Review of the MK802 (Android mini PC)

The MK802 is a series of extremely small computers (the size of a USB stick) running Android (also compatible with Linux). They are also extremely cheap and use little power, which makes them an interesting gadget if you want a low consumption computer in your house, and/or turn your dumb TV into a smart TV. After a friend recommended one of these devices, I bought one, and this is my review.

The MK802 is a computer the size of a USB stick, with 2 usb ports, a mini hdmi output, and a micro SD slot. There are several versions in the series (MK802, MK802+, MK802 II), with some variations in the performance of the CPU or the amount of Ram. The main selling points of the device are its extremely low price (I got mine for $52 + shipping) and low power consumption, which, coupled with a reasonably good GPU (the Mali 400), makes it an interesting device for watching digital videos, or having a small multi-purpose computer constantly on.

The model I got appears to be an MK802+. I say “appear” here, because the MK802 is a popular Chinese device that has dozens of clones, and it is easy to get fooled. Although the one I bought was advertised as an MK802 II, what I got looks closer to the specifications of the MK802+. The insane amount of clones of the MK802, but also the increasing popularity of those mini PCs, actually makes it difficult to choose the one that fits you the best, but I’ll discuss other options at the end of this review. If you are interested into getting the MK802, make sure you get a model with at least 1GB of Ram, and double check the CPU (some clones have a Cortex A7 instead of the advertised A8 or sometimes A9. This is the case for mine, and could explain some of the issues I am running into).

My goal with this device was to use it the way it is advertised for: turn my TV into a smart TV by connecting it to an Android computer that I would use mostly to play videos and music, a bit to read emails and browse the web, and potentially as a bittorrent client that would run overnight.

Long story short, for $50 you get what you pay for. The MK802 is a very interesting concept, which fails in some areas because of the limitations of its CPU, but gets the job done if you don’t mind tweaking it a little bit, or if you accept some of the slowness it comes with.

First impressions

The first impression is that the device is indeed really small (feels like a big USB stick, basically). It got me extremely excited initially because I was convinced this could replace my current media center (a Sony Vaio laptop connected to the TV) and free lots of space around the TV (Yes, when you live in Tokyo, the space taken by a laptop close to the TV *does* matter).

Besides the device, the package contains a few accessories such as an HDMI cable, a mini-usb to usb adapter, the AC adapter. Each of these would easily cost 5 bucks in your typical store, and contribute to make the device feel even cheaper (I mean this in a positive way).

Set up

You will need to plug the computer to your HD TV with the provided cable, and find a way to control it. This can be done either by plugging a usb mouse to the device itself, or, more conveniently, get a wireless keyboard/mouse system to plug with the device. Other people use an app called “DroidMote” to control the device with their phone, which I didn’t test.

I personally bought the Logitech K400 ($35), a small (but not too much) keyboard with an integrated touchpad, which is used to “simulate” the touch screen you would usually have on an Android tablet or phone. Integration of the MK802 with this keybaord was instant, it simply worked out of the box.

Other than that, there’s basically nothing to do to setup the device. Plug it in to your TV, and plug in the A/C adapter, that’s it (side note: the MK802 does not have a power button, you just unplug the power if you want to turn it off…)

Real plug and play is always nice :)

Since it shipped from China, my device was preinstalled with some Chinese apps (including a P2P video application called PPS, which happens to also have American movies… I might keep that one…). An old version of youtube was also preinstalled… The Play store is accessible from this device, although not all applications will accept to install directly (for example Netflix) and might need to be sideloaded (download the apk from someplace else and install it directly). On that subject, the device is rooted, so tinkering with it, or installing custom roms is extremely easy.

After playing a few hours with the device to get used to it, I got mixed feelings. At a first glance the device promises a lot (“smart TV”, “HD video”, “games”, “internet browser”…), but when actually using it, I ran into multiple issues. Not everything is bad though, the device has lots of good points, so read along.

Forget about multitasking

The first problem was that the device is slow every time the CPU needs to be used. This is frustrating when switching between applications, starting a new application that wasn’t already running (you’ll get a “This application is not responding, do you want to close it?” more than you want to), loading a webpage, typing (autocompletion is slow), reading emails…

Basically after a few days of thinking about this, I found a goodt way to summarize this: Every activity that requires lots of interaction between you and the device  takes too long and brings frustration (typing, clicking,switching a lot between apps, reading many emails…).

