CHIP DESIGNER VIA has signed up distributor RS Components to sell its ARM based APC computer for £40.
VIA's APC computer goes up against the hugely popular Raspberry Pi, and while the VIA machine can't match the Raspberry Pi's low price, it still remains a cheap, low power computer. The firm today announced that RS Components will be selling the APC for £40.
While VIA's APC cost is significantly more expensive than that of the Raspberry Pi with similar specifications, the big selling point for many will be its support for Google's Android operating system out of the box. While VIA's APC supports Android, it is the now archaic Android 2.3.
VIA's APC has an 800MHz ARM processor coupled to 512MB RAM and 2GB of onboard NAND flash memory, with expansion possible through a microSD slot. The firm claims that it can decode video up to HD 720p and has analogue and HDMI video out along with four USB 2.0 ports.
VIA's decision to include 2GB of NAND flash memory is likely a major contributor to the computer's extra cost over a Raspberry Pi. However the Raspberry Pi has had a RAM upgrade recently and, while out of the box Android support might tempt many, given how old Android 2.3 is and some uncertainty as to whether the VIA APC can cope with Android 4.x, the cut price Raspberry Pi might still remain the small computer of choice for tinkerers. µ