Some of you might remember my Reviews of the Droid X360 (a Vita clone) or the MK802 (a Mini PC that makes a Smart TV out of your regular HD TV). Well, it’s always nice to read a review just after the product was out, but most people who do reviews never come back months later to let us know if, months later, they are still using the product… Well there it is!
The Droid X360 was, in the long run, a disappointment. Compared to the Playstation Vita, it lacks horsepower, but the most concerning issue was that the controls were crappy. I made several attempts at solving these issues, either with firmware updates to improve the drivers, and hardware tricks involving some glue and cardboard, but nothing really helped, especially when you compare it to our beloved handhelds (video below). I also realized that the battery was quite crappy, and even in sleep mode, it was emptied within less than 24h (to compare to the Vita, which can easily stay in sleep mode for more than a week and still have some juice left). As a result, I stopped using the Droid X360 fairly quickly, and in hindsight this is not a product that I would recommend to purchase.
The MK802, on the other hand, impressed me a lot back when I reviewed it, and despite some of its shortcomings (good GPU but terrible CPU made it excellent for video playback, but awful for games or even web browsing), it has been the main multimedia device in my living room for the past 3 months, replacing both my PS3 and a Sony Vaio Laptop. Of course, the PS3 stays here for gaming purposes and the rare blu-ray needs, but the laptop is gone, since I was using it only for video playback anyway. Since the MK802 was about $50, that’s not bad compared to the $600 laptop…
But my MK802 itself got recently replaced by an MK802 III in the living room, the latest generation of that device, which a friend brought to me recently. And, what can I say, it fixes all the issues I had with the original model. So I decided to write another review, but then I realized this site is not about smart tvs, so (shameless plug ahead!) I went ahead and opened a new site (MakeSmartTV.net) with a good friend, dedicated to making your TV a smart TV. It’s still a bit new and unprofessional, but if like me you’re into those types of gadgets, you might want to give it a look, starting with my full review of the MK802 III.
For those who don’t want to check my new site MakeSmartTV.net, well here’s a quick summary to confirm what I said above: forget about the MK802, the MK802 III is what you want. All performance issues are gone, while the low power consumption and snappy video playback are still here. Next step: convince my wife to get rid of her old CD player…
Are any of you guys into “smart TV” boxes? What do you connect to your TV, and do you recommend it?
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