FXI has begun shipping the Cotton Candy, a PC-on-a-stick that features an ARM Cortex-A9 processor paired with Mali 400 graphics.
The mini-PC is also loaded with WiFi, Bluetooth, 1GB of RAM, a USB port, a micro-USB port, HDMI and a microSD card slot for up to 64GB of storage.
Although Cotton Candy is designed to run Android, the device should also support other Linux-based operating systems. While a beta build of Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is available, the current version doesn't include access to the Google Play Store, support all video formats or properly implement power management.
And as Liliputing's Brad Linder points out, the $199 price point is somewhat deceptive, as FXI automatically adds approximately $50 in "tax" to the total. So if $250 seems a bit steep for a PC-on-a-stick that can't (yet) properly run Android ICS, you might want to check out the $72 Jellybean-powered Droid Stick T10 which boasts a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, ARM Mali 400 graphics, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage.
The abundance of ports allows users to easily plug in a display, keyboard, mouse, remote control dongle and other peripherals to run Android apps on a TV or monitor. As expected, the Droid Stick T10 is also loaded with Google's Play Store and is fully capable of running Adobe Flash Player 11.
However, as Linder notes, Cotton Candy does still offer a few items the Droid Stick and other similar devices lack, including built-in Bluetooth and a commitment to support open source software development.
"[Plus], one of the Cotton Candy's coolest features is the way it works with normal computers. [Meaning], you can connect the USB port to a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer to launch the Cotton Candy Any Screen software which lets you run Android apps on your PC. That's something you don't get from any generic Chinese PC-on-a-stick devices that I'm aware of," he added.