Some of you might want to decide this makes it a crappy device and stop reading here. I know I almost decided to throw the device away at that point. But then again, I realized this is not what this device really is for. There are actually lots of things that can be done with a computer which don’t require too much interaction with the user. In particular, I’m thinking of watching videos (you start your movie once, then enjoy the movie without having to interact with the computer for then next 90 minutes), or a more “passive” usage such as an ftp server or a bittorrent client.

Local Video playback

After all, the MK802 is mostly advertised as a video player rather than a computer, so I decided to focus on this, and use it for “browsing” and email only when I have no other device handy.

I was overall satisfied, but not impressed, with the video playback performance of the MK802. Let me give details.

The MK802 ships with the Mali400 GPU a low cost GPU with good performances in video decoding. If you remember my review of the DroidX360, the MK802 is actually roughly the same hardware without the screen and the gamepad.

The MK802 is average at playing local videos from the memory stick or the internal memory. I would say it’s hit and miss, depending on the player you use and the video format. Overall, it’s been a frustrating research (I would expect any device nowadays to play any video I throw at it, without me having to reencode the video to the “perfect” format or whatever), but I believe I found a player that works well with most of my videos.

VLC was overall disappointing. For some reason, some videos that play extremely fine in VLC on my 2 year-old android phone, are very laggy/pixelated on the MK802 with VLC. I blame it on the software decoding engine, and the fact that the CPU (+ probably the whole device’s hardware) is not really great. I would not recommend VLC (as of today) for this device.

The integrated video player (called Super HD, I don’t know if it is available on the Store) has been doing ok. I was initially confused by its interface (couldn’t find a way to quit playback), but now that I understood it, I am quite satisfied with it. That being said, one of my high bitrate MK movies though kept “pausing” for 2 seconds every five minutes for no good reason though. It wasn’t even HD video so I am a bit worried.

BS Player was promising, and it has a cool “auto download subtitles” feature which is really nice for tv series, but I couldn’t find a combination of settings (Hardware decoding / software decoding, etc…) that didn’t not have audio sync or pixellisation issues.

In the end, I was recommended MX Player, which so far has been the best player on this device. It offers some customization that seemed to work great for the MK802. In particular, using hardware video decoding in combination with software audio decoding got rid of some of the audio sync issues I had been running into with other devices. Sadly, some specific video files refuse to play in hardware mode, such as the m4v files created with the iPhone4 profile in handbrake.

MX Player offers good movie playback on the MK802, even for HD

In conclusion, local video playback on the MK802 seems to work generally ok as long as you find a video player that works for you. MX Player has given me perfect results so far. Other players shouldn’t be dismissed as I suspect the results can also depend on your specific hardware and the Android rom running on your device

Video Streaming

I’ve been using mostly 2 video streaming services on this device: Youtube, and Netflix. Basically Youtube was disappointing and Netflix was surprisingly good given my situation.

The youtube app is preinstalled on the device, but you’ll want to upgrade it, as it is a very old build. Sadly, in my many tests, Youtube playback had severe A/V sync issues. Audio plays too early, or too late, or gets progressively delayed… it seems to depend on the video, sometimes it’s barely noticeable, and sometimes it’s just impossible to watch. I wouldn’t say it’s all bad, but it can become frustrating. I have read on some forums that this could depend on the Android version installed on the device, and it’s possible  that a different firmware could solve this. I think this could be related with how I had to set up hardware video playback %but* software video decoding in MX Player… Since the youtube app does not have such advanced settings, I cannot test if that would help.

I was gladly surprised by Netflix on the other hand. Since I live in Japan, I am going through a VPN in order to access my Netflix subscription. For those of you outside of the US who might not know, Netflix is a monthly-fee based video streaming service, they offer an “all you can watch” service for $8 a month, with an ok catalog and a few recent movies and tv series (I’ve spotted a few movies that just made it to the theaters here in Japan). To this $8 monthly subscription, I need to add $5 a month for my VPN, which allows me to access the service through and American IP. (Netflix is in theory reserved to US residents).

Netflix is slow to start, but once the movie is started, it’s great!

Despite accessing the service through a lowend device, with a VPN, Netflix works fine for me. Movies take a little while to start, but once in, I haven’t seen any problem. In particular, they have a relatively clever system that switches automatically between SD and HD when the system detects your bandwidth is low, and this is relatively smooth. For $13 a month this is an extremely good deal as a foreigner in Japan, compared to the local offers that start at about $20 a month and don’t have a selection comparable to that of Netflix in terms of American movies (although both Japanese offers and Netflix have a terrible lack of French movies, but what can you do…)

It’s worth noting that Netflix over Wifi is one of the reasons I chose the MK802+ rather than the MK802, as the MK802+ is supposed to have a better Wifi hardware, at least from what I read in some reviews and product descriptions.

