News

Zidoo X1 II is Zidoo’s RK3229 Android TV Box

Zidoo have unveiled the Zidoo X1 II – a spiritual successor to the Zidoo X1 reusing the predecessor’s unique design but powered by Rockchip’s new RK3229 SoC.

Specs are comparable to other RK3229 boxes, with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Zidoo-X1-II-N03

However, Zidoo’s box has a few differentiators to justify the unit’s $59 price tag, including their ZIUI interface, learning IR remote, power management chip and unified storage.
Lastly, Zidoo’s support is one of the best for Android TV box manufacturers, with the company releasing regular firmware updates for their products.

The Rockchip RK3229 supports 10-bit H.265 10bit and 4K 60fps hardware decoding, which should be great for those with capable displays.

I’m really hoping that Zidoo decide to produce the unit in more subdued colors than the yellow they’re showing off in the product shots. I think the design is unique enough, without needing to stick out like a sore thumb.

Inside the box, you’ll get the Zidoo X1 II unit, power adapter, IR remote, HDMI cable, and an instruction manual.

Getting One

The Zidoo X1 II is currently available for pre-order from GeekBuying for $49.

Zidoo are also hosting a giveaway over on their Facebook page for those who are wanting to get one for free.

Zidoo X1 II Technical Specifications

General

  • Processor
    Rockchip RK3229
  • CPU CPU
    Quad-core Cortex-A7
  • GPU
    ARM® Mali™-400
  • Operating System
    Android 4.4
  • RAM
    1GB DDR3
  • Storage
    8GB eMMC
  • Other Features
    IR Sensor
  • Power
    DC 5V/2A

Interfaces

  • Video Output
    HDMI 2.0, Composite
  • Audio Output
    HDMI 2.0, SP-DIF, Composite
  • Other Interfaces
    2 x USB 2.0
    MicroSD Card Slot

Connectivity

  • WiFi
    802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Ethernet
    10/100
  • Bluetooth
    4.0

Physical

  • Dimensions
    118 x 126 x 36 mm

UGOOS AM1 Firmware 0.0.3 Released

Hot on the heels of their other firmware releases, UGOOS is at it again with the release of firmware v0.0.3 for the UGOOS AM1, their new Amlogic S905-powered Android mini PC.

The key changes are the adding of the new UGOOS launcher and the ability to root the box via the Settings menu. I’ve embedded the changelog below

New Features

  • Added Ugoos Launcher
  • Root support (switch in menu)
  • Extended power menu options

Bug Fixes

  • Support new remote layout
  • USB OTG port now turn to slave/active mode automatically

The update can be download via OTA or from the download links in the blog post.

Have you updated yet? Let us know in the comments below!

UGOOS UT4 Firmware 0.0.2B Released

UGOOS have released their first firmware update for the UGOOS UT4 – their new Android TV box powered by the octacore Rockchip RK3368 SoC.

As usual, UGOOS have fixed a few bugs and added a whole bunch of new features in their newest firmware:

  • Now firmware has only one partition.
  • Improved video playback in side players (example: MXPlayer now use hardware decoders for video playback).
  • “Resent apps” and “Home” buttons on RC is now working.
  • Added features long press for remote control. Holding the “Menu” bar appears and disappears. “Recent apps” button activate/deactivate mouse function mode.
  • “Dismiss all tasks” button added in “Resent apps” window, also all apps can be closed using “menu” button on RC.
  • “Power off” is now shutdown the device.
  • Added Ugoos Settings.
  • Added ability get root access (Ugoos Settings).
  • Added ability to control power LED (Ugoos Settings).
  • Added ability to control Fan (Ugoos Settings).
  • Added File Server.
  • Added support Google Widevine DRM.
  • Added support USB 3G Modems.
  • Removed freezes on some devices.
  • Temperature of the CPU is correct. And it output for user apps.
  • CPU info (frequency, temperature, load), RAM info can be displayed in the status bar (Ugoos Settings).
  • Added ability to select usb sound card in Sound Device manager.
  • Added support Fireasy app (Ugoos Settings).
  • Added Ugoos Launcher.
  • Included Wifi optimization.
  • Added Chinese and Russian localization in Settings.

It’s great to see UGOOS continuously improving their products rather than abandoning them shortly after release like some manufacturers.

