Allwinner

MeeGoPad A02 is the World’s First Remix OS Stick PC

MeeGoPad have announced their latest mini PC. Called the MeeGoPad A2, the company is billing the device as the world’s first Remix OS stick.

Powered by the octacore Allwinner A83t, the device runs Remix OS, Jide’s Android fork based on Android Lollypop that aims to bring a Windows-like experience to Android devices, complete with multiple Windows, shortcut keys and a taskbar.

Remix-OS-01

The MeeGoPad A02 comes in two variants: a low end model with 1GB of RAM and 15GB of eMMC storage and a higher specc’d version with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

The unit’s case appears to be similar to the MeeGoPad T03 Pro, offering two full-size USB 2.0 ports, an SD card slot and 3.5mm audio output.

Inside the box, you’ll get the MeeGoPad A02 unit, power cable, power adapter, warranty card and user manual.

Interestingly, the company has opted to go the crowdfunding route for their new stick, starting a campaign on IndieGoGo. A $39 pledge scores you the 1GB/16GB model and $49 for the 2GB/32GB model. Higher tiers are also available if you’re after 100 units of either variant.

Getting One

The MeeGoPad A02 is currently only available via IndieGoGo.

Jide Remix Mini PC Runs Remix OS Based on Android

The Jide Remix Mini PC is a new device that runs Jide’s Remix OS, a custom build of Android that attempts to transform Android into a more traditional desktop PC experience.

The unit’s specs are pretty typical of other Android mini PCs, featuring 2GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, b/g/n Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0 and Ethernet.

The SoC is listed as an 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex A53 (64-bit) Allwinner but digging around show’s that it’s the Allwinner H64.

Remix-OS-01

 

The real point of differentiation here is Remix OS, Jide’s fork based on Android Lollipop. The OS brings across the typical components of a desktop environment, including a taskbar, multi-window support, and right-click.

Inside the box, you’ll get the Jide Remix Mini PC, power adapter, HDMI Cable, and 2 Chinese manuals (for some reason).

Getting One

The Jide Remix Mini PC is available from GearBest, GeekBuying and Amazon.

Use coupon “GBJRM” at GearBest to get it for $40.99

Check Price at GearBest

Jide Remix Mini PC Technical Specifications

General

  • Processor
    Allwinner H64
  • CPU CPU
    1.2GHz quad-core Cortex A53 (64-bit)
  • GPU
    Mali-400 MP2
  • Operating System
    Remix OS (Based on Android 5.1)
  • RAM
    2GB DDR3
  • Storage
    16GB eMMC
    Micro SD Card Slot (up to 32GB)
  • Other Features
    Touch-sensitive Power Button
  • Power
    DC 5V/2A

Interfaces

  • Video Output
    HDMI
  • Audio Output
    HDMI
    3.5mm Audio Out
  • Other Interfaces
    2x USB 2.0

Connectivity

  • WiFi
    b/g/n Wireless
  • Ethernet
    100Mbps
  • Bluetooth
    4.0

Physical

  • Dimensions
    123 x 87 x 26 mm
  • Weight
    133g

X3 Android TV Box Runs Remix OS and VidOn XBMC

The X3 is a new Android TV Box powered by the Allwinner H3. Spec-wise, it’s nothing exciting. It features 1Gb of RAM, 8Gb of internal storage, b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and fast Ethernet.

Where it starts to get interesting is that it can run Remix OS, a Windows-like flavor of Android that features a taskbar and windowed applications.

It also comes pre-installed with VidOn XBMC rather than vanilla Kodi. As mentioned in my VidOn Box review, VidOn XBMC is based on Kodi 14.2 Helix and offers a number of paywalled features such as Bluray Menu navigation and HD audio passthrough.

X3 Technical Specifications

  • Operating System: Android KitKat 4.4
  • Chipset: Allwinner H3
  • CPU: ARM Quad-core A7 up to 1.5 GHz
  • GPU: MALI400MP2 @600MHz
  • Memory: 1GB DDR3
  • Internal Storage: 8GB NAND + MicroSD card slot
  • Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Audio/Video Output: HDMI 1.4, Composite Video Out
  • Interfaces: 2 x USB 2.0

Inside the box, you’ll get the X3 Android TV box, IR remote control, HDMI cable, power adapter and a user manual.

Getting One

The X3 Android TV box can be purchased from GeekBuying for under $60.

Zidoo X1 Impressions: A Stylish 4K Android TV Box

The Zidoo X1 is an Android mini PC powered by the Allwinner H3. Featuring a really unique design and custom ZIUI launcher, the Zidoo X1 packs in 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage into it’s cool looking insect-like carapace.

I want to say thanks to Zidoo and GeekBuying for sending me a sample of the Zidoo X1 to review. Click here to view the latest price.

