Big set-top TV boxes are looking more and more like dinosaurs as another dongle-sized smart TV adapter arrives in the shape of the cutely-named iPPea.
Just 95.5mm long by 20mm wide and 6.5mm thick, the iPPea is an Android 4.0 PC with a built-in HDMI socket and a USB-friendly 350mA power consumption.
Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, isn’t designed for TV, but it supports Google Play for movie downloads, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Lovefilm, Twonky and many other other video players.
Currently available in the US only, the iPPea is priced at $50 (£32), with a 1.2GHz CPU, 512MB onboard RAM and 2GB storage, plus a microSD card slot for up to 32GB of extra memory.
It has built-in WiFi b/g/n support and the HDMI port can output at up to 1080p, while a USB host port can connect to portable hard discs or even USB digital TV tuners.
“The tiny iPPea TV is a fully-functioning Android super micro PC that connects to the cloud, accesses a broad range of websites and apps, and delivers a high-quality entertainment experience,” said iPPea CEO Amanda Senkowski.
“We are delighted to be using the MIPS-Based Ingenic processor, which provides all of the advantages of an industry-standard architecture, including a broad ecosystem of supporting tools and software.
“Because of its inherent power efficiency, the device can be fully powered by a standard USB port – such as those available on most DTVs. Also, unlike many competitive PC offerings, no heat sink is necessary in the iPPea TV device.”
It comes with a USB power cable and micro USB to USB cable. Optional accessories include: 3D plus gyro wireless key mouse, a USB RJ45 LAN adaptor, HDMI extension cable and 360 degree HDMI connector.
There’s no Some sort of wireless keyboard/mouse will be essential, although you could take control via your phone using a WiFi touchscreen keyboard app.
Gamers can also use the USB host port to plug in a Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 controller and enjoy HD games like Dead Space on a big screen.
Spec for the iPPea is as follows:
- Dimensions: 95.5 x 20 x 6.5mm
- OS: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- CPU: 1.2GHz MIPS JZ4770
- RAM: 512MB
- Internal memory: 2GB
- MicroSD: up to 32GB
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), USB 2.0, HDMI 1.3