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iPazzport NC19An android Mini PC Review

Updated on July 16, 2013

Introducing the iPazzport NC19A Android Mini PC

The iPazzport NC19A Android Mini PC is the second Android Mini PC from iPazzport that I am reviewing. The first was the iPazzport Family/Traveler bundle that came with the iPazzPort NC-812-16A Android Mini PC. While it was an innovative bundling of an Android Mini PC, a wireless keyboard and a webcam, the entire package was a bit let down by the underpowered Telechips TCC8925 chipset that powers the Android Mini PC.

iPazzport is following up with their first dual core Android Mini PC that is based on the Rockchip RK3066 chipset - the NC-812-19A (or NC19A for short) Android Mini PC. The RK3066 is a highly popular SoC and it can be found in many other popular Android Mini PCs such as the MK808, UG802 and MK802 III. However the most distinctive feature of the NC19A is actually the external WiFi antenna.

The NC19A WiFi antenna is encased in a transparent green casing and can be flipped away from the body. Since WiFi connectivity is often a problem with these devices, it would be interesting to find out if the design of the NC19A eliminates the WiFi problem.

All images courtesy of Roy Yap and Amazon

Review unit courtesy of

iPazzPort

The Unisen Group, a privately held company formed in 1996, designs, develops and manufactures the iPazzPort line of mini wireless keyboards and a portfolio of Unisen branded products.





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Unisen-USA iPazzPort Mini Android PC HDMI Smart TV Stick (NC-19A) RK3066 Dual Core 1.6Ghz CPU, WiFi N, 1080P HD, 1G RAM, 4G ROM, External Antenna Booster

A Mini Android PC takes the familiar format of your Android Tablet or Smartphone and puts it into a pocket sized computer. By connecting the Mini Android PC to your TV or projector via HDMI you can not only create your own Smart TV; you can create a PERSONAL COMPUTER right on your TV screen!

NC19A box contents
NC19A box contents

Unboxing and First Impressions

The NC19A comes in a very simple packaging. Inside it is the NC19A Android mini PC itself, a short HDMI extension cable, a micro USB cable, a USB power adapter and a simple manual. The NC19A itself comes in a simple white casing with the external antenna encased in a clear green plastic tube. The overall built quality doesn't seem to be as good as some of the other models that I have come across like the Uhost2 and MX1.

The external antenna will be of interest to many as one of the most often seen complaints on the Android mini PCs is poor WiFi reception causing problems such as inability to login to WiFi networks, slow connection speeds and weak WiFi signal even though the device is located right next to the WiFi router.

Some of the users have taken matters into their own hands by modding their devices. They isolated the built-in WiFi antenna and left it dangling outside the casing. I have not personally tried this but those who tried it out reported much better reception and higher connection speeds after the mod.

The NC19A design is similar to the mod except for the extra protection tubing. However, the tubing does look a little fragile and it is likely to break easily if roughly handled.

Other than the presence of the external antenna, the design of the NC19A is quite standard and is very similar to other Android mini PC models. It has a male HDMI connector, a USB 2.0 host port, a micro USB port, a microSD memory expansion slot and a micro USB port for power.

The NC19A also has a button marked as Fn. This is similar to the reset button found on other models but unlike the other models, the button is not hidden and you do not need a paper clip to activate it.

For the purpose of this review, iPazzport has also included the iPazzport KP-810-18V 2.4 GHz RF mini wireless keyboard to be paired with the NC19A. The KP-810-18V comes with a full Qwerty keyboard and touch pad control on one side plus a programmable learning IR remote on the other. It also has a built-in mic and a headphone jack that can be used for voice search or making VOIP calls.

iPazzport NC19A
iPazzport NC19A

iPazzport NC19A Android Mini PC Specification

The earlier model NC16A had a few things going against it but most of the issues stem from the fact that it was powered by a Telechips TCC8925 chipset. The TCC8925 has a Cortex-A5 CPU that is designed as a low cost energy efficient processor for low cost and entry level devices.

Since the Android mini PCs are not battery powered, an energy efficient processor actually doesn't make much sense. Furthermore, being a single core processor, the TCC8925 could not compete processing power wise with the more popular Rockchip RK3066 based models that were widely available.

By upgrading to the RK3066, the NC19A is no longer at a disadvantage when it comes to processor power. It doesn't have extra features such as Bluetooth or built-in webcam but it does have a built-in microphone. Furthermore, for those who are worried about WiFi, the external WiFi antenna can be a huge plus point.

The other hardware features of the NC19A is quite standard compared to other RK3066 based Android mini PCs.

iPAZZPORT NC19A DUAL CORE ANDROID MINI PC TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

> OS - Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)

> Chipset - Rockchip RK 3066, Dual core Cortex A9 processor CPU; Quad core Mali 400, GPU clocked at 250 MHz

> Memory - 1GB DDR3

> Built-in Storage- 4GB NAND Flash

> Network - WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n

> Additional Storage - MicroSD up to 32GB

> Video Formats - MPEG2, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, MKV, MOV, RM, RMVB

> Audio Formats - MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, AAC, FLAC, 3GP

> Photo Formats - JPG, TIF, PNG, BMP

> USB Ports - 1 standard USB 2.0, 1 micro USB for OTG, 1 micro USB for Power

> Size - 4 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches

> Weight - 4 ounces

Best Wireless Keyboards for the iPazzport NC19A Android Mini PC

Best Mini Wireless Keyboards for Android Mini PC
Android Mini PCs have support for both wire and wireless USB keyboards. If you are using the Android Mini PC with your TV in the living room, a wireless keyboard...

