Powered by a 1 GHz Allwinner A10 ARM Cortex-A8 processor, the Mele A1000 should be noticeably faster than the Raspberry Pi, which has a 700 MHz ARM11 chip.
While the Mele A1000 is described as a TV box, it’s basically a little ARM-based computer with HDMI, VGA, USB, and Ethernet ports, as well as support for an external SATA hard drive.
Now for the most interesting part (if you happen to be a free software enthusiast): The folks at Rhombus Tech have been working on a free and open source platform based around the Allwinner A10 chip
The project is entirely GPL compliant, and the goal is to work with a Chinese company to produce a PCMCIA-sized computer which is capable of running Linux-based software without any proprietary, closed source drivers.
Rhombus Tech hopes the platform can be used in all sorts of devices including tablets, notebooks, desktop PCs, and in-car systems. Theoretically the price could be as low as $15 per unit… assuming an order size of 100,000
. Right now the cost is higher.
But thanks to the efforts of the folks at Rhombus Tech, developers have access to all the drivers needed to make use of any device with the Allwinner A10 processor, and that includes the Mele A1000.