A company known for making downsized PCs has announced two ARM-based desktop computers that will be shipping “soon” with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Giada has made its ARM desktops, the Q10 and Q11 very compact. Both measure 7.48-by-5.87-by-1.0 inches and, when mounted in the vertical position don’t take up much more space on a desktop than a typical router.
The pint-sized desktops are built around the Allwins A10 ARM processor, which runs at 1GHz, and have Mali-400 MP4 graphics.
Inputs/Outputs include five USB 2.0 ports (four rear, one front), VGA and HDMI ports, an SD/MMC card reader, RJ45 jack, a fast Ethernet port, and support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Both units have 1GB of DDR3 RAM but the Q11 has 8GB of NAND Flash storage, while the Q10 has only 4GB of flash storage.
The Q11 also has a rechargeable battery that lets you disconnect the computer and move it to another location without shutting it down. It would also come in handy during a power outage.
If Android doesn’t strike your fancy, you should be able to get a version of Ubuntu or Bodhi Linux to run on the systems, according to Brad Linder, writing for Lilliputing.
While Giada says at its website that its ARM desktops will be “coming soon,” prognosticators are predicting the units will be showcased at CES next month.
Giada isn’t the only company interested in Android desktops. Google’s Motorola subsidiary introduced in September a “home entertainment terminal” only for the Chinese market that has an “all in one” PC look.
The Motorola offering, called the CloudBB, runs Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) with a Freescale i.MX53 ARM Cortex A8 processor running at 1GHz. Like the Q10, it has 1GB of Ram and 4GB of NAND flash. However, its guts are located in an 18-inch LCD touchscreen display, which comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse.
Google’s intentions to bring Android to desktops and laptops is no secret. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the Search Goliath had filed for a patent in the United States for mapping touchscreen events to a trackpad, which would allow computers without a touchscreen to use Android.
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John Mello writes on technology and cyber security for a number of online publications and is former managing editor of the Boston Business Journal and Boston Phoenix. Disclosure: He also writes for Hewlett-Packad's marketing website TechBeacon.