Measy Wireless 2.4G Bidirectional Voice Keyboard and Remote Control RC13
Measy Wireless 2.4G Bidirectional Voice Keyboard and Remote Control RC13

This is currently the most popular wireless keyboard for the Android Mini PCs. The RC13 features a built in microphone and speakers.

 
Wireless Touch Keyboard K400
Wireless Touch Keyboard K400

Full sized wireless keyboard with track pad combo. The most popular full sized wireless keyboard among Android mini PC users.

 
Mele Fly Sky remote control with wireless keyboard 2.4 GHz
Mele Fly Sky remote control with wireless keyboard 2.4 GHz

Another great air mouse option is the Mele Fly Sky air mouse. This one has a remote control like buttons on one side and a full QWERTY keyboard on the other side. Recommended.

 
Lenovo Multimedia Remote with Keyboard N5901
Lenovo Multimedia Remote with Keyboard N5901

Another mini wireless keyboard but this one comes with a trackball instead.

 
iPazzPort™ Commander Voice 2.4 Ghz RF Mini Wireless Keyboard and Multi Touchpad with Backlight, Integrated Voice Technology for Speech to Text Functions and Dual Mode Learning IR Remote Control KP-810-18VR
iPazzPort™ Commander Voice 2.4 Ghz RF Mini Wireless Keyboard and Multi Touchpad with Backlight, Integrated Voice Technology for Speech to Text Functions and Dual Mode Learning IR Remote Control KP-810-18VR

Keyboard with touch padOn one side is a full 82 key QWERTY keyboard with backlight while on the other is a learning IR remote for 2 devices. Built in mic and speakers.

 

iPazzport NC19A Android Mini PC Performance

Performance wise, the NC19A is very similar to most RK3066 based Android Mini PCs that I have come across so far like the MK808, UG802, MX1 and Neo G4. Boot up is quick at under 30 seconds and it boots up to a custom launcher screen.

The iPazzport wireless paired with the NC19A with no problems. I could use the track pad to control the on screen cursor. The keyboard is RF based and I can control from about 15 feet away but it is rated for 30 feet or 10m.

Setting up the NC19A only requires setting up WiFi and signing up my Google account. I launched the Google Play Store and I encountered a problem. There were no apps listed on the store. I wasn't just seeing a restricted store. I have come across limited Play Store versions that are restricted to apps that are available in China as they are region locked. But I wasn't able to access the store at all on the NC19A.

I contacted iPazzport about the problem and they informed me that it is a bug. A few days later, iPazzport sent me an updated ROM and instructions on how to update the ROM. The ROM update process is quite similar to the process that I outlined for RK3066 devices in my "Firmware and Linux Update Guide for RK3066 Android Mini PC" article.

The updated ROM fixed the Google Play Store bug and allowed me to access the entire store. Kudos to iPazzport for coming up the fix in such a short time.

WiFi connectivity

One of the main sources of complaint for the Android Mini PC devices is WiFi problems. Users have complained of non-functioning WiFi; difficulties in logging into WiFi networks; poor WiFi signal even though the device is located right next to the WiFi router; and slow connection speeds.

A few of the Android Mini PC produces have taken note of this and have introduced designs to fix the WiFi problems. For example, the MK812 Android Mini PC has a connector for an external WiFi antenna.

The NC19A has gone for an external WiFi antenna design as well but the antenna is fixed to the unit can cannot be removed. Since it is not removable, it is difficult to determine how much help is the design in improving WiFi connectivity.

I must say however that I did not experience any connection drops or poor WiFi speeds while testing out the NC19A. I had no problems streaming HD content via both Netflix and YouTube. Although it is purely subjective as I did not make any measurements or testing but I would rate the WiFi connection better than both the MK808 and UG802.

Video playback and streaming

As briefly mentioned above, I had no problems streaming HD content on both Netflix and YouTube. I also tried out the default and generically named Video Player app and it could play all my test files except for one MP43 codec encoded file. This file seems to snag the default player on all the RK3066 based devices I've tested so far.

However, you can always download one of the other many video players available out there. I highly recommend MX Player as it supports hardware decoding for most video formats and should you decide to install XBMC, it can be incorporated as an external video player.

Other observations

I will not go into detail on how other apps perform on the NC19A. The dual core RK3066 CPU is quite a powerful processor. It is not as powerful as the quad core CPUs that are powering the latest smartphones on the market today but it is easily as powerful as the Samsung Galaxy SII, a very popular phone that is just one generation older than the even more popular Samsung Galaxy SIII.