Two tricks were involved for me to get Netflix to work on the MK802. One is that I had to sideload the apk because the Google Play Store would tell me my device is not supported. The version that was recommended to me is Netflix 1.8.1, and a quick google research will help you find it. Once installed “manually” like this, I had no problems running it. The second trick was that my Android firmware did not have the “VPN” menu in its settings. This was simply solved by downloading a free app called VPN-Menu, which simply puts a shortcut to the VPN settings on your main screen.

If you live outside the US, a VPN subscription will make the MK802 much more interesting as a connected media player

Note that I didn’t try Hulu as I read the Hulu Plus app does not support this device. In addition it is my understanding that Hulu Plus has advertising despite being a paid service, which is not the type of stuff I am looking for (plus, I had already made my mind on going with Netflix)

Using the MK802 as a passive “always on” computer

The MK802 is advertised as a Media player, but I’ve also been successfully using it as a local FTP server in my house, as well as a low power consumption bittorrent client. For this, I have been using respectively apps names FTPServer and aDownloader New from the google play store.

Both worked fine, although initially they were not able to write on the SDCard, just on the internal memory. This is a simple permissions problem which was solved by following this guide.

Note that if you have a good internet connection, the writing speed to the external SD card might be slower than your download speed on bittorrent. This is not a real problem, just a sign that you could even be downloading faster

Gaming

I haven’t tested the MK802 for Gaming. However, it ships with the same hardware as the DroidX360 (see my review here), which to me means it could be a great device for Emulators, but will not be good enough for recent Android games that are demanding lots of 3D resources. The flaw of the DroidX360 was its integrated gamepad, but since the MK802 doesn’t ship with controls in the first place, it can probably be coupled with a USB controller for some nice old school emulators. The following pads have been reported to work with the MK802: Logitech Rumblepad 2, Classic USB Super Nintendo

 

Other uses

Technically, the MK802 is a fully working ARM computer. This means lots of cool stuff can be done with it. I’ve talked to people who tested both the MK802 and the Raspberry Pi, who ended up being more impressed by the MK802 than the Raspberry Pi. As most gadgets these days, Linux distributions are already available for the MK802, and appear to be pretty stable. It seems however that a few things need to be ironed out in regards to the graphics drivers.

Running Linux on the MK802, as a low cost, low power consumption server is just one of the additional uses one can have with the MK802. You can only think of it as your portable computer, that tiny usb stick you bring to your friends’ place whenever you want to show them some pictures or movies on their own TV, without having to bring your laptop, etc…

Additional hardware considerations

The device has 2 usb ports and supports usb hubs (here’s a cheap one from Amazon that works well with the MK802). Nevertheless, it is a really low power device and will not be able to provide power for too many usb devices connected to it. I have a usb drive with no external power (relies on the usb connection for power) which works but regularly disconnects from the device because of the lack of power. If you plan on connecting many usb devices to the MK802, you will want to make sure their have an external source of power (I’m thinking of hard drives in particular)

I’ve mentioned that the device is slow. However in some attempts I’ve seen that connecting the MK802 to my network with a LAN cable rather than Wifi (with a USB to Ethernet adapter – this one works) made some things obviously faster, such as the browser. My guess is that this reduces the load of the CPU, and allows it to spend more time on the browser without having to compete with the Wifi. Just a wild guess, I’m just saying it can help with performance. I decided to not go with this, because I really like the idea of this device not being full of cables all over the place (the A/C cable and the HDMI cable already feel like one too many cables… not that the MK802 II directly has a male HDMI output which allows you to plug it in directly in a TV without the need for a cable)

Alternatives

When I mentioned the MK802 to some friends, I discovered that many clones or alternate devices are available. Some of them look extremely promising (with dual core CPUs rather than a single core like the one on the MK802, which could solve most of the issues I’ve ran into with the MK802), while others are just clones of the MK802 that are simply redesigned and sold at twice the price. Here are a few that are worth mentioning:

The XIOS DS Media Play ($115) has been recommended to me as an “MK802 Killer”. Reading the Amazon reviews and its specs, I can see it has a possibly faster processor (Cortex A9 rather than mine which is an A7), but that overall it is running into similar issues. The XIOS seems, like the MK802, to be a nice idea with lots of potential, that could be wasted because of the amount of research one has to do in order to find the right apps that would work for it. It seems the latest firmware fixes lots of issues, but at more than twice of the MK802, I am not sure if I want to get another “so so” product

The UG802 ($73) is definitely the same concept as the MK802, but it has a better processor which is dual core. Seeing a few videos on youtube, the UG802 is significantly faster than the MK802. It is also a bit more expensive, but still below the $100 bar (note that the MK802 can be found for as low as $44 these days). If money is not too much of a concern, I would say the UG802 would be a better bet than the MK802, unless you are looking for a device with a big community. The MK802 has already a large community of users, which means more custom roms, etc… that was one of the reasons I chose it over the UG802.

