New Uhost2 Dual Core Android Mini PC
Introducing the new Uhost2 Dual Core Android Mini PC
The next generation of Android Mini PC has arrived. First it was the UG802. And then came the MK808. Now, Smallart, the developer of the Uhost Android Mini PC has announced the soon to be available, Uhost2 Dual Core Android Mini PC.
(Update Nov 2012) The Uhost2 has been released and is available for sale from selected retailers online.
Like the UG802 and MK808, the Uhost2 will be based on the dual core Cortex A9 Rockchip RK3066 chipset with Mali-400MP4 GPU. The RK3066 has proven to be a fast performer delivering Samsung Galaxy S2 class performance.
The Uhost came off as a device with a well thought of design that came with additional features that brought value and not just as bullet points in a feature list.
So what are the new features that the new Uhost2 Dual Core Android Mini PC that distinguishes it from the rest of the crowd?
All images courtesy of Smallart Limited and W2COMP
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Uhost 2 Dual Core Android TV Box Mini PC RK3066 Cortex-A9 1GB RAM 4G ROM
This is the basic Uhost2 model without Bluetooth and the optional controller.
Uhost2 Dual Core Android Mini PC Specifications
I have already revealed that the Uhost2 is based on the Rockchip RK3066 chipset but you may be interested to know that the CPU will be running at the full 1.6 GHz that the RK3066 is capable of.
(Update Nov 2012) According to the final released specs, the Uhost2 is clocked at 1.4 GHz and not 1.6 GHz. This is still faster than any other RK3066 based Android dongle running on the stock ROM.
System memory remains at 1GB DDR3 but the built-in memory is available at 4, 8, 16 or even 32GB sizes. These are the options that Smallart is offering to the resellers but it is unknown at this point if any of the resellers will be offering the higher memory options to their customers. Users still has the option to increase storage memory via a TF card slot that supports Micro SD cards up to 32GB size.
Network connection is via Wireless LAN 802.11 b/g/n. Perhaps of interest to a lot of people is that Bluetooth is an option. Smallart is offering a version with Bluetooth but it is up to the retailers to decide if they want to order the version with Bluetooth or not.
The Uhost2 will come with Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) just like its predecessor but there is an option to upgrade it to Android 4.1 (Jellybean) in the future.
As for the I/O ports, the Uhost2 will come with 2 full sized USB 2.0 ports and a micro USB port. The micro USB port will be used for charging and a micro USB cable plus a 5V 2A power adapter will be included.
The extra USB port comes in handy when connecting to USB devices as you can now connect to 2 devices without the need for a USB hub.
The Uhost2 has abandoned the built-in HDMI connector on the Uhost and replaced it with a female HDMI 1.4 socket. A HDMI cable will be included with the unit.
Overall the design seems to be sleeker with the ports and buttons all moved to the ends of the device. There are no other button, port or ventilation holes on any of the other surfaces except for a single power led on the top of the unit. In my opinion, the Uhost2 looks really classy.
There is also an update to the optional air mouse remote control now known as the Umouse2. The built in mic has been moved from the device itself to the air mouse controller.
In my review of the Uhost, I mentioned that the built-in mic was not sensitive enough for certain applications as the mic is located too far away from the usual couch bound user.
By transferring the mic to the Umouse2, this is no longer a problem. However, this also means that if you did not purchase the optional air mouse, there is no built in mic and you need to rely on a USB mic as the 3.5mm mic input port seems to have been removed as well.
As for the buttons on the air mouse controller, there are only 9 buttons but all the essential ones for the Android user interface are there including the search, back, menu and home button.
There is also a mic toggle button to toggle the mic and a power toggle button to turn the Uhost2 on and off.
I believe that the Uhost2 will be the first and only Android Mini PC device to offer the functionality of powering the device on and off remotely from a controller if this is true.
All the other models that have tested so far only supports powering off with a software button at most but there is no way to power it back on again using a controller. The only way to switch the unit back on is to disconnect and reconnect the power.
Read my hands on review of the Uhost2 (Probox2) Dual Core Rockchip RK3066 Android Mini PC and the motion controlled Umouse2 controller.
Best deals on USB wireless keyboard combos that work with the Uhost2
An ideal accessory to add to an Android Mini PC is a wireless keyboard which allows you to control the Uhost2 from a distance. While the Uhost2 has an air mouse controller as an optional accessory, if you plan to browse the web a lot, it might be a good idea to get a controller with a full QWERTY keyboard as keying in text using the air mouse controller is a slow and tedious process.
Best Mini Wireless Keyboards for Android Mini PC
Check out my review of the range of Rii, iPazzPort and FAVI mini wireless keyboards that work great with the Android TV dongle devices.
Portable USB 2.4GHz Wireless Air Fly Mouse Multi Keyboard for PC (Black)
This keyboard is an air mouse type keyboard that allows you to control the Uhost2 like a Wii remote. If you are using the Uhost2 in the living room on the TV, this keyboard will let you control from the comfort of your sofa. Air mouse type keyboards are very popular among Android Mini PC users.
Unisen iPazzPort KP-810-18R Wireless Keyboard and Touchpad with Learning Infrared (IR) Remote Control 2.4G RF Google TV Compatible
Another great mini wireless keyboard for use with the Uhost2. This Unisen iPazzPort KP-810-18R has a touch pad control. On one side of the keyboard is a full 82 key QWERTY keyboard with back light. On the other is a learning IR remote for 2 devices.
This is currently the most popular wireless keyboard for the Android Mini PCs. The RC13 features a built in microphone and speakers.
Full sized wireless keyboard with track pad combo. This is currently my full sized keyboard of choice to be paired with my many Android Mini PC devices.
Another great air mouse option is the Mele Fly Sky air mouse. This one has a remote control like button on one side and a full QWERTY keyboard on the other side. Recommended.
Another popular mini wireless keyboard but this one comes with a trackball instead.
Uhost2 Dual Core Android Mini PC Benchmark Scores
Below are screenshots of benchmarks supplied by Smallart for the Uhost2.
Antutu benchmark score
Linpark multi thread benchmark score
Linpark singlei thread benchmark score
Nenamark2 benchmark score
Neocore benchmark score
Vellamo benchmark score
Uhost2 Dual Core Android Mini PC Availability
Smallart has indicated that the Uhost2 will be available for sale by the end of October.
(Update Nov 2012)The Uhost2 and Umouse2 have both been released and is available for sale from many retailers including Amazon.
How to choose the right Android Mini PC
Check out my comprehensive guide that highlights all the important features and differences between all the different Android mini computers.