this time, with a glossy finish, but overall its a discreet little unit that would slip into a pocket comfortably. We took the Android Mini PC RK3066 for a spin, and quickly connected a Bluetooth remote / keyboard. In moments we were navigating Android on a large TV like it wasn't even a thing. Performance seemed pretty good, but it's harder to tell when you're not working with a touch interface such as a phone or tablet. It's fair to say that navigating Android with a pointer or mouse is a whole different ball game. Nonetheless, apps loaded quickly enough for us not to notice, and simple browsing and casual gaming seemed perfectly acceptable.
When the MK802 was launched, it has a decent asking price of $75, the RK3066 edition, however, lands at an even more reasonable $55 (plus $5 shipping). That said, when we claimed it was cheaper, we're only referring to launch price, as the MK802 can now be snapped up for $45. If you fancy giving your old mini PC an upgrade, keep your internet-eyes peeled for stockists over the coming weeks.