Zidoo X1 Technical Specifications

  • Operating System: Android KitKat 4.4.4
  • Chipset: Allwinner H3
  • CPU: ARM Quad-core A7 up to 1.5 GHz
  • GPU: Octo-Core Mali-400 GPU
  • Memory: 1GB DDR3
  • Internal Storage: 8GB NAND + MicroSD card slot
  • Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Audio/Video Output: HDMI 1.4, SP-DIF, Composite Video Out
  • Interfaces: 2 x USB 2.0

What’s in the Box?

Inside the box, Zidoo have provided:

  • 1 x Zidoo X1 Unit
  • 1 x IR Remote
  • 1 x HDMI Cable
  • 1 x Power Adapter
  • 1 x Instruction Manual

Zidoo-X1-Inside-The-Box

Zidoo X1 Impressions Video

Zidoo X1 Initial Impressions

Opening up the package, I was surprised at just how compact the unit is. I know the Allwinner H3 can fit into some tiny cases, but I just expected the Zidoo X1 to be bigger. I’m happy it’s so compact as finding a space for it will be no issue.

The case looks fantastic. It reminds me of an insect’s carapace and Zidoo should be commended for putting some investment into the design of their units rather than going with the standard black square/rectangle.

Zidoo-X1-Side

 

All the ports are located around the back of the unit. Going from left to right, we’ve got the composite video port, USB 2.0 port, Ethernet, another USB port, microSD card slot and DC power input.

Zidoo-X1-Back

The included remote is pretty solid, with a comprehensive set of Android buttons (including a task switcher). There are also 3 customisable shortcut keys and the top set of buttons can be used to learn your TV remotes IR signals.

Zidoo-X1-Remote-Closeup

The Zidoo X1 automatically powers up when plugging it in, taking around 49 seconds to boot. It’s a little long but the device resumes instantly from standby so it’s not really an issue but worth mentioning.

The X1’s preloaded with Android 4.4 and a custom Kodi fork call ZDMC which supports the Allwinner’s hardware decoding. The device was rooted once I updated the firmware.

The ZIUI looks great which isn’t surprising given what Zidoo showed us with the Zidoo X9. It’s locked at 720p like the Tronsmart Draco H3, but videos play at their native resolution. I really appreciate the ability to set apps to boot on launch, allowing you to boot straight into Kodi rather than ZIUI.

Zidoo-X1-ZIUI-01

WiFi performance was good during testing and I didn’t experience any buffering when playing back my 4K or 1080p samples from an NFS share on my server. I did experience some playback issues however. My 4K 30Hz sample didn’t play back being particularly smoothly and I had an odd aspect ratio issue for some of my samples in the Zidoo Kodi fork. Jumping across to Kodi from the Google Play store greatly improved the situation.

Gaming performance was good, with both Jetpack Joyride and Beach Buggy Racing playing well. Beach Buggy Racing on maximum settings was fairly playable, although there were some significant dips in framerate if the action got too heavy.

Brief benchmarking via Antutu returned 17152, which is roughly the same as what we saw on the Tronsmart Draco H3.

Verdict So Far

The Zidoo X1 appears to be a good unit. It’s design and UI are fantastic and Zidoo have already been hard at work releasing regular firmware updates already. Playback was generally fine but I did experience some minor playback issues with 4K content but I’m sure they’re fixed in future updates. Zidoo have an excellent track record for releasing patches.

Getting One

You can get the Zidoo X1 from GeekBuying. Click here to view the latest price.

Alternatively, it’s also available at Amazon or AliExpress.

Zidoo X1 gets a new ZIUI launcher called Frisbee

Zidoo have released a new launcher for the Zidoo X1 Android PC. Called “Frisbee”, the new launcher swaps out the card-based UI of the Zidoo X9 for circular icons and a much brighter color palette.

According to the release notes, the UI is based on OpenGL and supports a whole bunch of useful features such as loading apps on boot (useful for Kodi), a parental lock and navigation via both mice and IR remotes.

I’ve embedded the official demo below:

What do you think of the new launcher? Let us know in the comments below!

Tronsmart Draco H3 Impressions: 4K Mini PC for Under $40

The Tronsmart Draco H3 is an Android mini PC powered by the quadcore Allwinner H3. Adopting a stick form factor, this tiny mini PC is capable of decoding and outputting 4K content.

Thanks to GeekBuying for providing me a sample to review. Click here to view the latest price.

Update: Our Tronsmart Draco H3 Review is now available.

What Is It?

The Tronsmart Draco H3 is a tiny Android mini PC that’s capable of decoding and outputting 4K content.

Tronsmart Draco H3 Technical Specifications

  • Operating System: Android KitKat 4.4.4
  • Chipset: Allwinner H3
  • CPU: ARM Quad-core A7 up to 1.5 GHz
  • GPU: Octo-Core Mali-400 GPU
  • Memory: 1GB DDR3
  • Internal Storage: 8GB NAND + MicroSD card slot
  • Connectivity: 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Broadcom AP6212), Bluetooth 4.0
  • Audio/Video Output: HDMI
  • Interfaces: 1x USB 2.0, 1xUSB OTG

What’s in the box?

