There’s something new in the Kenyan device market. It’s called the Remix Mini. You may or may not have heard about it but that’s why we are here.
Remix Mini is made by Jide Technology, a Chinese startup founded by three former Google employees Jeremy Chau, Ben Luk and David Ko. It rose to prominence when it first took the Mini to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to raise funds. It managed to raise $1.6 million, blowing past the $50,000 initial target.
The Remix Mini, in short, is a low-cost miniature computer. It’s a small soap-like device with several ports at the back to make it easy to connect to a monitor. Its makers describe it as “the world’s first true Android PC”. It runs on Remix OS, a version of the Android operating system that has been customized heavily to make it easier for desktop-class computing needs.
You can try out Remix OS on your current computer as well by downloading it and installing it to a spare partition then dual-booting. It’s a great way of breathing new life to older machines other than the tried and tested way of installing Ubuntu or some other Linux distro if running Chrome OS does not appeal to you.
Back to the Remix Mini, it is one of several products that Jide Technology has introduced in various markets including tablets and accessories. In Kenya, like in Nigeria and South Africa, the company is bringing the Remix Mini. The Mini is not that new to the country as some of its backers on Kickstarter were Kenyans and were among those who had over 30,000 units shipped to them globally.
The Remix Mini is available in two options: there’s a 1 GB RAM, 8 GB onboard storage model and a 2 GB RAM, 16 GB onboard storage model. Only the latter will be sold in Kenya though. It will go for Kshs 10,000. However, the early birds can take advantage of the promotional launch offer price of Kshs 5,000 (50% discount). The device will be sold via Jumia. The discounted price tag is one of the reasons that this could be a thing around here. It uses Android, which most people who have smartphones and tablets are bound to be familiar with and only needs a monitor/TV set with HDMI input and at least a working internet connection (either ethernet or Wi-Fi).
There are several media streaming boxes in the Kenyan market running Android at similar or higher price points. There are also the likes of Google’s Chromecast, the Roku Stick and other dongles that those interested have been able to either import directly from abroad or buy from third parties at exorbitant rates. Other than not supporting cellular networks, the Remix Mini, when used solely as a media streamer (you can download YouTube and Netflix from the Play Store or load them on the Chrome browser which is pre-installed), sounds like something we’ve seen previously, function-wise. Only that in this case, the software is more polished and you can actually do more with it like hook your gaming pads and fire up a game or write an article like this one when you plug in a keyboard.
I have been interacting with the Remix Mini for a while now and will dive further in an upcoming review to see how practical the Remix Mini is in getting some work done since it is a small PC, right? So watch out for that in coming days.
In the meantime, here are a couple of photos to drool over:
This article has been updated to reflect the Kshs 10,000 price tag of the Remix Mini and the promotional price.