“Less is more.” We’ve heard it before from countless companies. It’s a philosophy that is either used successfully to filter out unneeded and wasteful junk to create an efficient and useful product, or a way to cut corners in every possible way and end up with a stripped and useless result. Jide, the company behind the Remix Mini Kickstarter project, is doing a good job of convincing me that their newest venture might just fit into the former category; especially when the “less” part also refers to a ridiculously low price for what they are selling.
A PC for $20 is easily, impulse-buy territory; even one running a modified version of Android. That is no way a stab at the OS by the way, it is just not one we often equate with a full-fledged PC. For that very reason, Jide has reworked the software and added features to make it look and function more like something you would expect from a desktop experience, while still giving you full access to all the Android Apps through the Google Play Store. They call it Remix OS, it’s built on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop, and it brings elements like multi-window support for true multitasking, their own file and email managers, and some mouse and keyboard functions that should make this more of a productivity tool.
“With its multitude of productivity oriented features combined with over 1.5 million apps, Remix OS seamlessly merges functionality, ease of use, and beauty in amazing ways to give you an unforgettable Android experience.”
Before looking into nuts and bolts that power the Remix Mini, I am inclined to credit the thought that went into the overall design. Right now we only have claims and images to judge, but if they are accurate, a lot of thought and care went into making this functional, attractive and affordable. In most cases you’d be lucky to find two of those in the same package. The Mini is a 5″ x 3.5” pebble-shaped device with a capacitive power button on the top, allowing you to simply tap it to turn it on; a nice touch. It’s simple, alluring and unobtrusive. On the back you will find a surprising amount of useful ports in the form of HDMI, USB, Ethernet, and headphone jack. It even houses a micro-SD slot. It is however slightly disappointing that that the USB is only 2.0 and the power port is proprietary. Neither is a deal breaker however, especially at this price point.
Inside, Jide went with a 1.2Ghz quad-core Cortex-A52(64bit) processor from Allwiner, 1GB RAM, and 8GB memory. There is a version available for $20 more that doubles the RAM and memory to 2GB and 16GB respectively. Jide claims the OS runs smoothly on either configuration, but recommends the upgraded one for more intensive productivity tasks. Both models have WiFi (802.11 b/b/n; no ac support here), and Bluetooth 4.0.
“The typical desktop computer clocks in at anywhere between 65 to 250 watts. Remix Mini gives you the same power of desktop computing at a mere 10 watts. By simply leveraging already existing power efficiencies found in mobile CPU architectures, Remix Mini is able to save you so much more in power without sacrificing anything in performance. “ -Jide
If this all sounds like a great little package for the asking price, and by all means it should, head over to Jide’s Kickstarter Page here: Remix Mini Kickstarter. Read up on the project and the company, and then pick the model that suits your needs. And if you are someone that understandably has some some concerns with Kickstarter, you can rest a bit easier knowing that this is not Jide’s first campaign. They recently and successfully shipped a Remix Ultra tablet they funded in early 2015. Reading the mostly positive reviews it seems that besides some minor shipping bumps, the tablet and Remix OS was very well received.
Disclaimer: I fully plan to support this project and will try and get a review up once I have my hands on one.Source: Kickstarter
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