Assuming you don’t get a lemon, the UG802 seems like a better choice than the XIOS above. If you care about linux support, custom roms, help from the community, the MK802 might be a better choice. Rikomagic also announced an MK802 III, which will have roughly the same specs as the UG802, with hopefully the same amount of community support as the MK802. That would be the best of both worlds.

Conclusion

The MK802+ is an extremely cheap device that can be very interesting if you want to transform your TV into a smart TV. If, like me, your PS3 has become a glorified media player, I really suggest you give a try to the MK802 or one of the other Android Mini PCs described above. In terms of multimedia, the MK802 does much more, much better, and at a lower power consumption, than the PS3.

I would strongly recommend the MK802+ for the following:

  • HD Video player for your own local files (MKV, MP4) – MX player recommended.
  • Netflix
  • as an overnight Bittorrent client. Leave the device on all night for downloads (aDownloader New recommended)
  • FTP Server in your house. Low power consumption, couple it with either a reasonably big SD card (sadly the max supported seems to be 32GB) or an external USB hard drive
  • Emulators (GBA, SNes, N64, etc…), if you add a wireless or usb pad to the device.

I would not recommend the MK802+ for the following (note that it is not terrible at doing most of the things below, just not convenient enough compared to my current setup):

  • Youtube: video is good, but too many audio sync issues (this might change, depending on the Android firmware installed on your device)
  • Browsing the web or reading emails. Typing is too painful, and the loading times are terrible
  • Advanced gaming with the latest Android games. The device simply does not have the horse power
  • Hulu plus has been reported to not work fine with this device
  • Multitasking: again, the lack of horsepower will make switching between applications a nightmare. Don’t hope to run the bittorrent client in parallel with your movie player, for example…

For these use cases, the UG802 or the upcoming MK802 III will be better choices.

Recommended accessories for any Android USB stick:

  • A Wireless keyboard/mouse system will make the device your perfect smart TV. I am very satisfied with Logitech’s K400 ($35).
  • If you plan to connect many devices to your MK802, a USB hub ($8) will be needed
  • Many people complained about a weak Wifi power, an Ethernet to USB adapter ($20) has helped me with performance and network
  • If you want to use it as an FTP Server or a Bittorrent client, an external hard drive ($100 for 1TB, works fine but in my experience disconnects once in a while because of the lack of power provided by the MK802).
  • For gamers, a compatible gamepad such as this one ($25)
  1. droyd666’s avatar

    The only reason I would buy this would be to download torrents. I don’t like leaving my laptop powered on day and night since I also use it for gaming. Overall, I do see a lot of potential in this product and I hope to see some newer versions with tegra GPUs and dual core processors(that are still somehow cheap)

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      The Mali400 is better for Video than the Tegra2, and much cheaper. The Tegra processor are useful only if you plan to do some gaming with this device, but they would bring the price up by a significant amount :(
      Dual core processor, I agree. That’s what the UG802 is about, and I have good hopes for the MK802 III

      Reply

      1. Thomas’s avatar

        I have multiple Tegra 2s multiple Tegra 3s Multiple Mali 400s and help dev roms for all 3 and I have to highly disagree with your saying the mali is better for Video than the Tegra 2, it’s not even close to the ability of the Tegra 2 to code decode or process any video atleast not when paired with an Allwinner A10, given Antutu isnt a perfect example but your talking the difference between 850 gpu points and 1900 gpu points. I may be missing what you’re saying so is there any way you could explain exactly how you came to that conclusion?

        Reply

  2. James Way’s avatar

    I have bluetooth dongle and a sony tablet S, Do you think both could be used any of them to control the device? IE remote desktop the mini pc using bluetooth.

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      The device does not have blutooth support, but your tablet could be used with droidmote to control the device through Wifi

      Reply

      1. James Way’s avatar

        Being that it uses a client and server setup I assume it is like remote desktop, if not RDP itself. I currenty use webkey for remote control of my android devices, some which I use as remote ip cams, and splashtop for RDP of my win7 pc. I see the server has to be paid for, for droidmate, if anyone has used both webkey and droidmote, are there any noticeable differences?