With the above in mind, the NC19A is quite a decent performer for tasks that you will normally use an Android Mini PC for such as web browsing, social networking, gaming and even using it as a bittorrent rig. The NC19A does not run hot as it is a very low powered device.

Conclusion

Conclusion
Conclusion

The NC19A is quite a late comer to the dual core Android Mini PC bandwagon. One of the earliest models, the MK808 has been around for about 6 months now which is eons ago considering the pace of technology. Quad core based models have already started appearing on the shelves.

There is nothing wrong with the NC19A and if you are looking for a dual core Android Mini PC that is decent performer with good WiFi connectivity, it is a good choice. If you are looking for cutting edge technology then you should probably give the NC19A a miss.

The Good

  • External WiFi antenna helps with improving WiFi quality.
  • Fast boot up.
  • Decent looking and functional custom browser.
  • Fast response from iPazzport in fixing Google Play Store bug.

The Bad

  • No Bluetooth support.
  • The build quality is not as good as the competition.
  • No outstanding features to make it stand out from the competition apart from the external antenna.

The Ugly

  • The fear of the plastic antenna tubing snapping off whenever I am plugging or unplugging it from the TV.

Unisen-USA iPazzPort Mini Android PC HDMI Smart TV Stick (NC-19A) RK3066 Dual Core 1.6Ghz CPU, WiFi N, 1080P HD, 1G RAM, 4G ROM, External Antenna Booster

A Mini Android PC takes the familiar format of your Android Tablet or Smartphone and puts it into a pocket sized computer. By connecting the Mini Android PC to your TV or projector via HDMI you can not only create your own Smart TV; you can create a PERSONAL COMPUTER right on your TV screen!

Let us know what you think of the iPazzport NC19A

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    • royyap profile image
      Author

      royyap 3 years ago

      @Steve1984: My apologies. Now I understand. There are a couple of methods that might work. The first is RKRemoteControl and the other is Droidmote. I am not 100% sure that it'll work on the NC19A but you can try them out.

    • profile image

      Steve1984 3 years ago

      :(

      i wanted actually to control my tv through the nc19a with my phone.

      is another way i can do it with my smartphone ? my tv is a samsung sq04.

      thanks in advance!!

    • royyap profile image
      Author

      royyap 3 years ago

      @Steve1984: The NC19A works with a TV, not a smartphone or tablet. Your S3 already runs on Android so it makes no sense to connect the NC19A to it.

    • profile image

      Steve1984 3 years ago

      Hello,

      I just received NC19A and everything seems to be OK except that i cannot find an APP to use it via my mobile. I have a Galaxy S3.I have tried downloading many APPS but no one recognized the dongle and i could not make it work. Any ideas? I need your help..

      Thank you!!!

      Steve

    • royyap profile image
      Author

      royyap 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I have not tried a USB ethernet adapter on this model so I am not 100% sure it is supported. Please refer to this YouTube video on setting it up - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrJ_X82bRoA

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      On my device there is no switch in settings for ethernet. When I plug in usb to ethernet adapter it lights up but there is no way to enable it

    • royyap profile image
      Author

      royyap 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Generally BT dongles are not recognized but there have been reports that it works. No hard trying but if you really need BT, get one that has built-in BT.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nice review! Do you think a tiny usb bluetooth dongle will work with the nc19A? I could then use a bluetooth mouse/keyboard ? Just wondering...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @royyap: I tried your advice but it seems that the software is screwed,cause I have an ubuntu OS on my micro sd card and it worked out fine,the wifi connects and is stable. So I might as well install ubuntu instead on the unit. Thanks anyway.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I just received my package of the device and tried it first on my Sony HDTV and at first it worked fine with some of the features working except for the google play store which at first I didn't mind cause once I get to see it works on my living room tv it might work in my work room. Once I was able to set it up for my Samsung LCD HDTV the problem came,there was no wifi connection and it always tells me to turn it on. and the wifi antenna sign is gone. Evrytime I go go to the web it says no connection and I have to turn it on again,every time I leave the setting page the wifi turns off,what seems to be the problem?

    • royyap profile image
      Author

      royyap 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Try using an external power adapter instead of plugging it into your TV's USB port for power. That will at least get it out of the USB mode.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @royyap: How do you reflash the firmware ? I tried changing the powersource and no dice. It was connected to the usb on my bravia tv and now it seems to be stuck on usb mode :(

    • royyap profile image
      Author

      royyap 4 years ago

      @anonymous: If it worked before and now it isn't but you have not changed anything, your device might be busted. Try changing the power source. Next, try reflashing the firmware.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hey just wondering if you have any troubleshooting tips for the device ? Today when i turned it on it didn't start up and its showing me a black background on the screen with the android character laying down and an exclamation mark (doesn't bring me to homescreen) its been like that for 3hrs now and ipazzport hasn't bothered to get back to me.thanks

    • royyap profile image
      Author

      royyap 4 years ago

      @Blackspaniel1: No, I guess not everyone needs one of these. I'm not sure if I need one of these as well but the geek in me just couldn't resist :)

    • Iftikhar-Hussain profile image

      Iftikhar-Hussain 4 years ago

      good read .. Thanks for share :)

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 4 years ago

      Just have no need for one