Author Topic: Yet another ARM based mini-PC that can run Android & Ubuntu - Mele A1000  (Read 58967 times)

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Online Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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I like the look of this (Mele A1000) :) .. larger than the Raspberry Pi, but neater, and with a more powerful ARM A10 (Allwinner) chip - a 400-pin, 1.2GHz Cortex A8 ARM core with a MALI400MP OpenGL ES 2.0 GPU.

Quote
The A10 chip also boasts 2160p hardware-accelerated video playback and a NAND Flash controller capable of eight-way concurrent direct memory access.

The unit comes with the Android 2.3 operating system, and is generally positioned as a media device for streaming video or running apps on a TV. An SD card slot and USB ports further expand the possibilities, however, and an external SATA port and Ethernet are also listed among its specifications.


Though it's an Android device, apparently it can be booted from an SD card .. so can easily boot Ubuntu too :)

Available for $70 .. if you add the $35.48 (FedEX) delivery, and convert to Pounds Sterling (GBP) .. you get £65.45 (at current exchange rates) .. though I'd prefer that it was available within the UK  :-\

The unit is hackable, and comes with instructions .. here's a video of it running Android, then booting Ubuntu from an SD card:-


The box connections:
1. Video output - HDMI, CVBS, VGA .
2. Audio output - R+L, SPDIF
3. Usb host port + SDCard slot.
4. External SATA port (real SATA not from usb)
5. Ethernet.

Internal board has:
1. UART port connector.
2. USB device port connector
3. MIC pin
4. CVBS-IN pin.

Links -
http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm/532332455-Mele-A1000-TV-box-Allwinner-A10-hackable-device-wholesalers.html
(including Pics of the internals)
and
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/254097/70_arm_pc_can_run_android_and_ubuntu_linux.html

There is also a Mele A2000 (same thing but with extra NAND Flash, 4GB compared to 2GB) for an extra $5 here:
http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm/546571245-Mele-A2000-TV-box-Allwinner-A10-hackable-device-wholesalers.html

I must add though .. I have never used Alibaba.com, and you'd be purchasing from outside the UK, so I have no idea if they are trustworthy or not  :o
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 04:45:12 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline SeZo

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That looks good.
I was actually looking at Sumvision Nano1 (UK sourced) http://www.svp.co.uk/product.php?product=MTE-01130#reviews
Bit more expensive and less powerful but it has Wifi. I do not know how hackable it would be but as it is Android, there is always a chance

Online Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Yeh, Wifi would be nice :)

I'd like sommat that can "definitely" run Ubuntu though .. for the time being, I'll probably hold off .. I suppose sommat will appear over here eventually.

That said, I haven't checked if Alibaba.com accept paypal, which gives you at least a modicum of cover.

[EDIT]

I also like the inclusion of the VGA port on the Mele(s) :)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 05:25:04 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Online Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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It'll certainly be worth watching what people manage to do with the Sumvision though .. thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Anyone else got any other suggestions, or spotted something similar that can run a full Linux distro (preferably Ubuntu/Mint/Peppermint) ?

Besides the Raspeberry Pi and FXI Cotton Candy ..
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 05:28:59 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline BkS

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This looks good. I wonder how fast it would be with a server edition of Ubuntu on it. :o
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Offline SeZo

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It'll certainly be worth watching what people manage to do with the Sumvision though .. thanks for bringing it to my attention.


As the origin of the Sumvision Nano appears to be the Geniatech Enjoy TV (ATV310) it might be worth watching out for that too
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Enjoy-TV-ATV310-Android-Box/dp/B007MX5VVQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1334951313&sr=8-2

Also it appears that it generated some interest over at XBMC forum (post #704 just below the post about the Mele A1000)
 http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=35139&pid=1079102#pid1079102

Online Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Hmm .. Interesting, and bookmarked ;) .. Thanks.

I'm kinda right on the verge of splashing out, but can't make my mind up which way to jump .. it's driving me nuts .. there seem to be a raft of similar devices coming out, and I know it makes sense to wait and see which ones fly and which don't .. but I want a new toy NOW  :o

What I want (ideally) .. a pair of cheap devices that I can have a play with (and hopefully not break), that if/when my excitement wanes, I can pass on to the kids for use as a reasonable Linux PC with their HD TV's as the monitors.

