Worlds smallest Android powered HDMI stick is only 35

first_imgCramming an HDMI-compatible computer into something the size of a USB stick continues to be a popular trend, but would you rather have a smaller HDMI stick or a more capable one? Smartvote now gives you a choice with their $35 SmartCandy line.In a world filled by tiny set-top boxes for media playback and streaming services, the smallest without compromising performance is the winner. As a result, there’s been an interesting switch to HDMI sticks. Just barely larger than a flash drive, these little wedges of plastic remove the box from the entertainment center altogether and hide everything neatly behind the television. This works well as long as your television’s HDMI ports are pointed off to the side or straight down. If these ports are flush with the back of the television, you now have a piece of plastic sticking out a few inches, making mounting or keeping the television flush with your wall a complicated prospect. Fortunately, there are companies looking to solve this by just make the stick itself smaller.Smartvote’s new SmartCandy is a dual-core Arm A9 Rockchip HDMI stick with 8GB of storage onboard and 1GB of RAM. This setup should be more than enough for playback of most standard files. If you get into transcoding larger files on the fly and watching them in 1080p, you’ll likely find that more horsepower is necessary.On the other side of the HDMI stick you’ll find a microUSB port that supports USB host mode. Using the $2 USB/Ethernet cable, it will support up to three USB connections. You could attach a larger hard drive, a keyboard, and a mouse for a decent inexpensive media console.For $35 it’s impressively small, but you lose built-in WiFi. You’ll need to attach WiFi separately, and it looks like you’ll need to do some juggling if you want to use WiFi and USB at the same time. Additionally, since the stick is sporting a Rockchip processor there’s no guarantee of either official software updates or third party support from the Android community.If you’re looking for a fun project that could end in a useful media center, SmartCandy looks like a good way to go. If you’re looking for a reliable system, and you’re unfamiliar with installing custom Android firmware, you’ll probably need to spend a little more than $35 to get what you are looking for.last_img read more