When the Raspberry Pi was first ushered out the door, it seemed inevitable that competition was right around the corner. That proved true, although not in the way we expected. Rather than companies try to beat the RPi on price, they decided to target the “higher-end” segment of the market with models that could cost two or three times as much as the RPi. There have been a couple of exceptions, such as VIA’s APC released last spring, which carried a ~$14 premium that we considered justified.
Now, the company is going even higher with its APC “Rock” and APC “Paper”. No, that’s not an attempt at humor, and no, there’s no “Scissors”. Both models feature identical specs, save for the $79 Rock including VGA with the $99 Paper forgoing it. Instead, the Paper gets the bonus of shipping in a compact book-like chassis.
Both Rock and Paper stock an 800MHz Cortex-A9 SoC, 4GB of NAND flash, 512MB of DDR3, a 1080p-capable GPU, HDMI, USB 2.0 x2, microUSB, microSD and 10/100 Ethernet. For OS, you can count on Android 4.0. Overall, the specs are fairly nice, although the amount of RAM is what I’d consider to be very under-whelming given the unit’s cost. Either way, it’s good to have more variety in this micro-PC market.