31
May
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Have you ever considered using Android as your desktop OS? According to CNET, Acer wants you to, as it plans to announce a new all-in-one PC that forgoes Microsoft's OS for Google's free offering. The Acer AIO is said to pack a fourth generation Intel Core i5 chip – which is based on the Haswell architecture – so the unit should be pretty powerful and snappy.

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The real allure to this new offering, however, isn't what's under the hood – it's the price. Acer is shooting for a $400-ish price range, making this one affordable PC. Unfortunately, a price that low also leads to tradeoffs in the hardware department – the AIO is expected to ship with a meager 1GB of RAM and as little as 8GB of internal storage, which simply isn't enough for the majority of users.

If the internal storage is bumped up to at least 32GB, however, this unit could potentially make a decent web browsing/time killing station for someone who doesn't require a lot from their PC. Android actually translates fairly well to the larger screen of a desktop, though something like ASUS' Transformer AiO is, in my opinion, a much more well-rounded, versatile solution for anyone who wishes to run Android as a desktop operating system. At thrice the cost of Acer's offering, though, it may be more difficult for many users to justify the cost.

The Acer AIO is expected to be announced next week, most likely at Computex in Taipei.

[CNET]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Drayon

    So they put a 150$ cpu in it and skimp on the rest? I can't see how that could possibly go wrong..

    • Ben

      Seriously. Bump the price $200, give it plenty of storage, bump up the construction quality, and you've got a real winner.

      • milksop held

        and 3 GB more ram

        • Ben

          One more, anyhow. 3GB on Android is a waste at present. 2GB does give a nice smoothness to it compared to 1GB though.

          • milksop held

            But this is basically a PC substitute so will have to do more tasks then normal android phones or tablets

          • Ben

            Wake me when those apps come out. /snooze

          • milksop held

            Emulators, DSI and dolphin will need this much power to run well

          • Ben

            An edge case better served by an actual gaming PC.

          • milksop held

            OK, well ill go back to when you said '3 gigs is a waste on android at present' this is true but as this is a PC its not likely to get updated as often as people update tablets and phones so its more likely it will have a longer lifespan and be around when android apps need 3gb ram

          • Ben

            That probably makes more sense, but this is Acer we're talking about - unless Google is providing the software updates this probably won't be around that long.

          • milksop held

            I think as long as it at least gets klp, with those specs ( except for the ram) it could have a longish life

    • ssj4Gogeta

      CNET have updated the article, it's a TI 4430.

  • Simon Boulet

    Does that mean it is a x86 (or x64) version of Android? If yes, were can I get one to test.

    • Spittie
      • Jason Rittenhouse

        Those are both test releases in alpha/beta stages (according to their release notes, I haven't tried them but have been following them). What does Acer have its hands on that is stable enough for an OEM to release on a product?

        • milksop held

          Its Acer, as long as it runs it will be sold

        • Spittie

          I can't say for sure, but I guess it will run something developed by intel, like the RAZR i. I tough the RAZR i was running android-ia, or something based on it.

  • andy_o

    Holy disproportionate specs, Batman.

    It's a 3GHz 84-freaking-W quad-core CPU running Android. What a waste of power. The only thing that would make it not a waste is if the rest of the hardware would let you install full Windows 8, but this has in storage space what such a computer should have in RAM alone.

    • milksop held

      Ikr rediculous

    • Ben

      It's most likely a dual-core mobile Core i5. in the 17-25W range

      • andy_o

        Check the source.

        • Ben

          OK I see it now, but that's crazy talk for something that looks like a bog-standard mITX thin chassis. Most of the time you're not getting more than 65W CPUs in there.

          • andy_o

            Apparently it's also an LGA1150 part as well, which is baffling. If the CNET article is not mistaken, it probably is an ATX-class board with its own custom power supply.

          • Ben

            Well they make mITX Thin boards with 1155 sockets now, so I guess that wouldn't be terribly weird. Gigabyte just released a couple, and Intel has a couple on Newegg as well, they just recommend no hotter than 65W CPUs.

  • Niall Murray

    Until google let OEM's implement proper multitasking or implement it themselves android won't be a viable replacement for Windows/Linux/mac. Maybe with KLP?

  • Jose Torres

    Cloud computing can justify low disk space but why only 1 GB of RAM? I'm not too familiar with the Haswell architecture, is that x86?

    • andy_o

      Haswell is the next-gen ultrabook/mainstream/high-end architecture of Intel. Yes, it's x86, and it's not even out yet. The CPU here is not even one of the ultrabook ones, which AFAIK go down to like 17W (or maybe 10 for Haswell). It's not even a laptop one (up to 35W or so), apparently it's equivalent to a pretty beefy desktop part, at 84W.

      • Jose Torres

        Not bad, so as far as I know this would be the first x86 port of Android in a production PC? I'm hoping it has a touchscreen too.

  • selonmoi

    Terrible. A gig of RAM is not enough anymore. All that CPU will be wasted constantly restarting everything whenever you switch apps.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

      While it's certainly not up to what the new phones are coming out with I still think 1 gb is alright. I don't know why they wouldn't make it 2gb to normalize it with new phones.

  • Deadgrizzly

    I think ud be better off buying an android TV hdmi dongle. You can get one from play.Com for 50 pound

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    I remember reading earlier on this year (and I think it was only about a month ago) that Google were working hard to make Android useable on Laptops and PC's. The article said something like it is expected to be around Fall (Autumn) that something is released - but that other manufacturers wanted to get something out into the market before then - so I believe that Android will be more Laptop/Desktop friendly in the very near future - in which case we will see a lot more of these types of devices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wesley.modderkolk Wesley Modderkolk

    Such a device might be low on specs and not serve a actual computer well, but such a device might be useful in stores.

    I dont know what size the screen would be and it's resolution, but a $400 dollar device would be very useful, certainly compared to the $2000 Panasonic huge tablet.

    • Goldenpins

      I agree, I just hope they would be smart enough to actually put a decent screen and not low quality, It makes the difference because you stare at the thing 100% of the time.

  • Carl_Barlson

    Honestly since it is a desktop you should be able to take it apart to some degree and add more ram and a decent SSD.

  • ElfirBFG

    I know the i5 is going to be faster than my RAZR's SoC, but I still think I'd put the $400 toward a new handset and just keep the RAZR hooked up to a TV/monitor and use Webtop before I'd buy a $400 Android PC.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/moneta.mace Mace Moneta

    I've begun seeing articles like this that indicate manufacturers are going to start selling Intel/Android PCs. I suggest that, if you are interested, you wait.

    While Android itself runs well on x86 Intel PCs (I have Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean in a virtual machine), the problem is apps. Many - most I checked - use the Android NDK (native development kit), which means that they have ARM code in the application. As a result, the apps are not available / compatible with Android-x86.

    The Android NDK allows compilation to x86, but until developers start building for both platforms, many apps will only run on ARM.

    • ssj4Gogeta

      If Atom can do on-the-fly binary translation, so can Haswell. But it's not a Haswell chip, CNET have updated their article to say that it's a TI OMAP 4430.

  • partzman2

    Just saw that CNET has updated this article. Here is the info the pasted:

    Updated on May 31 at 1:35 p.m. PDT: corrects processor. Though the system as listed on reseller sites was confirmed with Acer on Thursday, those specs are incorrect. Resellers are incorrectly showing the AIO with an Intel 4430 processor. It is a Texas Instruments 4430 ARM chip.

    Guess we'll have to wait for x86 Android machine from the OEMs.