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£35 MK808 Dual-Core TV dongle: Make your television smarter in 2013

The arrival on the global semiconductor scene of a number of nimble Chinese players that use ARM technology and cheap fab capacity means the market has been flooded with very affordable yet powerful system-on-chips as the one found in the MK808.

This is a TV dongle sold by DealExtreme for just under $50 with free delivery to the UK (that’s around £35). It runs on a dual-core Cortex A9-based Rockchip RK3066 SoC clocked at 1.6GHz with quad-core Mali-400 GPU. That’s faster than the dual-core Exynos SoC found in the Samsung Galaxy S2.

Other features include 1GB of RAM, 8GB onboard storage, Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, Wi-Fi, a microSD card slot, HDMI plug, two mini USB and one USB ports as well as Google Play compatibility.

Given that this is basically an Android tablet without a battery and a touchscreen, it should be compatible with a wide range of accessories and peripherals. Note that many have reported that you will not be able to switch it off and that it includes a number of quasi-useless Asian applications.

The price of these dongles is also falling fast. We've noted a few vendors on eBay that are selling similar devices for well under £30.

One has to wonder how Windows RT would run on this small device given enough processing power and system memory to play with.

Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.