Android Remix Mini PC can be yours for 50 bucks!

2d5d9c82e8e54453e35f2b654fef65dd_originalI have always loved the Mac Mini and though it has crossed my mind to buy that as a companion device to a HDTV, I never got round to it because it was expensive.

Having a connected device like the Mac Mini made sense, especially in the days when it came with a built in DVD player. These days, the new models are without that feature and thus less appealing.

Having a TV that is connected to the HDTV is probably the best option to save money on buying a separate computer if all you ever needed was to browse the Internet, send email and maybe some SOHO office apps. Chrome OS was suppose to be like that but over the years, I had my doubts over its ability to do the chores I want it to as any Android device would be able to surpass it.

Today, we hear that the Remix Mini PC has got funded on Kickstarter. So what’s this about?

How the Remix Mini is going to save you Money

First, there are two models, the first comes with a 1GB Ram while the other 2GB Ram. They have named it the 1G and 2G respectively and yes, it runs a custom hacked version of Android Lolipop called Remix OS.

The unit comes with built in WIFI, 2 USB ports, HDMI port and even a stereo jack for sound and music output. The extra Ethernet port lets you connect directly to the DSL router or modem without having to rely on WIFI. The included microSD slot helps you decide on how much additional storage to add to keep your stuff like movies or music which can be played back on TV. What’s more the Remix Mini PC supports 4K UHD, meaning you get the latest codec to process high quality movies. The only downside is that your media, or rather a UHD movie would take up to 16GB of storage if you ever decide to keep a copy on the SD storage.

Now playback for UHD is strictly BluRay player standards these days so if you ever had a 4K TV, you would have to pair that with a BluRay player. The Remix Mini will save you money on this if you happen to play UHD movies (illegally obtained or otherwise). UHD media unfortunately is not widespread as yet.

showbox-app-download-for-android-install-show-box-apk-on-androidThere are other exceptions. Hulu Plus via the Hola VPN will playback your subscriptions and yes, the movies uploaded onto VK.com will also playback via the app. For illegal APKs like Showbox, you can have that installed on the Remix without any problems. You can also stream movies to the Remix via Popcorn Time if you so wished.

spotify-android_660Music streaming, from Spotify to Deezer is also available for the price of a subscription and if I were you. Endless possibilities if you have an app on hand that can also be your local radio station or for that matter, any radio station in the world. Entertainment possibilities is a reality through your HDTV.

SOHO Workstation

Google Docs, Keep, Drive and even photo editing tools from Flickr can be accessed through your keyboard and mouse once you have the Remix Mini.

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Charts, graphics and everything else you wasted money on with a PC and accompanying software can be yours for free if you are online all the time. No need to ante up on Windows 10 either if you don’t want to spend the money. The idea of a home workstation, is a reality without the overhead cost as cloud computing will do all the heavy lifting without you having to fork out money on software purchases. I use to remember that every piece of software you wanted had to be purchased just 10 years ago. Now, I will sign up with Google to get these same functions on a computer all for free.

Remix is not for Heavy Lifting

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This is a problem which people tend to do themselves in when wanting a small PC footprint. It’s not for heavy workloads like vector graphic design, 3D modeling, music creation with Midi instruments and heavy duty video editing. Android apps which you can download from the Playstore has limited capabilities and can’t be compared to the PC/Mac versions that do way more.

You have to think of a Remix Mini PC as a computer from 10 years ago. Multitasking is possible and with limited RAM, there isn’t a lot you can do. It’s like buying a ticket to a cheap buffet, you won’t be getting a gourmet treat with it.

For me, I think the Remix Mini is an excellent tool for students and kids. For others, who are just in the market for more entertainment, the Remix won’t disappoint.

So remember that a 50 buck (for the 2G) computer has its limitations and if you are fine with that, it makes sense to order one.

Run Android on Windows 8 and Mac OSX

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For users of Windows 8 and Mac OSX, the idea of running Android on these systems may sound pretty far fetched but one company doesn’t think so. BlueStacks, a start up that is taking on the Ouya console, has been pushing its GameStop console to the masses but unknown to many, BlueStacks also offers TWO free versions of Android that will run on your Windows 8/7 as well as Mac OSX. The idea behind this is simple. The virtual machine app (app player) resides on top of your current OS allowing you to run programs and apps from the Android universe, well on paper it appears to be so but there are some caveats.

Virtual Operation Systems

One of the chief problems with a Virtual Machine OS is that it is rarely 100% compatible. This apparently is the case with BlueStacks app player.

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From the moment you install the app player, the program will ask you to link your google account to sync your BlueStacks app player. Once that is done, you’d realize that many of the options to install the apps are all there but once you start to use them, you’ll encounter problems running it. This is partly due to memory addressing, storage and of course the GPU which has to render the graphics. I tested it on one game and though it played, it was much slower.

For example it can’t handle many games that are graphics intensive. So forget about the FPS type games. It does play the Angry Birds games well enough but that’s rarely a graphics intensive workload on the GPU.

I found the inclusion of Facebook app for Android in the BlueStacks App player list totally laughable. Why bother to use a mobile app if you can access it from a browser of your Windows or Mac OSX device?

Where is the Future for BlueStacks?

Currently, the app player is still a work in progress while they ready themselves for a GamePop console launch. You can technically still run some productivity and utility apps from the Play store but that’s probably about it.

BlueStacks has set its eyes on the future as a gaming console. For a monthly fee subscription, you can use the console to pay games on your big screen TV.

I do foresee that the app player could be integrated into this eco system in the future where you can play Android games on your Mac OSX or Windows machine—which for now is a long shot.

Windows users may be a better bet for the Android apps for now. Microsoft has all to fear and loath them right now as people running this app will not see the benefit of buying full software products that run solely on Windows 8 platform. For Mac OSX users, the attraction will only be in gaming, where the OSX system is at a disadvantage. Unfortunately most Android games don’t run too well on them  so you will just have to wait it out.

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