ASUS O!Play Mini Plus review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 01/22/2012 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Here we have the Asus O!Play Mini, a very cute tiny (151.85 x 106.7 x 29.03 mm ) dark colored box. Powered on, the power button will be lit by a blue LED. Red once its powered off.
At the front there is furthermore an infrared receiver, card reader and a USB ports. Obviously you could plug in a USB stick with photos, music or movies and play that back on the media player. The USB port can also be used to flash the device with a new firmware.
The backside of the Media Player is well equipped connectivity wise. This is a 99 EUR device yet you get a very decent feature set. We can see the power-connector (adapter included of course), a 10/100/1000 Mbit Ethernet jack that you can plug into your local network (that's how you access your content). Alternatively you can use the included WIFI functionality, 802.11 b/g/n is supported but again .. with high bitrate 1080P content you are bound to run into streaming issues at one point. We recommend using the Gigabit Ethernet jack, Jack.
Above a quick overview of front and backside connections. The HDMI connector is 1.3a compatible, ideally you hook it to an AV receiver that will decode the multi-channel audio and then pass through the TV/video signal towards your telly.
There are RCA connectors you can use for composite video output and analog audio though through the A/V out mini-jack (cable is provided). Quite unique is the eSATA/USB combo port. Here you can connect a USB stick or external SATA drive. FAT16/32, NTFS, HFS/HFS+, EXT3 filesystem formats are supported.
All the way to the left a digital TOSLINK output is present. We certainly can't complain about features for this 99 EUR product. Well, USB 3.0 would have been nice though ...
When we flip the unit around we can see that there is no way we could mount a HDD. Most people stream content from a NAS unit or their PC. Alternatively pop in a large SD card and you have local storage as well.
No HDDs means no fans and that equals to no noise. You can't hear the unit in operation status whatsoever, we love that as there is nothing more horrible than noticing spinning fans while watching a good movie.
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.