        Reply

    2. Thomas’s avatar

      bluetooth is supported the was a small error that can be corrected easily, google bluetooth fix then goto the 1st listed Riko link, the fix is for cm9 but is basically the fix from stock image that wasnt yet corrected at cm9 release for allwinner

      Reply

  3. Danniemon’s avatar

    How does this handle Gta 3 or Dead Trigger?

    Reply

    1. kikershadow’s avatar

      This is for México you can get for $790.00mx from china.

      Reply

    2. Norml’s avatar

      Whoa Whoa Whoa, you might as well just get a gaming computer for that much. 2k+

      Reply

    3. Botarguirix’s avatar

      find it in dx.com its cheaper and the shipping it’s free!!

      Reply

  4. Zer01ne’s avatar

    The Way for make this Hardware usefull is build a Custom GUI Interface in Full C++ with bootloader in ASM without the Shit Slower Java Engine.

    Reply

    1. svenn’s avatar

      Wololo said you could go for linux ;)

      Reply

  5. The Budds’s avatar

    OMG! Trigun!

    Heh, on another note. This mini-computer is pretty cool, I’m gonna check up on this.

    Reply

  6. MUD’s avatar

    I’m getting a MK802+ for my emulators!
    thanks Wololo.

    Wheres a reliable place to buy one?

    Reply

    1. MUD’s avatar

      Sorry to double post but I want to get the MK802+ for emulators not a MK802. right?

      Thanks Wololo.

      Reply

    2. svenn’s avatar

      http://dx.com/s/android.html?GPrice=1.00&LEPrice=136.00&category=191

      I have bought stuff from them before, and they deliver. (i’m not affliated)

      Reply

    3. xyz’s avatar

      http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=mk802&catId=0&manual=y
      Just don’t order from people with low rating and you’ll be fine.

      Reply

  7. xyz’s avatar

    The huge problem with those devices (allwinner a10) is that they can’t output true 1080p from Android (they do output upscaled 720p). Another one is that there is no hardware video decoding support in “true” linux (which can output 1080p). So it’s pretty useless if you want to watch full HD movies.

    Reply

  8. FeL’s avatar

    Hi wololo this looks like a really nice device. I was looking for a mini PC to connect my security cameras (a camera system that has a web server), do you think it could handle it?

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      If it needs to do video encoding, that might be too heavy for the device.

      Reply

  9. Jvhellraiser’s avatar

    I will ask simple thing about it cause iam intrested.
    I will use it for simple work,my very first question is
    Can u connect CMA or openCMA to it? For connecting
    The Psvita. If it does i would buy it and can this be connected
    To a normal Flat Pc monitor?

    Reply

    1. MUD’s avatar

      CMA is no longer need if you install FireFTP to your Vita.

      Do I need a MK802+ for emulators or will the MK802 work just as good?

      Thanks.

      Reply

      1. wololo’s avatar

        As long as you get 1gb of ram I would say they are equivalent.

        Reply

    2. wololo’s avatar

      Cma: maybe, if you install linux on it? Really not sure
      Monitor: only if your monitor has hdmi input.

      Reply

  10. rath_iruzer’s avatar

    @wololo: can that device play 10 bit anime?

    Reply

    1. xyz’s avatar

      No, there is no hardware decoding support for hi10p in a10 (it still can be played using software decoder, but it’s damn slow).

      Reply

  11. jlo138’s avatar

    You could of got an Apple TV 3 for $99 U.S. Then get an HDMI cable off eBay (all day) for .99 cents U.S. Has one simple power cord and HDMI to the TV. I can mirror my iPhone 4S, iPod touch 4th, and the wife’s iPad 3 to it wirelessly. All my photos are automatically pushed to it through wifi, it has YouTube (although searching is tedious, and you can’t comment unless your mirroring), and even Hulu which I have yet to use. There is a remote app to use the phone as a remote too. Also has Netflix and the HD videos look great, if you use iTunes then all your music and movies are available as well. Gaming, not so much. You can mirror any game but most don’t change the output orientation (you’ll be looking sideways) unless its been optimized for Apple TV. I’ve seen people jailbreak them so they have more features. And another downside is you can’t download apps to it. You get what is preinstalled and that’s it.

    Reply

    1. w7y7a7t7t’s avatar

      yeah, it works great! as long as you use it only with apple products and exactly how apple says to. but, he said he has to use a VPN for netflix, so the netflix for his apple tv would not work (as i understand it). hulu *should* be the same. he also said he doesn’t want to convert all his videos to the “perfect format”. oh, and this is just a guess, but i’m betting wololo doesn’t own a single apple product.

