ASUS O!Play Mini Plus review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 01/22/2012 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Final words and conclusion
The ASUS O!Play Mini Plus looks and feels very similar to pretty much all Realtek 1185 based media players. However, ASUS refined the firmware quite well. The GUI looks and feels great, everything we threw at it was no problem whether that was 1080P MKV content, WMV HD files, MP3's... even FLAC audio works really dandy.
The overall 1080P content playback is really good and totally stutter free. You really do not need to tweak anything at all, aside form your HDTV settings of course. Audio playback is easy as well, you probably want to set your audio output to RAW (If you are to use a receiver) so you create an SPDIF or HDMI pass trough towards your AV receiver, allowing all popular Dolby and DTS formats to be played back and decoded at the receiver's end.
The menu layout is good, it could be a hint more intuitive. Also when I browse through a directory of movies, I like to be able to see more movies listed per page, easily fixed by using a smaller font. And sure, being a media-player, menu navigation is nowhere near the same speed as a nice HTPC. But it does function well.
Gear like shown today is all about simplicity, an HTPC needs an OS, proper drivers on the graphics side, player installation, CODECs, audio configurations and though that might be fun for a lot of us, obviously the majority of end-users like the non-BS approach, plug and play.
So besides a tweak or two on your own television, the default output is pretty good. Content as stated, is well supported, whether that is AVI, WMV, XVID, DIVX or MKV Matroska x.264, the ASUS O!Play Mini Plus seems to swallow it all without any issue. And that really is what it is all about, sure it has web applications and photo/music capabilities but the reality remains that this box is intended for video content playback, and that's what it's quite good at.
The Realtek based Media Players with that newer Realtek 1185 chipset do their job well and at 99 EUR ASUS stuffed the ASUS O!Play Mini Plus full with features. We really like the included WIFI (not that we use it, but you certainly might), the extended smartphone / Tablet functionality is fun to play around with as well (but does need work), though in the end ... you tend to grab the remote control way quicker.
We haven't mentioned it yet, but this device consumes only 10 Watt, so your energy bill won't be raped either ..
With all popular movie/music and picture formats supported, the ASUS O!Play Mini Plus really is a good deal. And the output quality -- well it will surprise you. The media player offers a lot for little, thumbs up for sure.
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ASUS recently released its new compact HD media player, it's called the O!Play Mini and this is the Plus edition. The O!Play Mini Plus TV Media Player allows you to play digital films, music and photos directly on your TV with High Definition quality (1080p) and does a thing or two more.