Jide wants to turn Android into a legit desktop computing environment, with its Remix Mini PC
If you want a desktop PC, you're typically going to have to fork over several hundred dollars (Windows OEM licensing alone can make up a significant portion of that). But what if you could turn open-sourced Android into a serviceable desktop OS? That's what Jide is trying to do, with its ultra-cheap Remix Mini PC.
This isn't the first Android PC we've seen, with previous examples like this Barebones Android PC that launched last year and the discreet CoolShip, which looks like nothing more than a keyboard. But the Jide Remix Mini stands out because of its small, stylish form factor and an incredibly affordable starting price (at least during its crowdfunding campaign).
The new Android mini PC will be available in two different configurations. The first one comes with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB of internal storage, while the higher-end model ships with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage.
Aside from the RAM and internal storage, the other specs are the same on both models. There's a 1.2 GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 64-bit processor under the hood, along with two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port that features support for 4K video and an ethernet port. There's also a microSD card slot for more memory should a user need it. For wireless connectivity, users will find 802.11g/b/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
The mini PC also includes a capacitive power button, which makes powering on the PC as simple as tapping the top of the device (see above).
But the Remix OS (the company's custom UI that sits on top of Android Lollipop) is what could make this device worth a look. Like a standard Android device, it can run the myriad mobile apps available for the platform (though the project page says it isn't GMS certified, meaning it may not include the Play Store or other Google apps and services). But unlike your typical tablet or phone, it also has a taskbar, window-based multitasking, and full mouse and keyboard support – the hallmarks of traditional desktop computing.
The computer itself is quite small, measuring 1-inch deep, 4.9 inches long, and 3.5 inches wide (2.54 cm x 12.45 cm x 8.89 cm) – allowing users to add it to their existing setup without requiring much space.
Jide Tech, the company behind the Remix Mini, is seeking funding on Kickstarter. This isn't the firm's first rodeo, as it successfully crowdfunded its Android-running, Surface-esque Jide Remix. The company is now seeking $50,000 for the Remix Mini, and has already nearly doubled that goal with 44 days to go.
While early bird pricing lasts, backers interested in pre-ordering the mini PC can do so for a minimum pledge of $20 for the 1 GB model and $30 for a 2 GB model. After that, the required pledges will jump to, respectively, $30 and $50. The company plans to ship the devices in October of this year. No word yet on what it will ring up for at that point.