You can grab the firmware from the UGOOS Blog post. The firmware will need to be flashed via the Firmware Upgrade tool as partition changes are required. However, UGOOS state that future updates will be delivered via OTA

How have you found the new firmware? Let us know in the comments below!

UGOOS Release Android 5.1 Firmware for UT3, UM3 and UT3S Devices

Android TV box manufacturer Ugoos has just released their long awaited Android 5.1 firmware for their excellent UT3, UM3 and UT3S Android TV boxes powered by the (still) powerful Rockchip RK3288 SoC. You can read my review of the UGOOS UT3S here.

I believe this makes UGOOS the first to have released a stable Android 5.1 firmware for Rockchip RK3288 devices which is a massive milestone in and of itself.

The changelog is pretty comprehensive and brings a whole host of new features and bug fixes to the supported devices:

  • IPTVLauncher was replased by Ugoos Launcher
  • Added Chinese and Russian localization in Settings
  • Now firmware has only one partition
  • Added Multiuser support
  • Updated Multiwindow mode
  • Included Wifi optimization
  • Added support Fireasy app
  • Added samba server
  • Fixed bug with button “Dismiss all” in “Recent Apps” window
  • Added support Google Widevine DRM
  • Fixed bug with wrong colors in some apps (black background in ES File Explorer)
  • Added ability to select usb sound card in Sound Device manager
  • Added usb 3G Modems support

As the firmware update changes the partitions, you’ll need to flash the firmware via Rockchip’s flash tool so make sure you back up everything before the update. The process is pretty straightforward using UGOOS’ instructions.

UGOOS has advised that future updates will be delivered via OTA as before.

There’s some pretty big changes here, particularly with the new UGOOS launcher, multi-user support and enabling of Google Widevine DRM.

Ugoos-Android-5-1-Launcher

I’ve already flashed my UT3S with the new Android 5.1 firmware and it’s looking promising. The new launcher looks great and everything feels pretty stable after several hours of gaming and web browsing. Keep posted for my full review

Grab the new firmware from the links in the UGOOS Blog post.

Are you going to install UGOOS new firmware? Let us know in the comments below

MeegoPad T03 Pro Windows 10 Stick PC Features Intel Z8300

PC manufacturer MeegoPad have released the MeegoPad T03 Pro, a new stick PC that runs Windows 10 and is powered by the Intel X5-Z8300 Cherry Trail SoC.

Like other Cherry Trail devices, it comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 32GB of internal storage, Bluetooth 4.0 and 2.4Ghz b/g/n WiFi. The HDMI plug is integrated into the unit.

MeegoPad have considered cooling for the MeegoPad T03 Pro, including a small fan to keep the SoC cool and prevent thermal throttling.

Given the unit’s compact form factor, space is at a premium for ports though MeegoPad have managed to fit in 3 USB ports onto the device’s tiny frame. There’s a single full size USB 3.0 port and two micro USB 2.0 ports so those needing more than 1 USB port will need to pick up some micro USB OTG adapters.

Inside the box, you’ll get the MeegoPad T03 Pro unit, 5V 2A power supply and an instruction manual.

Getting One

The MeegoPad T03 Pro is available from GearBest and Amazon for around $110.

Use coupon “GBT03P” at GearBest to get it for $100.99.

MeegoPad T03 Pro Technical Specifications

General

  • Processor
    Intel X5-Z8300 Cherry Trail
  • CPU CPU
    Up to 1.84GHz
  • GPU
    Intel HD graphics
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Home
  • RAM
    2GB DDR3
  • Storage
    32GB eMMC+ microSD slot up to 128GB
  • Power
    DC 5V/2A

Connectivity

  • WiFi
    802.11 2.4GHz b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
    4.0

Interfaces

  • Video Output
    HDMI 1.4
  • Audio Output
    HDMI 1.4
  • Other Interfaces
    1x USB 3.0 port
    2x micro USB 2.0 port

Physical

  • Dimensions
    102 x 36 x 9.9mm
  • Weight
    50g

Ugoos AM1 is Ugoos’ Amlogic S905 Android TV Box

Ugoos have released the Ugoos AM1, their Android TV box powered by the Amlogic S905. Running Android 5.1, the Ugoos AM1 features 2GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, dual band b/g/n Wifi and gigabit Ethernet. The entire case appears to be made of metal too.

