The Remix Mini is the next hottest thing coming to mobile computing. It’s an extremely affordable and ultra-compact computer running a uniquely designed Android operating system (Remix OS) which features multitasking of apps using PC-like windows. All for a jaw-dropping Kickstarter price of $20.
In only a few weeks, the Remix Mini has raised an absurd amount of money on Kickstarter–well over $1.6 million, passing their modest goal of 50,000 dollars, and firmly making it the most funded Kickstarter project from China (and 13th most funded globally in the Technology category).
Tech Specs: Small but Powerful
The Remix Mini can fit in the palm of your hand but packs a significant punch. It’s powered by a 1.2 GHz quadcore 64-bit Allwinner processor, 1GB RAM , 8GB storage (or alternatively the 2GB RAM + 16GB model), and a capacitive touch power button, completely eliminating all moving parts. It also comes equipped with WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, HDMI port (capable of streaming 4K) and two USB 2.0 ports.
All this for $20.
Curiously, the Remix Mini uses an external DC power adapter, which seems like a huge miss step for such a compact product. However, the co-founders have stated they are considering a micro-usb charging port for future versions.
Designed with a zealous “less is more” philosophy, the Remix Mini also is pleasing to the environment in that it’s very energy efficient. Compared to the normal 65 to 200 watts of normal computer users, the Mini only uses a miniscule 10 watts, about the same as an LED light bulb.
Jide claims that “by using Android, the Remix Mini is able to save in power without sacrificing anything in performance.”
The Brains Behind Remix OS
Jide Technology, a Chinese company behind the Remix Mini, is founded by three ex-Google engineers, who have a vision to bring Android fans a new age of productive mobile computing. The three co-founders all have extensive backgrounds that have given their latest business a powerful foundation.
- Jeremy Chau graduated from the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering. Shortly after, he became one of the first Google employees in 2000. In 2008 he began investing in other companies and he cofounded Jide in 2014.
- Cofounder Ben Luk graduated from the prestigious Cornell University with a bachelors in computer science and a masters in computer engineering from Stanford University. He worked with Microsoft and Oracle, and in 2003 he joined Google where he worked at the Beijing and HK offices.
- David Ko is the third cofounder. He graduated from Washington University with a degree in computer engineering. Shortly after he joined Google and moved to the Shanghai office where he worked a software engineer
The Jide team has already designed and released their other successful kickstarted project, the Remix Ultratablet, earlier this year. It has a detachable keyboard and also runs the Remix OS. It’s design and general use is very similar to the successful Microsoft Surface Pro. Now they are looking to make a bigger dent in the computing industry with their newest product, the Remix Mini.
Jide thinks that the Remix OS inside the Mini is key to making Android a full PC experience. The operating system is based off the Android Lollipop mobile operating system, but they’ve redesigned and reimagined the operating system with multitasking multi-windows, physical keyboard optimization, and keyboard shortcuts to increase productivity. Users can also use the Mini with the entire Android app ecosystem.
Changing the way we do mobile computing with Android
The Remix Mini has many potential uses–whether for businessmen needing a portable productivity platform they can bring on the go for a cheap price, a college student looking for an affordable alternative for schoolwork, or a family looking to turn their TV into a powerful Android smart TV media center.
Google productivity apps on Android are getting better and better all the time, and, combined with the Remix Mini, could potentially challenge the the old Windows / OS X paradigm for mobile computing.
Portable PCs are an emerging device class with several other alternatives and players in the market. The new Intel Compute Stick released recently, but the reception hasn’t been exactly spectacular. Critics explain how the Intel Compute Stick has issues with Bluetooth, and that it lacks an overall sense of power. Cnet calls it “the little PC that almost could.” It’s also 150 dollars–a huge price difference from the Remix Mini. Since June, computer sticks are popping up all over the place. Now there’s an offering from Lenovo and Archos. All of these PC sticks have very similar specifications and use Windows 10.
There are also indirect competitors like the Google Chromecast or the Xiaomi Box. The Chromecast is another affordable device capable of streaming content from select Android apps to your TV, while the Xiaomi Box is an Android device meant for streaming. But while the Chromecast and Xiaomi Box can serve as effective media streamers for mobile and PC devices, they don’t serve as alternative fully fledged PC solutions like the Mini, despite costing the same amount of money.
The first of many to come – Chinese innovation invades the West
Having secured a massive amount of funding from Kickstarter and with great potential to capture PC users in emerging markets with their attractively priced Remix Mini, the future seems bright for Jide Tech. The growing Chinese market could also be a prime target for the Remix Mini, however the Google play store is inaccessible without a VPN in China.
Jide Tech’s Remix Mini represents an important step for Chinese startups. By raising well over 1 million dollars on Kickstarter, they have shown that innovation from China is capable attracting considerable global demand. As the world’s 2nd largest economy goes through the transition from predominantly manufacturing to services and technology, we should expect to see more and more successful Chinese startups and innovation exports in the future.