So, the other day I just received a package from Amazon containing a product that I wanted to buy for some time now, the CS918 / K-R42 Quad Core Android TV Box. If you don’t know what an Android PC is, then you should probably read this article or this article that I wrote a while back about these small but very useful devices that are usually manufactured in China. My passion for Android PCs started with my MK808b Stick, and now I can really say that I’m a fan! They are really small, pretty fast and they have enough computational power and features to support my daily tasks (including my business conversations).
Enjoy all the apps you can think of
Getting back to the CS918 (K-R42) Quad Core Android PC, I can really tell you that the amount of money ($36) you have to pay in order to obtain this small gadget is nothing compared to its features. In the box you will find the actual device, the power adapter, HDMI and AV cables, a remote control and a manual. CS918 – K-R42 works without any additional know-how, all you have to do is take it out of the box, connect it to your TV via HDMI cable and power it on from the button. The Android PC will boot in no time and you can enjoy the full flexibility and apps that are available in the Android environment. Apps like Whatsapp, Skype, Viber, Facebook, Messenger, Gmail, Youtube and an unlimited collection of games can be downloaded and installed directly from PlayStore with just one click. Oh, about that. The remote control that is in the package works fine if you plan to perform simple tasks. But if you want to enjoy the complete experience, you should probably use a wireless mouse and/or a wireless keyboard.
A cool Android PC
The device is really fast, it’s so much better and stable than my old MK808b and it runs Android 4.4 – I know, on the Amazon page description you can read that it comes with the 4.2.2 Android version, but I was lucky enough to find out that the unit that was shipped to me had the 4.4 version. I guess that there is already an official CS918 K-R42 update from 4.2.2 to 4.4 in the wild. Use Google.
Under the hood, we find interesting features for a $50 unit. The K3188 28nm Cortex-A9 Quad core processor and 2GB of SDRAM DDR3 make this device really fast, there is also an embedded 3D GPU Mali 400, high frequency 500Mhz and the device has support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and OpenVG 1.1. Of course, there is also a Bluetooth and Wireless feature inside, but also a LAN 10/100M Base-T port.
What I really like about this Android PC
I love that I can use CS918 as a hotspot router via LAN. The device is able to use any PPPOE connection. I read that you can also add a 3G dongle to it, but I haven’t tested this feature yet. Also, I love that I can enjoy Youtube and other movie apps (that I will not mention here) directly on my TV screen. The Android environment presents endless ways to use this small PC, since you can install and enjoy every app or game you can think of.
What I don’t like about it
The remote control is too rudimentary and it’ll get you bored in no time. There is no way to turn the device down from the interface, only a Reboot and Stand/by option. Also, there is no internal microphone, so you can’t really use Skype without having a bluetooth microphone/webcam connected. For that feature, you should probably check the CS918S version.