The world of modern computing has absolutely reinvented itself in just the last four or five years, to the point where most of us are using tools and technologies that we never before thought possible – and are almost taking them for granted today.
The age old “desktop” PC is becoming more and more extinct across the board, with people focusing instead on netbooks, ultra-books, tablets, and smart phones to do the bulk of their computing on. This has completely and totally change the landscape of computers forever, and while it is still absolutely impossible to fully understand aware computing is headed in the future we do know what things are trending towards.
The PC of the future is going to be ridiculously small but ridiculously powerful, and may not run a “traditional” operating system like Windows or the Mac OS. It may or may not have dedicated keyboards or mice and instead might opt for a touchscreen – or use some other remote control capabilities – and it will likely interface with the overwhelming majority of tools and technologies that we use each and every single day.
If you really want to see what the future of the PC really is, though, you’ll need to look no further than the Android Mini PC solutions that are being produced right now.
What is an Android Mini PC?
The Android operating system has absolutely turn the world on its head after first being released into the wild by Google.
Initially created to be a rival mobile operating system that would go toe to toe with the iOS platform created by Apple for their iPhone, iPad, and iPod products, Android has turned into something else entirely.
Today, Android powers literally hundreds of millions of tablets and smartphones across the globe – but it also powers a number of new and excitingly innovative Android Mini PC solutions.
These Mini PC Android products are nothing at all like the traditional PC, and are in fact surprisingly similar to your pretty typical and “vanilla” thumb drive – aside for the sheer volume of brains and capabilities that they have inside.
Top-of-the-line Android Mini PC solutions have high-speed processors, at least 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB or more of flash storage, as well as wireless and Bluetooth connectivity – not to mention the ability to be jacked directly into a HDMI or USB 3.0 port.
Useful as media centers or media players – but capable of so much more – this is just one avenue that the traditional PC world is going to wander down in the years to come.
Choose the Best Android Mini PC
When it comes to finding the very best Android Mini PC for your specific solution, there are any different number of things that you need to focus on moving forward.
First and foremost, you really need to understand what you want to use this mini PC for in the first place. Some of these solutions have been created exclusively to act as a “smart TV replacement”, whereas others are capable of more heavy lifting when it comes to the computing side of things. Until you know exactly what you want to use your Android Mini PC for, you run the risk of buying the wrong one.
All the information above considered, here are some of the very best Android Mini PC solutions available on the market right now!
6 of the Best Android Mini PCs in 2016
PROBOX2 EX Smart TV Box Mini PC Android & Media Streaming Player
The Probox2 EX is a fully functional android driven all-purpose digital media player and gaming machine with a total price of $140.00. Probox2 EX offers a 4K Media Player combined with an Android TV box. Additionally you can access the internet using the Probox2 EX the same way you can on a tablet or smartphone to: check email, Facebook, watch streaming video from such services as Youtube, Skype, Netflix and Hulu, listen to music, play any number of games from the Google Play store. The remote + that comes with the Probox2 EX allows for air mouse functions as well as doubles for a gaming pad.
Probox2 is available on Amazon.
MINIX NEO X8-H (X8H) Smart TV Box Mini PC & Media Streaming Player
The Minix Neo X8-H offers some of the best in in home streaming and video playing capability. With the Minix Neo X8-H you have access to a complete version of the Android OS in additional to such streaming features like Youtube, Skype, Netflix, and Hulu. Also you will get access to Google Play and can play your favorite games right from home using the Air Fly GyroMouse included with purchase. Additionally you will have access to both Facebook and XBMC to play all of your major digital formats; MKV, MP4, OGG, AVI, and MP3.. You can purchase the Minix Neo X8-H starting at $154.00.
MINIX Neo X8-H is available on Amazon.
Tronsmart Draco AW80 Meta Allwinner A80 OctaCore TV Box
The Tronsmart Draco Aw80 is a powerhouse of a digital TV device with its advanced OctaCore processor you can stream from your favorite network streaming services Youtube, Plex, Netflix and Hulu Plus. This device runs on the Android 4.4 with all available Android features such and Google Play. Additionally it supports various file formats such as MKV, WMV, MPG, MPEG, DAT, AVI, MOV, ISO, MP4, RM, and JPG for quick and easy viewing of downloaded pictures and movies as well as music files. Also with a USB web cam you can video chat using the Tronsmart Draco Aw80 though both Skype and Google Hangout. The Tronsmart Draco Aw80 will cost you around $149.00.
Tronsmart Draco AW80 can be purchased at Amazon.
OURSPOP® RKM MK902II RK3288 Quad Core Mini PC Android TV Player
The Ourspop RKM MK902II is the latest in digital TV boxes with an Android 4.4 OS you get access to all the great features of an Android device right on your TV including Google Play. Also the Ourspop RKM MK902II supports the majority of web apps like HTML5 and Flash11. Additionally with the built in USB you can view movies and listen to music from any USB device. Starting at $136.00 the Ourspop RKM MK902II also supports Miracast to allow the quick and easy transfer between devices. Watch your favorite TV shows using any of the supported streaming services like HBOGO.
OURSPOP® RKM MK902II is available on Amazon.
Keedox Dual Core Android 4.2 Smart TV Box XBMC Media Player
A complete media player as far as miniature Android PC’s are concerned, this is a dedicated system that will feel right at home in your living room. Coming complete with the Android 4.2 operating system (optimized for 1080p high-definition playback with XBMC, Netflix, and a number of other options) don’t be surprised if it turns your “dumb” TV into a smart one!
Rikomagic RKM MK902-16G Google Android TV Box Mini PC
A bit more robust than the many Android PC above, this version comes complete with a quad core processor (clocking in at 1.6 GHz) but also runs Android 4.2. With 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of “hard drive space”, and a built in five megapixel camera and microphone – as well as Wi-Fi connectivity – this is a powerhouse PC in a tiny footprint.
Q: My Mini PC Android runs hot after awhile.
Any mini pc runs hot after executing intense tasks such as playing 3D game or streaming HD movies. There is no set amount of how long a device run until it is shutdown automatically. Sometimes it is 3 or 4 hours, sometimes the device can run fine for a day.
The solution many find it useful is to mod your dongle with heat sinks to cool it down. My suggestion is Cosmos Cooling Heatsinks cooler. You can find it on Amazon.
Q: My TV doesn’t have a built-in speaker. How do I connect the mini pc to external speaker?
Some Android PCs can only output audio via HDMI port so there will be no sound from your TV without built-in speaker. The solution is to choose a mini pc which supports 3.5mm audio jack.
Q: How to disable onscreen keyboard while using Bluetooth keyboard?
There is an app called Null Keyboard on Google Play Store. Install the app then switch default keyboard to the Null Keyboard. It can be downloaded at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wparam.nullkeyboard&hl=en.
Q: What USB or Bluetooth keyboard do you suggest to use with an Android PC?
All mini pc android support every USB and Bluetooth 2.4 GHz RF keyboards out there. Most common keys are supported by Android.
Q: I want to dual boot Linux and Android. How to do it?
It is possible to install dual boot. What you need to do is to install an Linux image on the external SD card. Linux will be booted from this external SD card. To switch back to Android, remove the SD card.
Supported Linux OSes: Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu , Fedora and Puppy Linux.
Q: Can I force an app to be displayed in landscape mode and vice versa?
Try Ultimate Rotation Control. This app can force landscape or portrait mode on any apps and games.
Q: Can I use a gamepad with Android pc for games?