2. W95 TV Box
An affordable way to jump on the Android bandwagon
Incredibly cheapNice spec for the priceUSB 2.0 ports
At just over £20 (around $27, AU$35), the W95 is a great introduction to Google’s popular operating system, and it comes with a bundled remote control for those who will be using it for media duties.
This box runs an Amlogic S905W chipset – it’s a quad-core 64-bit system-on-a-chip (ARM Cortex A53) with a Mali 450 GPU. It supports 4K via HDMI 2.0 and can hardware-decode H.265 content. 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage are the minimum you’ll need to get Android 7.1 to run decently. The fact that this device is battery powered means that power management features are kept to a minimum (i.e. the CPU can run as fast as is needed).
Don’t expect too much of it at this price point, though: while the W95 does have a pair of USB ports, they are USB 2.0. As for the LAN port, it is a 100Mbps version. On the positive side, however, this box carries an SPDIF port and a microSD card slot.
4. Cenovo King Kong Mini PC
A flexible videoconferencing solution
4GB of memory and 64GB storageComes with a cameraSlow CPU
Take a mini PC, throw in a camera, and you get the Cenovo King Kong, a diminutive computer that we reviewed not so long ago. It’s powered by Windows 10 which means that you will be able to get either Bluestacks or AMIDuOS to run on it.
Given that it’s priced at just over £110 (around $150, AU$195), one can expect corners to be cut somewhere, especially as it has 4GB of memory and 64GB on-board storage. And indeed this box uses one of the slowest CPUs on the market, the Atom x5-Z8300, and its Ethernet port is a 10/100Mbps model.
Other than that, though, it’s pretty decent: you get four USB 3.0 ports, a card reader, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and that 2-megapixel camera as well. In our hands-on review of the device, we said that it “could prove to be a boon for small and medium businesses looking for a more powerful, more versatile and cheaper version of the Chromebox, with the added bonus of having an integrated camera.”
- Buy the Cenovo King Kong Mini PC here