      Reply

  12. svenn’s avatar

    Rasberi pi only cost 25$ ofc so there is no comparison ;)

    I think its still early to hop on this train, but its definatly a interesting market. If we ever are gonne break the ipV6 numbers :D

    Reply

    1. Magimog’s avatar

      I agree. Along with the bare bones setup and official development for the Pi, there is a 100% chance of getting an authentic product. Chinese clones of clones cannot be trusted.

      Reply

      1. wololo’s avatar

        I’ve been told that it takes up to 4 months for a Pi order to ship, that’s a bit long?

        Svenn: Actually, if you take into account everything you need to get the device running, the MK802 is cheaper. As you can see, mine was 52$ + shipping, but it can now be found at 44$ + shipping (free in the US, on amazon).

        Discard the price of the HDMI cable (5$) as well as the A/C adapter (5$) – neither of those ship with the Pi . Finally, the Pi model B, which is closer in performance to the MK802, costs 35$. So, there you go. They are roughly the same price, except the MK802 is smaller, comes in a case, has more Ram, integrated 4GB of storage, and integrated Wifi. Add the required SD card for the Pi, it is more expensive…

        Reply

        1. svenn’s avatar

          Well, there is no model A anymore, Pi always comes as B for 25 €. Shipping time for EU, is about a week. Obv the pi is more hacker-ware then this finished product. Pi uses a micro-usb, that is 1€ cable @ dxetreme or most geeks have them for mobile phone/other devises. HDMI is true, but the issue there is Pi supports HDMI -> VGI.

          Ofc, they don’t compare, however I think if you really want a media player, you should have spend a bit more and looked for 100$ + device (inc a controller). Pi is more hacking, and I guess this MK802 is a hybrid. A Chinese hybrid however.

          As I said, its an early market and I think this MK802 is a version “greater” then the Pi but I think the both tools still compare greatly, with the difference Pi has a great community of hackers behind it.

          Its a nice review, and money wise you are probably right. (I have a bunch of old hardware around so I do my calculations different ofc ;) )

          Reply

  13. ricerrr’s avatar

    can you use it to stream videos from your computer to it? like with a media server?

    Reply

  14. w7y7a7t7t’s avatar

    with ouya coming our march 2013 for only $99, paying $52 for this junk just seems wrong lol

    Reply

  15. Norml’s avatar

    Damn, kinda sounds close to my P4 Dell….the horror stories I have, everyday it’s getting worse. It’s starting to fail at doing the most basic features, like connecting to the internet.

    Reply

    1. Stiffeno’s avatar

      Pentium 4s were good in their days but now they are way too old to keep around! Depending where you live, you could get a decent system for only a few hundred bucks! Try not to buy from big name retail stores, like pre-build HP and Dell systems, they over-charge and the specs arent really that great. If you know how, buy all the parts from those little Asian pc stores and build it urself…if you dont know how, have them build one for you, will be much cheaper and you will get heaps better specs! Plus with retail store bought systems, they have warrenty stickers so you cant open the case…and they take ages to repair things. I mean who wants to be without a computer for the weeks it takes them to fix the simplest problems? not me thats for sure, i always build myself…unless im buying a laptop/netbook.

      My uncle used to buy nothing but HP systems, i remember he paid like 2 grand for a dual core Intel system back in the day (had shit specs), and a couple weeks later i custom built an AMD (i always prefer AMD, better bang for ur buck) Quad core for like 500 bux! I had triple the specs of hit system too! He was spewin that he paid so much for so little. I have since taught him how to build computers now, and has has built his own computers twice now :D, he loved me for it…he loves saving money LOL (he is a tight arse >.<!).

      Reply

  16. Carlos’s avatar

    I have Cubox from http://www.solid-run.com and works perfect,
    I use for bittorrent,nzb downloads,dlna,oscam with 1,5TB hdd and debian for arm

    And works perfect

    Reply

  17. cscash241’s avatar

    Can it run Backtrack 5? I could do some evil things with this device.

    Reply

    1. ricerrr’s avatar

      mos likely if it can run ubuntu and fedora i think it can run backtrack

      Reply

      1. svenn’s avatar

        It needs a build for ARM CPU, o most likely you will need to recompile it.

        Reply

  18. Stiffeno’s avatar

    Looks pretty awesome for the small price :D. Im currently using my Acer netbook as a “computer tower”, which i have hooked to my 40″ bigscreen tv running at 1080p.

