Taiwan-based computer chip manufacturer VIA Technologies Inc. has unveiled an inexpensive and compact computer, hoping to help drive innovation in the compact computing market.
The PC, called the APC 8750, measures just 17cm x 8.5cm (almost half the size of Apple’s Mac mini). It is designed with the main focus of getting people connected to the internet and offers an alternative to (more expensive) Windows PCs.
The APC runs a customized version of Google’s Android operating system that is optimized for keyboard and mouse input.
APC was not built like an ordinary PC. For openers, we started with an awareness that the purpose of a computer is to connect to the Internet. It is the Internet that now defines computing. When you begin here, magic happens.
Expensive, overpowered CPUs and bloated software are no longer relevant. With this awareness, we were able to drop power consumption to the point of making an energy-saving light-bulb jealous.
Based around a WonderMedia ARM11 processor running at 800MHz - 100MHz faster than the stock Raspberry Pi BCM2835 chip - and with 512MB of DDR3 RAM - twice that of the Raspberry Pi, and faster to boot - the APC 8750 is certainly impressive at first glimpse. Additional features above and beyond that of its credit-card sized competitor include 2GB of on-board NAND flash storage, four USB 2.0 ports, microphone input as well as analogue audio output and an analogue VGA connection in addition to HDMI.
Not everything about the APC 8750 will impress Pi fans, however: for no readily apparent reason, the device is limited to 720p output (1280x720) through its HDMI port, while the Pi manages 1080p (1920x1080) or higher. The system also requires an external power supply, adding to its already sizable dimensions. Finally, the device is also more expensive, costing $49 to the Pi's $35.