Based on my previous experience with Ugoos products, I’d wager that the Ugoos AM1 will come with a customised TV launcher, OTA updates and some other unique features.

Ugoos have been one of a handful of manufacturers committed to supporting their products well after release. My favourite Android TV box to date, the Ugoos UT3S, has received a number of firmware updates including tons of new features showing that the manufacturer is dedicated to their products.

Getting One

The Ugoos AM1 is available from GearBest for around $80.

Ugoos AM1 Technical Specifications

General

  • Processor
    Amlogic S905
  • CPU CPU
    Quad-Core Cortex-A53 up to 2.0GHz
  • GPU
    Penta-Core ARM® Mali™-450
  • Operating System
    Android Lollipop 5.1.1
  • RAM
    2GB
  • Storage
    16GB
  • Other Features
    IR Sensor
    Power button
  • Power
    DC 5V/3A

Interfaces

  • Video Output
    HDMI 2.0
  • Audio Output
    HDMI 2.0, SP-DIF
  • Other Interfaces
    3 x USB 2.0

Connectivity

  • WiFi
    802.11 Dual Band b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz)
  • Ethernet
    1000Mbps

Physical

  • Dimensions
    116 x 116 x 25 mm
  • Weight
    276g

Zidoo X5 is Zidoo’s Amlogic S905 Android Mini PC

The Zidoo X5 is the latest Android mini PC from Zidoo. Powered by the quadcore Amlogic S905 SoC and running Android 5.1, the Zidoo X5 features 1GB DDR3 RAM, 8GB of eMMC storage, b/g/n WiFi and 10/100 Ethernet.

The included IR remote can learn from your other remotes and has a number of shortcut keys that can be mapped to your favourite apps.

As with other Zidoo boxes, the Zidoo X5 comes with their intuitive ZIUI launcher that was last seen on the Zidoo X6 Pro. There’s also a variety of other software apps including unified storage, Zidoo Media Center (which claims to integrate various media functions) and the ability to use your smartphone as a remote control.

Zidoo also claim that HDMI CEC is supported and a unique power management chip allows for optimal control including automatic power off functionality.

Hardware-wise, the Zidoo X5 falls on the lower end of the specifications. However, Zidoo has provided excellent support of their previous products, offering regular OTA updates both fixing bugs and adding new features for months after release. Thus, the slight price premium will be worth it for those looking for additional firmware support.

Inside the box, you’ll get the Zidoo X5 unit, IR remote control, HDMI cable, power adapter and instruction manual.

Getting One

The Zidoo X5 is available from GeekBuying and AliExpress for around $60.

Merry Christmas 2015

Hey all!

I just wanted to wish all of you Merry Christmas!

Hoping Santa spoils you with all the home theatre equipment, movies and music you’ve been wanting all year!

Enjoy the holidays and stay safe.

Talk soon!

Tronsmart Vega S95 Series Features 3 Amlogic S905 Boxes

Tronsmart have unveiled a new range of Android TV boxes powered by the increasingly popular Amlogic S905 processor. Called the Tronsmart Vega S95, Tronsmart’s new range of Android TV boxes are available in 3 variants: Pro, Meta and Telos.

Moving from Pro to Telos, each variant gets improved specs with a corresponding increase in price. The Pro features 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 8GB eMMC storage, b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. The Meta improves this by upgrading to 2GB of DDR3 ram and dual band b/g/n/ WiFi.

Finally, the Telos features the best specs of the three, adding 16GB of storage, wireless AC and, interestingly, a SATA port. This means you’ll be able to connect a HDD directly to the unit rather than requiring a USB enclosure. However, the SATA port is connected via the USB controller so don’t expect SATA speeds.

All 3 boxes feature 3 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out, SD card slot, optical audio and Gigabit Ethernet. They also run Android 5.1 and feature OTA updates for simple updating.

It also comes pre-installed with VidOn XBMC with a perpetual VidOn XBMC Pro licence that should offer HD audio passthrough, 3D playback and BD-J menu navigation which should be a massive plus for movie fans (which I’m assuming is all of you).

Inside the box, you’ll get the Tronsmart Vega S95 unit, power adapter, IR remote, HDMI cable and an instruction manual.

I’ve got the Tronsmart Vega S95 in hand so keep posted for my impressions and review in the coming days.

Getting One

The Tronsmart Vega S95 is available from GeekBuying starting at $59.99 for the Pro model.