Nice box, but I fail to see anything different to the Minix Neo X7 Android box that's been around a while?
That's a fast quad-core box, has a custom remote, works with wireless keyboards and games controllers and there are Android emulators for all the legacy games consoles. It has XBMC for media and all the familiarity and support of the Android platform.
100M Ethernet isn't enough, in practice, to support a full bluray 1080p bitrate. Glitches will be seen in video playback. It's nice that they put in a capable processor, but the power is useless if you can't feed it.
From my perspective, these little "streaming" boxes are first and foremost for streaming video. The "box" should allow me to watch anything I want. I have an original Roku, the newest Roku 3 and a WD Live box. I have access to many streaming video services, old movies, Science Fiction, Horror, etc. on both the Roku and the WD. The list on the Amazon site is very small. Of course, I'd expect this to grow over time, but would be sorely disappointed if the focus is on playing cheap Android games and not watching HD movies.
This is indeed a whole lot of processing power in a very small box. I certainly hope that the heatsink is adequate for the job. And while it may not be a leap or bound beyond what others offer, both capability and durability far trump having the very latest in cheap trick gimicks, which are usually appended with inadequate consideration of durability. And I saw no evidence of serious shortcuts in this package, which is good.
So possibly the plan is to outdo the competition with superior software and serious upgrades, instead of brand new flash.
Thanks for the teardown, and this time it looks like the beast should re-assemble with only some hard effort unfolding the heat-transfer pads.
I am constantly amazed at how compact these devices have become. My wife and I have Amazon Fire tablets and they are truly amazing. If I may, let me ask a question: I'm fairly certain the PC board are "stuffed" using automated equipment but is the assembly process done by hand? I would think so due to the very small size and complexity of components. I am a mechanical type--not an EE so my experience with these devices is minimal. Excellent post.
@ hughwills, yes there seems to be nothing new in this box by Amazon. Quad core processor, wireless connectivity, Bluetooth, custom remote and game controllers have been around with Android based boxes. It seems to do the same things that some devices are already doing for us. As for the claim of doing everything better than others, that is made by every device.
@ mtripoli3, you are right. If I have to play games, I would rather like to use play station. Real treat with these boxes must be streaming videos. Apart from the shortage of movies on the Amazon list, HD movies will not play smoothly in my opinion because of insufficient Ethernet capability of this Amazon TV box.
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