My 46" Tablet

46inchtable_medium

This weekend at a computer market, I bought a little Android stick. A little Rickomagic MK802.
A little stick with an HDMI plug, a MicroSD card slot and a couple of USB ports.

Riko_medium

I paid $90, which was probably too much, but it was there and I wanted to try one of these things. It hooked up to the TV quickly with no tricks. I attached the wireless mouse from my PC, and got a Windows-like cursor. Each time I turn it on, I have to go change the settings so that it knows I want an onscreen keyboard. I will go hunting for a keyboard-touchpad combo this lunchtime.

Perhaps a Logitech K400? Are they okay?

K400_medium

The Stick does not like Bluetooth. No sir. I spent an hour trying all sorts of games to get a Bluetooth keyboard to play, with it's paired USB receiver. Nope. Stick with 2.4Mhz wireless.

Anyway, what's it like?
Point one, it is very underpowered.
I see claims online that it's a 1.5Ghz single core CPU. Whatever it really is, the machine has a hard time doing two things at once. Downloading updates and checking GMail can get you the dreaded Application not Responding [Force Close] [Wait] box. That little box turns up quite a bit.

The main reason to get the gadget was to play videos. Hopefully via DLNA, and hopefully using VNC for less supported formats such as MKV (for my daughters Anime obsessions). And it works, on the whole. Though stuttering is not uncommon. Some videos turn into slideshows so I don't think it has really solved the "Play Anything" problem.

But it plays YouTube just dandy. It pumps out music no problems. It plays Angry Birds fine. I can check my email and Twitter and browse The Verge.
It's a big fat 1080p Ice Cream Sandwich Tablet. And that's pretty awesome.

Another issue. It's an Android Tablet, so it is continually updating Gmail and Apps... it's continuously "alive", even when the TV is off and I am in bed. That's a little worrying. It is invisibly sucking on your Internet even when you are not there and there is no Off button. The only way to turn it off is to pull out it's power cord. I wish that was done more gracefully. Or perhaps I just have to go chop out all the auto syncing.

So in the end, this is an interesting experiment. I am chalking it down to that. Like my first digital camera, it probably wasn't the sharpest choice of the available hardware, but I have learned a bit from it. I think I will look for another of these, but taking a closer look at the specs. Make sure it is a gruntier beast.