Investigating the possibilities of both the Android phones and the Android Tablet PC’s, I have started to look into:
- Connecting USB devices to the Droid
- Connecting an external display to the Droid
Android and USB
Default, the Android OS can read mouse and keyboard. With a trick you tell the OS to switch to Host modus and accept USB devices. Here and here you find documentation on this hack. Moving one step further, this post shows all the steps (high Nerd level) to connect to the Android Nexus One:
- A mouse
- A keyboard
- A memory stick
- An external display
It uses the Plugable USB 20. portable Docking station. Basically an USB hub with some extra’s added.
Currently the output resolution is the same as the phone display: WVGA, 800×480 pixels. It is not enough to do anything of any meaning, but that might change quickly. The iPhone G4 shows a resolution of 960 x 640 pixels and I guess it might take only a year or two before we see phones supporting higher resolutions like WXGA (1366 x 768).
Android Tablet PC’s
You can buy an Android Tablet PC for 130 Euro, running on 500 MHz and sporting a 800 x 600 pixels display. See more details here.
Compare that to the “low cost” Beagle board, costing about 150 dollar, running “up to 600 MHz” but without display.
The nice thing about the Android tablet PC’s is that you can connect several USB devices to it, without having to perform specific hacks.