first_imgSince the Raspberry Pi launched there has been increasing competition in the cheap, ARM PC category. No one has beaten the Pi’s $35 price point yet, but APC came close last May with an Android PC, known simply as APC, for $49. Several months later and VIA has decided it’s time to update the APC board with new components and the choice of two configurations.The new systems are called APC Rock and APC Paper. The hardware spec for both boards is exactly the same except for the fact the Rock ships with a VGA port where as the Paper doesn’t. The Rock also costs $20 less at $79, where as the Paper is $99.The reason for the price difference is the fact that the Paper ships with a rather novel case where as the Rock is a bare board. The Paper’s case is made from recycled cardboard attached to an aluminum chassis to help with strength , meaning it will keep the dust off the components and make it easier to carry while keeping weight to a minimum.As for the actual spec of the new boards, they include the following:Android 4.0800MHz VIA WonderMedia ARM Cortex-A9512MB DDR3 RAM4GB NAND flash1080p-capable graphics (most likely an ARM Mali-400 GPU)HDMI, USB 2.0, microUSB, microSD, with VGA available on APC Rock10/100 EthernetThe Rock and Paper offer a nice spec bump over the original APC, which shipped with Android 2.3, an ARM 11 processor, only 2GB RAM, and was only 720p capable in the graphics department. It’s just a shame the price had to increase, especially considering it’s been 7 months since the original APC launched.Both new boards use the Neo-ITX form factor, which means they are compatible with Mini-ITX and MicroATX cases. Even so, that cardboard case does look nice and keeps the board very portable while remaining protected, so might be worth the extra $20.If you want either an APC Rock or APC Paper they can be ordered through APC.io and are expected to ship in March.last_img