MK809 Mini PC

MK809 Mini PCThe MK809 is somewhat of an enigma. Compared to most of its RK3066 cousins, like the MK808, there is very little specific information to be found. I’ll assume that because you’ve found your way here, you probably already know that. You’ll be happy to discover that I’ve done a thorough investigation of this Mini PC and what follows are my findings.

As I’ve mentioned, the MK809 belongs to the family of Rockchip RK3066 Stick PCs. In case you’re just getting into Stick Computing, I’ll give you a very brief introduction. The products in this segment include a variety of USB stick sized computers that connect to your television or monitor via an HDMI connection. They are characterized by a small form factor and extremely low power consumption. They usually include WiFi and a way of connecting Ethernet, keyboard and mouse via USB or wireless.

The majority of these Mini PCs run Android (Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean), but a growing number support Linux. That means they can be used as a TV connected streaming media device, or as a mini productivity computer when connected to a suitable monitor and keyboard.

The MK809 includes the Rockchip RK3066 chipset. This is based on a Dual Core design. That means the performance is roughly twice that of the first generation single core devices. The Graphics Processor is the Mali 400, a Quad Core chip that provides superb video performance.

With the included Android 4.1 the MK809 performs much as you would expect from your tablet device. You can watch stunning 1080p HD content from Netflix, Youtube and many other streams. Playback of a variety of other video formats is also supported via Android applications. You have access to the Google Play Store and can run a variety of games at full frame rate and resolution, including 3D games.

The Baile MK809 IV is a newer and more powerful replacement for the MK809.

What I like about the MK809

This is a good way to get started in Stick Computing. Since the MK809 can be purchased for under $50, it’s one of the best values on the market.

Because it runs on Android 4.1.1, you can access Google Play and download your favorite apps right away. You can watch 1080p HD videos from Youtube, Netflix, Google Play and HBO Go. It’s also possible to install Kodi for full media center functionality.

The boot time is zippy and application loads times are above average. The fast dual core processor and the quad core Mali GPU make even 3D gaming possible. You should expect performance to be as good as a comparable tablet.

The MK809 has adequate cooling and ventilation. Even when playing 3D games or watching movies, it stays relatively cool.

Because the MK809 is based on a popular chipset, there is wide support and availability of upgrades.

I would give the MK809 3.5 out of 5 stars and that’s only because of a few issues I’ve detailed in the Pros and Cons below. For overall value it’s a good choice.

Company Product Information

The MK809 is made in China and distributed by several unique Chinese trading companies from the Guangdong Province. In order to insure the authenticity of the product and the best quality and service you should always purchase a product like this from a name that you trust, such as Amazon.com.

What’s in the Box

  • MK809 Android Mini PC 1.6ghz Dual Core Cortex-A9 Rockchip RK3066
  • User Guide
  • Micro USB to Full USB Cable
  • Power Adapter
  • HDMI Cable

Here’s a short introduction so you can see what’s included. Sorry for the Russian audio, but it’s not important to hear what’s being said.

Unboxing the MK809

Features and Specifications

  • Rockchip RK3066, Cortex-A9, dual core processor, up to 1.6Ghz
  • Quad-core Mali-400 Graphics Processing Unit
  • 1GB DDR3 RAM, 4GB Internal Flash Storage, support for up to 32GB Micro SD card
  • Supports 1TB+ external storage
  • Built in 802.11b/g/n WiFi wireless network access
  • Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean OS, Google Play Store pre-installed
  • HDMI, USB, Mini USB, MicroSD interfaces

Specs

Screen Resolution 1080p
Max Screen Resolution 1080P
RAM 1 GB SDRAM DDR3
Disk 4GB
Graphics Quad Core Mali-400
Wireless 802.11b,g,n
Number of USB Ports 1 Full Size
Dimensions ~ 4 x 0.4 x 1.5 inches inches
Weight ~ 3oz
Color Black
Hard Drive Interface USB 2.0, SD
Power DC 5V 1.5A

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fast boot and fast application load times
  • Preloaded with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean and supports Kodi
  • High Definition (1080p) streaming video from Youtube, Netflix
  • Compatible with UG802 Finless ROMs
  • SD Memory Expansion up to 32GB
  • Supports Flash 11.1 and a variety of image formats

Cons

  • Some users have complained about WiFi reception, but others get excellent results.
  • Does not come rooted
  • Power supply issues for some users.

Comparison

Compared to other Sticks of this generation, the MK809 is a middle-of-the-pack performer. The MK808, for example, has 8Gb of flash memory and an extra USB OTG port. Many of the newly supplied Sticks have surpassed this unit in performance but because of its low price and the availability of third party support, it still makes a good choice.

FAQ

Linux

There’s a lot of demand for sticks based on the Rockchip RK3066 because of the availability of Ubuntu Linux. While there is not a specific version of Ubuntu (or PicUntu) for the MK809, several of the forums have created support and discussion around Mini PC’s using the RK3066 which you should be able to leverage.

NOTE:You’ll need access to a computer running Linux to install PicUntu.

ROM Upgrades

Because of wide support for the RK3066 chipset it’s fairly easy to find updates for the MK809. I always recommend that you only attempt to upgrade ROMs if you have some expertise and can follow the instructions exactly. Improperly flashing a ROM can cause your device to become non-functional!

One of the best known upgrades is called the Finless ROM, named after its creator. Regarding the MK809, there is invaluable advice in this thread on Freaktab. You should look for Finless ROM 1.7C or newer, which has been thoroughly tested.

Rooting your device

The MK809 does not come rooted. In order to enable full administrative access to your Stick, you must enable root. I won’t dive into the details here, but I’ve provided a link which explains step-by-step how to do it. Unlike replacing firmware or installing a new OS, it is not hard to root and only takes a few minutes. Go here for complete instructions.

Forums

There are several Forums around the net dedicated to getting the most from your Stick. One of the most known is the Vondroid Forums. There is a section devoted to nearly all of the Mini PC’s I review. There’s a very good discussion of Recovery Tool, Official Firmware, Custom Firmware, and other tools located here on the forum.

Who is the product for?

The MK809 is a very capable entry into the Android Mini PC market. If you want something that has reasonable performance at a very low price, then this is your Stick. For the more advanced user, there’s a wealth of resources that can help you expand and update to your hearts content. The ability to load Ubuntu Linux is just one of the benefits. As a media player, the MK809 is more than adequate and can nicely operate at the center of your media hub.

Some customer reviews:

“This is the coolest thing. I don’t know if I will ever go back to my desk with hard wood chair and having to sit up.”

 

“I didnt expect this to work as well as it is right now. Wifi works great. Device remains very cool. Netflix works great without any issue so far.”

 

“I bought it and it works great. Changed time zone from China to GMT, Upped the resolution from 720 to 1080 and it seems to work just fine.”

 

Playing Games on the MK809

***VOLUME WARNING*** (this video has only a musical background so you may want to turn down your speakers first)

Summing it up

I’d recommend the MK809 as an affordable way to get started in Stick Computing. This device has a low price and pretty good performance so you’re getting a lot for your money. Some of the WiFi and overheating issues that plague other devices are noticeably absent. Because this unit is made with the RK3066 and Mali 400 you’ll be able to take advantage of many of the upgrades and enhancements from the user community.

Order with confidence and get fast delivery with Amazon.com