There has been a lot of interest on miniscule sized computers of late. It all started with the announcement of the Raspberry Pi, a tiny computer that runs on Linux and is targeted at the hobbyist community. It is a full computer roughly the size of a pack of cigarettes that you plug into a TV and a keyboard.
However the Raspberry Pi experienced a lot of delays and supply was scarce when it was finally released. Enterprising manufacturers in China seized the opportunity to release rival products that runs on the popular Android platform.
These devices are packed into an even smaller form factor and looks like and oversized USB thumbdrive. Since it runs on Android, it is much more user friendly as the Android platform is familiar to any Android smartphone or tablet user. So basically the Raspberry Pi has a rival that is easily available, cheaper, smaller, more powerful and easier to use.
The most popular of the Android Mini PC is the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC by far. The two biggest reason for its popularity is that it is one of the first designs to run on Android 4.0 (ICS) and the fact that it is based on the popular Allwinner A10 chipset which had a lot of Linux support and made it relatively easy to get Linux to run on the MK802.
However, the MK802 is not without its own problems. Although very popular, the Allwinner A10 chipset is fairly old and its age shows when running processor intensive tasks on the MK802. Users who are used to the smooth interface on a modern Android smartphone will notice the jerkiness and lag.
Many MK802 users also complain of poor WiFi connectivity. This was suspected to be caused by a poor antenna design or ESD interference from a poorly shielded HDMI port. Another problem that got a lot of attention is overheating. The MK802 tends to run quite hot and some users actually resorted to modifying their MK802 units by adding heat sinks.
So, it is inevitable that a new design will come along and resolve these problems. Two new products that have appeared recently is the MK808 and the UG802. Both are quite similar products that feature a much faster dual core CPU. Let's take a look at the similarities and the differences between these 2 products.