Skip to main content

VIA announces Rock and Paper sub-$100 ARM PCs

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The trend of inexpensive credit-card-sized PCs continues with VIA’s launch of two new ARM PCs. Building on its original Android PC model from last year, VIA’s new computers are the APC Rock and APC Paper. According to, the computers add new components to the board powered by an ARM processor. Both boards run Android 4.0 and an 800MHz VIA WonderMedia ARM Cortex A9 processor. They can run graphics up to 1080p and have 512MB DDR3 RAM.

The Rock model ships with a VGA port, and both models have HDMI, USB 2.0, microUSB, and microSD ports. The Paper version comes with a recycled cardboard case for extra protection and mobility, and to help keep dust out of the components. The APC Rock costs $79, and the APC Paper is $99. So, for $20 more, you’ll be getting a VGA port and the protective cardboard case.

Both are available for preorder on the APC website, with a projected ship date of March. The price point is higher than Raspberry Pi, which offers a similarly bare-bones machine for just $35, but the VIA options still have solid specs for the growing field of cheap ARM PCs. 

In addition to being the workhorse driving many of the new bite-sized PCs, ARM processors climbed high enough on the ladder to be a concern for processor rival Intel. In fact, Intel is working on pushing into the system-on-a-chip field for smartphones, an area where ARM has excelled and dominated. In the computing world, rumors stirred in November of Apple planning to switch Macs from Intel chips to ARM. ARM chips have become popular for mobile devices because of their efficient power usage, but Intel still has the edge in terms of computing power. For this bite-sized PC, however, the ARM processors have proven a great fit. 

Editors' Recommendations

Anna Washenko
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Anna is a professional writer living in Chicago. She covers everything from social media to digital entertainment, from tech…
This Dell 2-in-1 laptop is over $1,100 off right now (seriously)
Dell Latitude 9330 tent view showing display and hinge.

If you're looking at 2-in-1 laptop deals because you like the versatility of these devices, you're going to love this opportunity to get the Dell Latitude 7430 2-in-1 laptop with a discount of $1,118. It's currently available from Dell for $1,009, for savings of $1,018 on its original price of $2,027, but you'll get an extra $100 off with the code SAVE100, which pulls its price down even further to $909. That's an absolute steal for this machine, so you better hurry with your purchase because we're not sure when the bargain will disappear.

Why you should buy the Dell Latitude 7430 2-in-1 laptop
The Dell Latitude 7430 falls under the convertible category of 2-in-1 laptops, according to our laptop buying guide. That means you can quickly and easily switch from laptop mode to tablet mode by folding its 14-inch touchscreen with Full HD resolution all the way back to below its keyboard. Not only is the device portable, but it's also capable of matching your needs at any given moment. You'll be able to use the keyboard for typing documents in laptop mode, and maximize the touchscreen for using apps in tablet mode, for example.

Read more
Usually $995, this Dell work-from-home laptop is $449 today
Dell Latitude 3420 on a desk hooked up to a monitor.

One of the best laptop deals comes courtesy of Dell and is perfect for anyone on a budget. Currently, you can buy the Dell Latitude 3420 laptop for $449 saving you $545 off the regular price of $995. It's currently on the Dell website for $499 but if you use the code SAVE50, you save an additional $50 bringing it down to its excellent new price. If you're in the market for a cheap laptop, take a look at what it offers below.

Why you should buy the Dell Latitude 3420
With Dell being one of the best laptop brands, you can be safe in the knowledge you get good value for money with the Dell Latitude 3420. It has an 11th-generation Intel Core i3 processor along with 8GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage. Alongside that is a better screen than you'd normally get at this price. It has a 14-inch full HD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution and 250 nits of brightness.

Read more
Holy smokes! This HP 17-inch is an absolute steal at just $260
A woman video chats with her friends on an HP Envy laptop.

HP frequently has great laptop deals for anyone on a tight budget but in need of good quality. Right now, it has an HP 17-inch laptop for just $280 so you save $220 off the regular price of $500. Ideally suited for a student on a budget or someone who needs a laptop for occasional use rather than a powerhouse, let's take a look at what it offers.

Why you should buy the HP 17-inch laptop
With HP being one of the best laptop brands around, you get decent quality for the price, even if that price is low. With this HP 17-inch laptop, you get an AMD Athlon Gold processor along with 8GB of memory and 128GB of SSD storage. That's basic stuff that won't compete with the very best laptops but it'll do the job well enough for anyone who needs something basic for typing up documents or browsing online.

Read more