I'm fed up with fixing laptops, so something that lives next to their TV's rather than being bounced around their bedrooms suits me fine :)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 09:27:16 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline SeZo

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Quote
What I want (ideally) .. a pair of cheap devices that I can have a play with (and hopefully not break)

Then the CuBox is for you: http://www.solid-run.com/products
Not exactly cheap at 99 Euros + shipping from Israel, but it comes with a recovery system

Quote
Bricking a product (software wise) is a common mistake developers do. The product incorporates features that can recover the system, without the use of JTAG, even if the boot loader was completely erased.

and you can install Ubuntu on it.
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/12/meet-cubox-a-tiny-arm-powered-media-centre-capable-of-running-ubuntu/
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 07:13:23 pm by SeZo »

Online Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Hey, another one to add to the list :) .. I like the idea of it being easily recoverable, but as you say, a bit on the expensive side (as that doesn't include P&P (dunno about tax), and not available ATM.

Same thing with the FXI Cotton Candy, very nice spec, but way overpriced .. £139.00 (Excl. tax and shipping)

Both pre-order only ATM, but more to keep an eye on, which can only be a good thing :)

Keep em coming, if anyone spots any we've missed :)
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Offline SeZo

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OK. It looks like not many are interested in taking up your challenge.

Here is one more Arm device.
D2Plug apparently it runs ubuntu: http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/p-53-d2-plug.aspx
Unlike the others, this is available at £170.00 + delivery (no idea of tax)
Unfortunately the prices are going up and up :(
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 11:08:50 pm by SeZo »

Online Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Thanks for that  .. though I was aware of those, and even considered buying one a while ago, I *didn't* realise you could get Ubuntu onto them :)

I could have sworn I'd done a write-up on the D2, Dream plug, and something else (can't remember) on this forum .. but it seems it must have been elsewhere.

I'd have expected their price to have dropped by now .. IIRC the reason I didn't buy one was that the Raspberry Pi development had been announced so I thought I'd wait and see .. I'm regretting not pre-ordering a Pi (or two), but I *have* registered an "interest".

I'm hoping if/when Pi production can match demand, the price of all these devices will tumble.

Quote from: SeZo
OK. It looks like not many are interested in taking up your challenge.

Look like you're right :(
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 11:36:50 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline SeZo

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I think you will be in for a long wait for the Raspberry Pi. ;)
Specially that they have passed the CE test as well http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/978

Online Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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I'm not so much waiting for the Pi .. just hoping it forces the others to drop their prices .. though if I can get one (or two) all the better :)

I thought they'd already mailed out the first batch of Pi's, and were awaiting the next lot ?

[EDIT]
Yup, that's what they are saying .. though they've stopped pre-ordering ATM.

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/generalDisplay.html?id=raspberrypi
and
http://downloads.element14.com/raspberryPi1.html?isRedirect=true
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 11:54:44 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline SeZo

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Hmm.  I thought they making them when there is spare capacity (to keep the price down), not necessarily to keep up with the demand
Raspberry Pi pre-orders hit 350,000 http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2169068/raspberry-pi-pre-hit-350

Online Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Ahh .. that makes sense .. lets hope there's lots of spare capacity then ;)

Maybe this is a scam to get other device manufacturers to make sure there ISN'T spare capacity at the plant(s), if you get my meaning  :o <-- Kidding, but there have been such scams before.

But *if* it drives the prices of other devices down .. who care .. and it *does" seem to be having that effect, if released last year I reckon the Mele would have been twice the price :)

Hopefully the Chinese will now bring out a raft of cheap similar devices .. and hopefully someone over here will become a distributor.

I may take the risk on one of the Mele's .. if I wait till someone becomes a distributor over here, they'll add £40 to the price for sure.

But come on people .. don't leave SeZo to do the work alone .. anyone else spotted anything ?
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 12:15:01 am by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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