Top critical review
32 people found this helpful
for $50 it's hard to go wrong... or caveat emptor
on October 10, 2012
after seeing this product on amazon and reading the sketchy reviews of the product, i decided for the money even if it was a complete failure it wouldn't be to bad.
I was surprised at how fast it got here... a day before they said it would. Unfortunately, when i opened it i realized some of the other posters were right and this company has some pretty serious quality control issues as both the power supply, and the SD card were missing. Initially I tried to power the unit by connecting it to my Sony PS3 USB port, but it didn't work and simply kept restarting. I tested it by connecting it to a laptop and it did start right up. It did come with HDMI & USB cables though. I wound up going to Best Buy and buying a replacement SD card and a small DC power adapter for USB.
When i put the replacement SD card in, and powered it up... it came right up and connected to my TV fine. Connecting to my wi-fi was easy, and i downloaded a couple app's from google play store and they ran with no problems. As of now, i haven't seen any heat issue the other posters have mentioned.
one poster mentioned there was no on/off switch. i'm assuming they have since figured it out but this unit can be powered on and off. there's a button on the user interface on the screen that can be clicked to shut the unit down when not in use. i bought the logitech wireless keyboard to work with it, and all i have to do is press the enter key and the unit turns back on.
Overall i think the product itself is good... but the company selling it really should work on its quality control when shipping the product. i spent approximately $35 in replacement parts to get the thing up and running. if it works without a problem from now on i'd say even with the addition costs this was work it but the company didn't meet my expectations of it being a simple process of ordering the product
FOLLOW UP REVIEW
i wanted to follow up on my initial review... after i got the unit running i started seeing file system full errors when i would download into what i thought was the external SD card. after going to the settings panel i saw the SD card was not mounted. after spending a considerable amount of time trying to make the system recognize/mount the external SD card... i started playing with the card itself for a bit... after a couple minutes i started getting "damaged external card" errors as i watched the settings panel... and i was about to give up and see about getting my money back... when the system recognized the external SD card and said it was mounted.
The spring loaded SD card insert is finicky and the SD card has to be inserted all the way in so its flush with the exterior. as small as the device is it seems sort of fragile, but if applied with care it went in and the system formatted it fine. one last thing for anyone wishing to download to the SD card... the SD Card itself is known as /mnt/ext_sd... i wrongly thought /mnt/sdcard was it and was downloading things to it and filling the file system. do not download to /mnt/sdcard as that's an internal file system and only has 2 Gb available.
SECOND FOLLOW UP REVIEW
The concept of this device is a good one, and when it works it's an awesome media device. Unfortunately, it's simply poorly designed, flaky, and doesn't function well. The device was odd with what app's it would & wouldn't start up. After a reboot it would start some app's and at times start completely different apps after a second reboot. App's that worked worked fine one day would choke or hang at other times depending on what was running in the background. At times some app's were well behaved, while at other times they would run away and gobble up CPU time.
The straw that broke the camels back was the fact the device is now halting and shutting down after running several minutes. I filled up my 32GB external SD card pretty quickly and went to add a 1T external hard drive. Which turned into more work that I expected, as the USB expansion port is a Mini-b and not a Micro as advertised, and I bought the wrong cable. Once I had the correct cable the unit failed to recognize and mount the drive. It simply made tinking noises as it started up. I then attempted to try and transfer files off the SD card to make room by creating a remote mount of a Windows share on a different machine via CIFS. I discovered this Android device is not root'ed as I had understood it to be before purchasing it. As this device is suppose to come root'ed, there is very little documentation on how to do this. I was forced to download a SMB app to transfer files. I left the unit on all night as I started to transfer two large files that would take several hours and went to bed. When I woke up, the device was acting flakier than usual, and after I restarted it, it simply would shutdown after several minutes.
Obviously from the reviews, many people are getting working units with no problems, but I'd say caveat emptor and buyer beware. The price of the unit doesn't make a failure of this product a massive loss, but the frustration level experienced due to the time and additional money spent in an attempt to make it work makes this an unreliable purchase to say the least. This device might be ok for someone with a high degree of patience and technical skill, but it is far from a plug & play device and I will be sending the unit back and requesting a refund.