Android is a very popular operating system for smart phones. The highly successful Samsung Galaxy smart phone series uses Android as its operating system. But Android is not limited to just smart phones and tablets, you can install Android on your notebook or desktop computer using the Android x86 project. Though Android x86 is very limited and does not really give the same Android experience as you would get on a smart phone. If you want to get the rich Android experience on your PC, then you may try the free Droid4X package that contains VirtualBox along with the necessary Android images.
Droid4X is available for both Windows and Mac. It requires a good system with a quad-core CPU or APU capable of handling VT instructions, a modern GPU and at least 4 GB of RAM. On computers having low end hardware either it refuses to run or runs with poor performance. The installation process involves downloading more than 250 MB of extra files and the download server is very slow so it takes a lot of time. After about 30 minutes, you will see the usual Android Jellybean screen on your PC.
The Android runs inside the Droid4X window which has many different controls like volume up, volume down, full screen mode, clipboard and device controller. For some reason the Android runs much better and smoother if you switch to the full screen mode.
The Droid4X comes with Playstore installed, so you can install almost any app as you want. In addition there are pre-installed apps that are very popular in China like QQ. The Android is pre-rooted and you can see the SuperSu app installed. You can also drag-n-drop APK files on the Droid4X window to install the apps inside Android.
Although you can control the Android inside Droid4X using your keyboard and mouse (or through the touchscreen if you have a touch enabled display attached to the PC), but Droid4X lets you control the Android on your PC through your smart phone. All you have to do is click on the device controller icon in Droid4X window, scan the QR code and install the Droid4X controller app in your Android smart phone. After this you can use the smart phone touchscreen, gravity sensor, acceleratometer and magnetometer etc., to control your Droid4X Android running in your PC.
Verdict: Droid4X is an impressive package that lets you run Android inside Windows or Mac. It runs Android Jellybean inside a VirtualBox machine and offers all the possible features you can expect when using Android.
You can download Droid4X from http://www.droid4x.com/.