    For a netbook its actually very powerful! Its an Acer Aspire One AO522, AMD Fusion C-50 dual core cpu @ 1ghz (but runs more like 1.9ghZ), 4gb ddr3 ram, 640gb sata2 hdd (getting a 1TB soon), ATi Radeon HD 6250 (very VERY good for a netbook), 10.1″ HD screen @ 1280 x 720 (WXGA) resolution (higher res than 10″ screens are normally!)…though screen size dont matter coz its hooked to my 1080p tv lol, and running Windows 7 x64 (switching over to either Ubuntu Linux or Linux Mint later this week).

    PC only cost me like $420 AUD at the time, which was cheap! I actually had the money to get a full sized lappy with a bigger screen but i wanted an Ultra-portable…and i couldnt afford one of the Apple AirBooks (they were 1100 bux for the 11″ model).

    When I first thought about hooking the netbook via HDMI to my tv and using the netbook as a desktop tower, i thought that the 1ghz cpu and the bumped up res (720p to 1080p) would coz a lot of system slowdowns or lag coz it was working the video card harder than intended…but low and behold the Radeon HD 6250 handles it awesomely! In fact its kinda overkill for a netbook but thats all the better for me LOL. So now rather than having a loud, heavy big arse desktop tower filling up my room and pumping out masses of hot air from the power supply…i have a super-thin, super-quiet (you cant hear it really at all) and cool running computer setup hahaha. Sure a full sized desktop tower would have better specs, but i was on a budget and this setup works perfectly for my needs (even gaming)!

    Sorry for the long arse post everyone LOL, but i had to mention it. Had i needed one, this item in the article would be on my wish list :)

    Reply

  19. Norml’s avatar

    I see a baby toy infront of that t.v.!!!!
    Awwww

    Reply

  20. NakedFaerie’s avatar

    Nice review. I already have a NAS and the WDTV so watching movies is not a problem for me. :)

    Reply

  21. PSVITAGODZILLA’s avatar

    Seems like a sweet device to have in handy when on the go. But the cpu can’t do much when it comes to Browsing the web or Checking xxx ;) If only we could install Linux on the vita and port it like a normal computer. I have to do more research on this, but some Spanish kid already successfully ported Android 2.3 onto the Vita.

    Reply

  22. kikershadow’s avatar

    I make this skin for windows 7 looks amazing and only need install my skin and install rainmeter

    http://rainmeterinfogamesandgadgets.blogspot.mx/2012/09/jelly-idea.html

    i call JELLY IDEA

    Reply

    1. hektik’s avatar

      hello looks nice but cant find download lick for the skin

      Reply

  23. James Way’s avatar

    I’m employing a vaio dock with an SA and I use my tablet s and the splashtop app to remote desktop to the pc and control it all this way. The only problem is having to set it up everytime I want to watch some teamcoco or hulu. It takse about 5 minutes tops to turn on, sign on, establish connection with RDP, but if something cheap came along that could stay on at all times that would be awesome. Even more if it was bluetooth control. My vaio has my wifi tech so I can maintain more than one shared wireless connection but for some reason my tab does not find my laptop for RDP in this manner even if I do have it connected to my laptop’s signal. It has no issues via the home network, but being that it is the BEST rdp server/client I have ever used, runs HD like it’s nothing, it does use up considerable bandwidth so there is some lag with the bandwidth on the network. Bluetooth would resolve this for me as it has high speed connection when within a few feet/meters.

    Reply

  24. Foleyfactor’s avatar

    Nice review, I was only loooking atr these yesterday on eBay. My concerns though were that with all the clones around, there is no certainty that you will be buying what is advertised. I remember all those usb/sd/micro sd memory cards before coming from China/Hong Kong that were advertised as a bigger storage capacity then they actually were(even the computer thought they were the advertised storage until you formatted them with a certain program to reveal the REAL storage,which was usually 512mb or 1gb).
    I would like to get one of these though as I think they are a good price for what they actually do and as @Wololo said, low power consumption for using bittorrent clients and so on(my electricity bill is getting really expensive).
    I would definitely be looking at one of the dual core options though and hoping that it will actually have a dual core instead of just stating it on the box!!

    Reply

  25. natsu’s avatar

    same GPU as my phone – galaxy note, but since mine got dual core, i guess CPU is really a game changer.

    you can check gsmarena for my phone’s spec…

    Reply

  26. GalaxyWing’s avatar

    Can it play FIFA and/or those 3D Gameloft Android games?

    Reply

  27. job’s avatar

    Given the fact that the XIOS DS Media Play can run XBMC and has an AMlogic chip inside, I would prefer that one.

    AMlogic released the kernel source code, so the open source community can create their own native software for the chips (eg. XBMC).

    Allwinner and RockChip, the creators of the chips in the MK802 and UG802, didn’t release their source code. Making it impossible to have hardware accelerated video decoding in anything else than Android.

