Barebones Android PC aimed at low-cost 24/7 operation
By Chris Wood
August 25, 2014
From full Windows machines to Chromeboxes, there’s a fair bit of choice if you’re looking for a small form factor desktop PC in 2014. Shuttle’s latest effort, the DSA2LS distinguishes itself by opting for Google’s Android operating system, while providing low-end specs and good connectivity.
You won’t find any high-end components here, but that’s not what the DSA2LS is about. Shuttle’s new machine revels in its low-end specs, running on a 1 GHz dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor, backed up by 1 GB of RAM and only 4 GB of internal storage. Luckily, there is an SD card slot on the front of the system allowing for expansion up to 64 GB. The card slot is sealed away behind a screw-locked panel for security.
While the system isn’t going to break any computing speed records, it is completely fanless, with an ambient temperature range of 0-45° C (113° F) and an idle power consumption of just 4 watts, making it ideal for 24/7 operation. Shuttle suggests that the system would make a good always-on media center, as well as a good fit for digital signage, point-of-sale, automation, monitoring and thin client/remote access applications.
The machine is also very small, with a thickness of just 35 mm (1.4 in) and a footprint of 142 mm (5.6 in) x 190 mm (7.5 in). There’s a VESA mount included in the box, and an Always-ON switch can be activated, allowing the system to turn on as soon as it’s plugged in.
The DSA2LS doesn’t run the latest version of the OS, instead making do with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It does pack a competent selection of ports, offering four USB 2.0 on the front, an R232 serial port, VGA and HDMI, as well as Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity. The system will output at 1,920 x 1,080 resolution to a single monitor, but will automatically switch to 720p when both outputs are in use.
You can pick up Shuttle’s new barebones desktop right now from specialist retailers for €131 (US$173) excluding VAT.
Check out the video below for a closer look at the DSA2LS.