What is an Android Mini PC and Why Should I Get One ?
Android mini PC’s are relatively new and have only became popular a few years ago. They are now highly sought after devices that use a HDMI port to connect directly to you TV. You have probably seen them referred to as Android TV, Google TV, Android Dongle, Android TV Stick, Android TV Box, Smart TV Stick or Smart TV Box.
There are two main sizes, the slightly larger Android TV Box or thr Smart TV Boxes, which are about the same size as a set top TV box or wireless router, and the smaller Android TV Stick or Android Dongle which is only a little bigger than a memory pen. Generally the larger version have more ports for connecting peripheral devices such as USB keyboards and external hard drives as well as house slightly larger and more powerful chipsets as the heat dispersal is better. The smaller Android Dongles or Android TV Sticks are not usually as powerful but bring with them portability meaning you can take them anywhere and set up a mini PC in a matter of seconds.
What is an Android TV Stick / TV Box?
An Android TV Stick or TV Box is simply, a very small computer that runs on the Android operating system. Unlike its competitors Apple and Windows, Android is what is known as an open source platform. That means it allows people access to the programming code so as they can develop and contribute their own content to help Android based technologies grows. It also allows for many companies to put Android onto their own systems, unlike the Apple OS that is only available on Apples own products.
What Can I Do With an Android Mini PC / TV Stick?
There is a huge amount you can do with an Android TV stick and the possibilities are almost endless.
Streaming movies is one of the popular uses. The ability to connect to the internet via a home network means you can log onto YouTube, Netflix or Showbox and stream movies directly to your TV.
With apps like Skype which use VoIP (voice over IP) you can have voice communications and multimedia sessions over an Internet Protocol so talking to friends, family or conducting video chats is super easy and free is you both have an account. You can also make cheap internationally calls to land lines which can save you a lot of money on your phone bill, especially around Christmas and New Year so you needed watch the clock while on the phone with your loved ones.
You can use the Google Play Store or any other app store to download games many of which can be obtain for free. You can see our earlier software and apps blogs to see a few free games suggestions. Some of these free games like Candy Crush or Angry Birds are hugely popular but the free games are not limited to these simple games and HD racing games and first person shooters are also available without having to open your wallet.
Applications for social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter are all available on the Android platform or alternatively you can use a web browser on your Android device to access your social media account and upload photos, modify your status or communicate with your social network. With apps like Whatsapp you can chat with friends anywhere in the world for free and send them pictures or other media.
Many Android TV Boxes and Dongles support Miracast, DLNA or Airplay protocols and some even support all three. These features allow you to set up an ad hock network between your phone or tablet and cast the image form your mobile device to the TV screen so you can view videos or other items on your phone directly on the TV screen without using a cable. You can read more about Miracast in our how to guide or check out our how to video.
E-mails and Web Surfing
With an Android TV box you can access your e-mails or surf the web and you can connect a wireless USB keyboard or mouse resulting in you turning this media hub in to a standard PC that allows you to write e-mails. Touch up pictures, surf the web and play games; there are even game controllers available for these Android devices so you can get the most from gaming.
The Advantages of Android
Android has many advantages over its competitors, it’s used by many of the leading manufactures, think of Samsung, Sony, LG and HTC to name but a few, all of them use the Android OS, there are also many millions of Android users. This large community of users makes a great audience for app developers so with Android you get an unparalleled selection of applications to chose from and constant development which is typically free to upgrade to.
All this provides the user with a wider range of choices by driving competition, which in turn keeps the prices lower for consumers while also improving the quality of devices and applications.
Currently Android 4.4 is one of the most popular systems however Android 5.0, known as lollipop has been release on a few devices but won’t be widespread until the middle or end of 2015. Each new version of Android brings with it some cool extra features and builds on the ease of use that has helped make it so popular.
Last but by no means is least is the price. A typical desktop or laptop PC will set you back around $500, and that’s for a relatively cheap one, however for a small fraction of this price you can pick up an Android TV Box or Android Stick that usually start from as little as $35. When you add all this up its clear to see that these little devices really are a great deal and let you make the most of your TV by turning it into a smart multimedia hub and communications master for your living room.
Chinavasion has a large selection of Android TV Boxes and Android Sticks to chose from starting at low wholesale costs so whether you’re buying for yourself or to resell you can take advantage of our competitive prices and excellent shipping and drop shipping expertise which ensures a hassle free and swift delivery.