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VIA Unveils $79 Rock and $99 Paper ARM PCs 158

Don't yet have one of those million Raspberry Pis, but you're in the market for a tiny, cheap ARM computer? An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from "VIA has decided it's time to update the APC (ARM PC) board with new components and the choice of two configurations. The new systems are called APC Rock and APC Paper. The hardware spec for both boards is exactly the same except for the fact the Rock ships with a VGA port whereas the Paper doesn't. The Rock also costs $20 less at $79, whereas the Paper is $99. The reason for the price difference is the fact that the Paper ships with a rather novel case whereas the Rock is a bare board. The Paper's case is made from recycled cardboard attached to an aluminum chassis to help with strength, meaning it will keep the dust off the components and make it easier to carry while keeping weight to a minimum."
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VIA Unveils $79 Rock and $99 Paper ARM PCs

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  • Re:Why is this good? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dido ( 9125 ) <`dido' `at' `'> on Thursday January 17, 2013 @09:34PM (#42622291)

    Interfaces. Flexibility. You can plug it into a 1080p TV and get video output that way. If you need more storage, a multi-terabyte USB hard drive is easy to plug in. Software is also your responsibility, and that means you can make it run just about anything with more or less effort depending on that. You'd be lucky if the $40 Android tablet even has an HDMI port, much less a USB port, and good luck getting it to run anything but the version of Android it came with. I managed to build a working HTPC with a Raspberry Pi within a few hours of it getting to me in the mail, and the only reason why I haven't yet turned it into a file server/torrent box as well is that I'm reorganising the several external drives I have, so I can repurpose one of them.

  • What about RFI? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by steveha ( 103154 ) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @10:04PM (#42622467) Homepage

    These boards don't seem to be worried about emitting radio frequency interference (RFI). That "paper" system case is slick but I don't think it effectively shields RFI.

    Is RFI somehow not a problem with these? Is it because they are very low-power, or is it because they are somehow not regulated by the FCC for RFI, or what?

    Would operating one of these make the amateur radio enthusiasts down the block from you curse you?

  • Re:What about (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wmac1 ( 2478314 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:00AM (#42623087)

    Why not Buy one of those Chinese A9 tablets for less than $60? They come with LCD, battery, USB and SD card extension. You can remove the case if you like.

  • Re:Overpriced (Score:4, Interesting)

    by polyp2000 ( 444682 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @04:52AM (#42623955) Homepage Journal

    why do none of these RPi alternatives have Sata? -- sure there are some high end - expensive ones - but is there something about SATA that add significantly to the price to make uneconomical ?

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