Via Enters Really-Low-Cost PC Race With $49 Gadget

Taiwanese electronics company Via, which has been around for years nipping just a bit at the heels of Intel and AMD, is releasing a new mini-PC (through a sub-brand called APC) that has a single unit cost of $49 USD and can push out 720P HD video.

Reports The Verge:

We’ve seen a profusion of relatively low-cost PCs and tablets over the last few years, but Taiwanese electronics company Via’s APC is cheap even by these standards: it’s a $49 low-power desktop computer running a modified version of Android 2.3.

Announced today, the APC is meant as a simple way to connect to the internet, so you won’t get a great deal of computing power. It contains an 800MHz processor, 512MB of DDR3 memory, 2GB of flash storage, and can connect to a monitor or TV to output a resolution of up to 720p. It also consumes a fraction of a standard desktop’s power: 13.5 watts at maximum and only 4 watts when idle. 

Unlike more luxurious nettops (a phrase we admit we never thought we’d use), the APC doesn’t come with its own chassis. It’s based on a new form factor, Neo-ITX, but will fit in any case designed for a Mini-ITX or microATX machine. The choice of Android here is interesting, especially since Via had to redesign it for optimized mouse and keyboard support.

Contrary to the $35 Raspberry Pi project out of the UK, this is a real, well established company with a low-cost gadget versus something developed by researchers with a view to getting low-cost computing in the hands of schoolkids.


Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
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