Raspberry Pi, Cotton Candy, and MK802 II face off in this battle of pint-size PCs

They're incredibly small and surprisingly powerful: We tell you what these devices are capable of, and how well they perform.

By Brad Chacos, PC World |  Operating Systems, computers, Cotton Candy

The MK802 II is an intriguing Android-on-a-stick computer made by the Chinese manufacturer Rikomagic. It resembles a USB thumb drive. Inside the cheap-feeling plastic case, youll find a pedestrian, single-core Allwinner A10 CPU (based on ARM's Cortex-A8 architecture); 1GB of RAM; and 4GB of flash storage (half of which is consumed by the rooted Android 4.0.4 operating system, aka Ice Cream Sandwich). The unit's Mali 400 GPU is theoretically capable of playing 1080p video, although the stick seems stuck at 720p for other applications.

This tiny computer is available from a few small online retailers, including W2Comp.com, which is where we acquired ours. The firm is based in Hong Kong, but it sells the MK802 II for a very competitive $55including free shipping to the continental United States. It took a while to reach us after crossing the ocean and clearing U.S. Customs.

For more, read our complete review.

Raspberry Pi

Very small computersbased mostly on the 6.7-by-6.7-inch Mini-ITX motherboardhave been around for a while, but the launch of the 3.4-by-2.2-inch Raspberry Pi generated a frenzy of public interest. The model A (256MB of memory, one USB port, no LAN port) sells for $25, while the model B reviewed here goes for just $35. The model B has 512MB of RAM, two USB ports, and 10/100MB ethernet.

The design intent behind the Raspberry Pi was to rekindle interest in computing as a childrens hobby, with modern PCs having become too expensive for parents to allow their kids to experiment with them. But the machine has become a hit with grown-ups, too, and the tiny computer has spawned dozens of competitors. The nonprofit Raspberry Pi Foundation recently announced plans to build 30,000 units each month.

For more, read our entire review.

Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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