Price: $65 | From: www.miniand.com
Miniand is one of the few local distributors of SBCs and while it offers the Rikomagic MK802 and MiniX Plus from Pineriver it has a one-off board we’ve not seen anywhere else. The Hackberry A10 is basically a Raspberry Pi on steroids featuring the same Allwinner A10 processor as the MK802 but running at a lower 1.2GHz clock rate.
The board is pretty similar in spec to most budget mini PC sticks with 1GB of RAM 4GB of flash storage and Android 4.0.4 on board. In terms of connectivity it actually outplays all of the other SBCs we tested thanks to built-in Fast Ethernet and an 802.11n Wi-Fi module epoxied to the board. The only doubts we have about the Wi-Fi is the fact that the antenna is simply soldered to the board so we recommend getting the Hackberry into a box as soon as you can. In fact given the IR LED at the front edge of the board we think the Hackberry was originally destined for one of the growing number of console-style Android TV boxes such as the Mele A series.
It’s well featured for video outputs with a full-sized HDMI port along with composite and component video via 3.5mm sockets. There’s a single 3.5mm microphone socket as well. As it runs the Allwinner A10 processor the Hackberry A10 also has the same bootloader feature to load an OS via SDHC card.
So far there are hacks available to get one of the MK802 Ubuntu ROMs to load but while Miniand has a committed community supporting its products it’s not Raspberry Pi size so things happen at a slower pace.
If you’re after a bare board option this one has potential just not the worldwide community the Raspberry Pi enjoys.
Pros : Multiple video outputs Ethernet and Wi-Fi on board can be made to boot Ubuntu.
Cons : Wi-Fi antenna only loosely soldered (needs case) smaller community than Raspberry Pi.
Rating : 8 out of 10. Highly recommended!