Android powers this car infotainment system

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Parrot is a tech company that most famously manufactures the AR.Drone. However, Bluetooth and flying toys isn't all Parrot's about.

Indeed, Parrot recently unveiled a number of new products in its Asteroid lineup: the Asteroid Smart, Tablet, and Mini - all of which are slated to launch in the near future.

Basically, the high-end system is an in-dash infotainment platform using a double-DIN form factor known as the Asteroid Smart. The device boasts a 6.2-inch display supporting capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 800 x 480. The brain of the system is a TI 800 MHz processor which runs a heavily massaged version of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).

The Bluetooth enabled Smart is also equipped with four USB 2.0 ports designed for connecting external devices such as the included GPS antenna or a dongle for mobile data connectivity. The device features a 3.5 mm line-in input, microphone jacks, SD card slot, a micro-USB port and RCA connections.

The Asteroid Mini and Asteroid Tablet are slated to land in North America this month as well. The Tablet is similar to the Smart - except for the smaller display weighing in at five inches. Meanwhile, the Tablet is a portable device, rather than an in-dash system, and is loaded with 512 MB of RAM, 1 GB of onboard storage as well as a SD card slot for expansion.

The Asteroid Mini has a 3.2-inch screen that doesn't support touch and includes a wireless remote control. Oddly, the Mini uses an ancient version of Android, version 1.5. The Asteroid Tablet will sell for $399 with the Mini selling for $299. I can't imagine why someone would waste $299 on the Asteroid Mini when you can get a significantly better tablet for the money. Pricing for the Smart is unknown.