JW-11: A $68 PC that runs Linux with an ARM processor

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Back in the good old days, PC desktops were huge, and yes, quite literally took up an entire desktop, or at least good amount of foot space if you configured it as a tower. 

And let's not even talk about excess heat and noisy fans, because as nostalgic as one can get, I don't believe anyone misses those high electric bills.

Well, those days are obviously a distant memory with RISC-based ARM chips facilitating the design of uber-mini systems and PCs-on-a-stick that run Android or Linux.

Take the JW-11, a $68 PC capable of running Linux with an ARM processor. The system, which looks pretty slick to me, boasts an SDHC card reader, audio and video jacks, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of integrated storage and a 2.5-inch drive bay designed to house a traditional hard drive or solid state drive (SSD).

As discussed above, the JW-11 is powered by an Amlogic AML8726-M3 ARM Cortex-A9 single-core processor and ships with Google Android. However, as Liliputing's Brad Linder notes, while the system officially supports Android 4.0 or 4.1, a number of Linux enthusiasts have been porting other Linux-based operating systems to run on devices with AML8276 chips.

"There are versions of the XBMC media center application available for both Android and Linux, which could make the JW-11 a decent little addition to your living room," Linder explained.

"You’ll still probably get better performance from an XBMC box with a more powerful x86 chip, but Amlogic’s little chip can handle 1080p HD video playback."

You can hook up the system to a TV using the HDMI port, connect to the internet using the built-in WiFi or Ethernet - and link a mouse, keyboard, or remote control using one of the 4 USB 2.0 ports.

The JW-11 is available for $68 from AliExpress here.