    When there is a Dual Core AMlogic mini pc available, I will be getting that one. And I have good hopes that it won’t take long :) (http://www.kimdecent.com/newrelease/76.html)

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      Based on the amazon reviews, the xios doesnt seem much better than the mk802, for almost 3 times the price… It was recommended to me, but I am not convinced. Xbmc is reported to be slow and buggy on that device too…

      Reply

  28. Jvhellraiser’s avatar

    Wololo!! I just found about Mk 208 III with android 4.1
    It is said this is the newest version of mini Pc for this year
    And has a dual-core 1.6 with 1gb of DDR 3 And thats pretty
    Amazing i must said if this one is not fast then i believe none
    Of them is,i want to buy this one but iam not sure if its a fake
    One or and original ,or someone made it up so can u check?

    Reply

  29. tonyuk73’s avatar

    I think I’ve just found what I want for Christmas….nice read.thanks;)

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      Where are your numbers coming from? Also the nexus has its own screen, which defeats the purpose. Either way it is 4 times the price.

      Reply

      1. Shinny’s avatar

        “Recommended accessories for any Android USB stick:

        A Wireless keyboard/mouse system will make the device your perfect smart TV. I am very satisfied with Logitech’s K400 ($35).
        If you plan to connect many devices to your MK802, a USB hub ($8) will be needed
        Many people complained about a weak Wifi power, an Ethernet to USB adapter ($20) has helped me with performance and network
        If you want to use it as an FTP Server or a Bittorrent client, an external hard drive ($100 for 1TB, works fine but in my experience disconnects once in a while because of the lack of power provided by the MK802).
        For gamers, a compatible gamepad such as this one ($25)”

        These are my numbers.. Well you can HDMI adaptor or something like this on Nexus.. Whitout those accessories i dont even imagine how to use MK802.. Yes the MK802 is great, doesnt cost much and has almost everything you want.. but then again accessories are needed..

        Reply

        1. Shinny’s avatar

          Well you can buy HDMI adaptor or something like this on Nexus.. *

          Reply

        2. wololo’s avatar

          How do you plan to control your nexus from the couch if it is connected to your tv? You are talking of a completely different usage here.
          Also the usb hub, ethernet adapter, and external hard drive would be needed on a tablet as well. Dont play with numbers to make them say stupid stuff…

          Reply

          1. Shinny’s avatar

            Well the cable could be long, while the external hard can be replaced with google drive.. the only thing you cant replace is the ethernet adapter.. And calm down, im not trying to say that the MK802 is a pointless waste of money.. In fact it a good idea, but needs an better android rom on it..

    2. Thomas’s avatar

      Why is amazon trying to get $30 over retail? lol trying to run people over to their crappy Kindle HD

      Reply

  30. meanmachine781’s avatar

    aww man i didnt know this kind of thing existed, i bought a freaking roku to watch netflix, but it just does that nothing else, im going to check this out, thanks for the info! more post like this please :)

    Reply

    1. Thomas’s avatar

      still not shipping till Oct 30th :(

      Reply

  31. autocrossgt’s avatar

    Sweet a new excuse to use velcro. I will wait on that mk802 III coming.

    I love how they took it upon them self to rename the processor “Allwinner A10″ to confuse people when its really a A8, lol @ marketing.

    Reply

  32. ramenking’s avatar

    hey thanks for the info wololo waiting for u next post bro :P

    Reply

  33. MUD’s avatar

    Quick question,
    Will I be able to play computer games like Star Craft 1 or Diablo with programs like PowerISO to load Image/ISO files or with a USB external DVD Reader?

    If so what version do you recommend for that kinda stuff?

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      No, you would need a windows emulator, I am not sure this device has the horsepower to run a windows95 emulator… maybe through wine on a linux install though.

      Reply

      1. MUD’s avatar

        Mega thanks, Wololo
        Think I’ll still get it for emulators. :)

        Reply

  34. gunblade’s avatar

    sumhow i want like 10 android micro hook.to a small system… nice on there price even sd n hdd n cheap now days…

    Reply

  35. MUD’s avatar

    I just bought two MK802 III for my brother and I “Christmas”, will the Android version of Wagic work with them? (I love Wagic) and are there any homebrews for the MK802 II/III other than emulators.?

    Mega Thanks!

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      Yes wagic will run but you might have to fight a bit in order to change the controls. For other games, the google store has lots of free games :)

      Reply

  36. mini hdmi’s avatar

    Thank you,
    The information you have shared is very informative.

    Reply

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