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For the price of a cheap date you could pick up Via’s new APC all-in-one computer. It’s about the size of a smartphone and about as powerful. It comes with Android 2.3 pre-installed, so it could make a decent media streamer or Android development platform. It comes without a case, but conforms to the mini-ITX and MicroATX formats. They’re taking pre-orders and expect to ship in July. [via geek.com]

Adam Flaherty

I make cool stuff and write about other people making cool stuff on makezine.com. If you have something you think I should see, send me a tip.


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Comments

  1. Kris Lee says:

    Why were they so moronic to have so elevated design? It could have more possibilities without it. Still it looks very interesting espescially with those screw holes.

    1. Leif says:

      Probably because they were planning it for use as a computer, not as an embedded board. That’s ok though. We all have soldering irons right?

    2. Leif says:

      i’m glad they didn’t do something really silly like put the connectors on more than one side of the board. Then the only way to put it in a case would be to either sacrifice the connectors on one side or have a case that just perfectly fits. Or… they could have just had pins with external headers which would have kept the board small but with the extra wiring and the footprint of the header connectors probably would have required an even larger case than this form factor does assuming one uses all of the headers.

    3. Vrmithrax says:

      Moronic? This fits into a mini or micro-ATX PC case, as it was designed to do. Not sure how designing a computer board to comply with industry standards is in any way grounds for being called “moronic.” Just sayin…

    4. Kris Lee says:

      Do not get me wrong. This is a great board! Because its size and connector position it would be very easy to fit it into European electrical intallation cabinet. When power consumption is around few wats then this would become real hit when marketed right.

      I too do many things about what, even when I have a very good excuse, I can say afterwards that those were moronic. That is a life. But when somebody does not point that out then you have no way for improvement.

      This board could have been two times lower than now but they desided to use high connector with USB and Ethernet. It would have been possible to turn the headphones and mic connector 90 degrees and move that memory card socket somewhere else.

      But they did not do that. Most likely because they were so stuck with the idea of this being a PC. And they lost one possible segment where to sell their product.

      I still reserve the right to call this moronic even when this is a good board and I’m going to very likely order it.

  2. Leif says:

    Finally!! Something small and it has VGA!! I wonder how hard it would be to cut down the android install to just linux and add X for a remote X terminal? Or… cut it down to the commandline and use it for embedded projects. I don’t see GPIOs but that can be handled with a usb to serial (or better yet parallel) port adapter and some multiplexing. I bet there’s I2C on that board somewhere if you want to try to tap into a trace somehow…

  3. Nirmal says:

    are there any projects done on this board? I mean, what would be a good use for something like this? Or is it too new to say like the raspberry pi?

  4. Kaiser Loth says:

    I wonder if it’s possible to make a custom smartphone with this

  5. thebes42 says:

    Nice and small, but will it have any GPIO abilities or add-ons?

  6. Kris Lee says:

    I like to know about the power consumption. Add-on possiblities are also interesting. These are simple questions. I did not find that information but it is possibly available when emailed.

    Can I ask for more journalism please? I know you can do it! Please do. Internet is filled with useless information but you can do better.

    1. zof says:

      A quick google for “via apc io” brings up http://www.via.com.tw/en/resources/pressroom/pressrelease.jsp?press_release_no=6327

      “APC consumes only 4 watts when operating at idle power and 13.5 watts at maximum load. This is ten times less than a standard PC system and ensures significant power savings in large scale deployments.”

      Nothing about add ons though.

  7. Drone says:

    The APC link is dead. C’mon Make, clean up your act! You are just parroting links without adding any value.

    This is an ARM11 licensed to Via based board. Very interesting. But be forewarned, because the processor is not IaX86 based, any sort of tool-chain and board support packages will be tied tightly to Via (not good in my experience, and NO I don’t want to elaborate).

    A good thing is that this board supports VGA. This is where most of the World lives IMHO today. No VGA is the major fail with the Raspberry Pi.

    Also take a look at what Olimex is doing with small ARM boards lately. Also don’t lose sight of the fact that you can buy cheap consumer routers with the likes of Broadcom SoC’s that can do much from the command-line, plus they have more than one real Ethernet ports. You can only do so much with a single Ethernet port in terms of aliasing IP addresses. We need to see these Raspberry Pi competing boards with more than one directly connected Ethernet port (not to mention connecterized GPIO)

    1. MR. says:

      VGA is quickly going the way of the Dodo. Raspberry Pi didn’t do anything wrong.
      http://www.zdnet.com/blog/gadgetreviews/leading-pc-manufacturers-dropping-vga-support-by-2015/20647

      1. I’m not sure how “three years from now” constitutes “quickly.” Also, I would imagine that all of those flat screen monitors that were manufactured with VGA ports aren’t just going to magically disappear in 2015.

  8. equality7 says:

    Why do I see this and think Beowulf project?

  9. Angelo Gulli says:

    Is there any way to use this in a car? Would it be possible to connect a touch screen to this and put it in a double-din dashboard?

    1. Nic says:

      Where there is a will, there is a way. The powering of the system in the car would be easily enough done and you would just have to fab up a holder to fit in double-din. How ever the problems would probably come with getting a touch screen to work with the board.

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