Tronsmart-Draco-H3-Inside-The-Box

Inside the box, Tronsmart have given a fairly comprehensive set of accessories:

  • 1x Tronsmart Draco H3 Mini PC
  • 1x USB Power Cable
  • 1x Power Adapter (5v 2A)
  • 1x Instruction Manual
  • 1x HDMI Extension Cable

Tronsmart Draco H3 Initial Impressions

The Tronsmart Draco H3 is slightly larger than other stick-shaped mini PCs such as the MK808B Plus and the Chromecast. The dongle is covered in a nice rubberised coating which feels great and makes the device feel more expensive than it actually is.

The device looks almost military, covered in angled ventilation and grooves. At just 101x37x10 mm, it’s incredibly portable.

In terms of ports, the basics are all here. On the bottom of the device, we have a function button, micro SD card slot and DC In.

Tronsmart-Draco-H3-Side

Moving around to the bottom of the device, we have a USB OTG port as well as a fullsize USB port.

Tronsmart-Draco-H3-Bottom

The male HDMI connection is hidden under a removable cap to keep things neat and protect the connector during transport. Just make sure you remember where you put it.

Plugging in the Tronsmart Draco H3 causes it to boot automatically. A cold start takes around a minute and a half. While slow, this device is designed to be left on constantly, so this isn’t as big of an issue as it seems.

On the first boot, the resolution was set to 720p. You can change the resolution up to 4K at 30Hz. However, it does seem that the UI is locked to 720p. Thankfully, video output is unaffected by the resolution lock – with video playback under MXPlayer being rendered at its native resolution.

Tronsmart-Draco-H3-HDMI-Output

Tronsmart have provided a 1080p kernel for those who are willing to sacrifice OTA updates and some performance for the improved UI resolution. I’d guess the trade off is worth it for those who love glorious Full HD UIs.

The Android launcher essentially stock, with a few media applications such as Netflix and Plex come preinstalled.

Tronsmart-Draco-H3-App-Drawer

Kodi 14.2 is pre-installed and configured to use an external player as Kodi doesn’t support the Allwinner H3’s hardware decoder at this stage. However, my device never loaded the external player so this didn’t work. Playing media via MXPlayer was fine however, with my 4K HEVC samples playing back nicely.

I initially had some challenges with wifi However, it turns out a rogue QoS service on my router was to blame. Disabling QoS allowed me to stream both 4K and 1080p samples without issue. I watched the 4K version of Big Buck Bunny without any buffering so WiFi performance is actually quite good. Wifi signal strength remained at 5 bars at all times thanks to the external WiFi antenna.

Gaming performance was tested using Beach Buggy Racing and Jetpack Joyride. With the 720p output, both games ran well. With maximum settings, Beach Buggy Racing managed a fairly consistent framerate, with only the occasional dip.

Verdict So Far

So far, the Tronsmart Draco H3 is an interesting device, particularly at its sub-$40 price point. With its ability to play a variety of media codecs and have reasonable gaming performance thanks to a lowered UI resolution, it’s a good option for those wanting a media player on the cheap.

Getting One

You can purchase the Tronsmart Draco H3 from GeekBuying. Click here to view the latest price.

 

X2 TV Box Decodes 4K HEVC for Under $50

The X2 TV Box is an Android Mini PC powered by the Allwinner H3 chipset. Thanks to its SoC, it’s capable of 4K video output and decoding of 4K H.265/HEVC content – a feat many more expensive TV boxes can’t do.

The Beelink X2 can be purchased from GearBest, AliExpress and Amazon.

The X2 TV Box also features 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. This should be sufficient for watching movies but those with more demanding needs should look at something more powerful.

X2-TV-Box-Ports

It seems that the Allwinner H3 is becoming quite popular in the budget TV box space thanks to its impressive features and low cost. Both the new Zidoo X1 and Tronsmart Draco H3 mini PCs feature the SoC.

X2 TV Box Technical Specifications

  • Operating System: Android KitKat 4.4
  • Chipset: Allwinner H3
  • CPU: ARM Quad-core A7 up to 1.5 GHz
  • GPU: Octo-Core Mali-400 GPU
  • Memory: 1GB
  • Internal Storage: 8GB + MicroSD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • Connectivity: 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 10/100 Ethernet
  • Audio/Video Output: HDMI, SP-DIF
  • Interfaces: 2 x USB 2.0
  • Size (L x W x H): 11.0 x 11.0 x 1.75 cm

Inside the box, you’ll get a HDMI cable, USB OTG cable, IR remote, and power adapter.

Getting One

The X2 TV Box is available from GearBest. Click here to view the latest price.

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