1. Rarry's Avatar
    A phone or a tablet is useful but sometimes you just need a bigger screen and a keyboard. I'd looked at some of the all-in-one Android solutions and puzzled over the pros and cons but then it occured to me that, like most of us probably, I've already got a half decent screen and a wireless keyboard spare, so I bought one of those very cheap Android TV stick things from ebay and it's great!

    It plugs into the DVI port via a small HDMI adapter and I also found a small ethernet adapter that connects via the micro USB port with a short adapter, and to save straining the power from the stick I got an 8 point powered hub. These were all from ebay and very cheap and it all runs from one USB power supply. It does work really well. It took a short while to find how to do things with the mouse instead of a touch screen but it's easy, and most of the short-cut keys on the keyboard work too - home, email, search, ctrl-c, ctrl-v etc. With the ethernet hard wired accessing my NAS is easy too, so the 8 GB of storage on the stick isn't a problem. In fact I've set up a sync app to move anything downloaded to a folder on the NAS.

    It's really cheap to run too, using a fraction of the power of a low wattage light bulb, so it can be just left on all the time and just the monitor switched on and off when needed. My Windows 7 desktop with it's 400 watt power supply is sitting mostly unused now. Ok there are some things that only a decent computer can do, but most of the time this very cheap setup is quicker and easier.

    The stick only has 1 GB of ram though and that's really not enough. I keep having to uninstall apps to do something different. So a really good setup would be 2 or 3 GB and a touch screen. I've read that 'L' will have drivers for touch screen USB control so maybe next year there might be some cheap sticks with 'L' and a bit more RAM.

    Pros:
    Very cheap
    Upgrading is easy - buy a new stick and log in!
    No tedious Windows updates or antivirus or blue screens.
    No waiting for boot up.
    Silent, very low power and no heat output.

    Cons:
    It can be a bit slow with some things.
    It won't run more complicated software.
    Need to install a 'Null Keyboard' app so the soft keyboard doesn't keep popping up.
    Don't have a £ key unless you switch back to the soft kb. Ok with $ though.
    11-04-2014 11:15 AM
  2. STARGATE's Avatar
    Great deal!
    So, how's it doing after all this time, do you still like it?
    04-07-2015 02:45 PM
  3. Rarry's Avatar
    It's great, working fine. I still want to get one with Android 5 and some more RAM but I'd recommend it as a very low-cost, zero maintainance PC for 95+% of everyday needs.
    04-08-2015 03:01 PM
  4. Magnesus's Avatar
    Since SoCs are getting more and more powerful, we should see more desktops running Android on a very low power. Have you considered running Ubuntu on it or something like that? That would give you full Chrome browser for example but might not be easy to install.
    07-10-2015 06:05 AM

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