Media Streamers and Hubs Guide

ASUS O!Play Mini Plus review

ASUS O!Play Mini Plus - Putting the Plus into the Mini

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Launch SRP S$199

Overall rating 8.5/10
Design:
8
Performance:
8.5
Features:
8.5
Value:
8
THE GOOD
Easy setup & UI navigation
Built-in Wi-Fi & gigabit Ethernet
Plays full HD content well
THE BAD
Plain-looking UI
Browsing through files in File Manager can be sluggish


Performance

Performance Plus

Some media players take around a minute or so to boot up; the Mini Plus is somewhere in the middle of the park, taking about 25 seconds to reach the home screen.

Internet Content Galore

One of the major selling points of the Mini Plus is the large support of online entertainment, such as Acetrax, YouTube, Facebook, Dailymotion, Mediafly, Picasa, Flickr, as well as many Internet TV and radio channels. You can also get RSS new feeds and stock information. According to ASUS, the Mini Plus is the first HD media player to support Acetrax, a video-on-demand (VOD) service. But here's the catch: this service is only available in Europe.

The Yahoo weather app needed us to provide our current location, but once that was done, it displayed today’s as well as tomorrow’s weather forecast. Details such as humidity, wind speed, sunrise and sunset timings were also displayed.

As mentioned earlier, there’s a dedicated Facebook button on the remote control to update your Facebook status of the photos or videos being viewed. At the time of testing, we did not manage to test this function as the player informed us that the service was unavailable. Updates on ASUS' webpage mentioned that the service will be available by end October.

Again, we've a video detailing the Internet apps, courtesy of the fine folks over at HardwareZone Philippines: -

 

Media Playback

Unlike a few years ago, media players on the market now are able to play a ton of video formats, with the exception of those using Sigma chipsets that don't support RMVB playback. The Mini Plus played all our video test files with aplomb, even the RMVB ones, so our guess is it’s running a Realtek chipset like its other O!Play siblings.

Our test files included many 1080p RMVB, MKV, and WMV files; since none of them posed a problem, we decided to fire up a full HD movie in BD-ISO to see if the Mini Plus would falter.

Taking a short seven seconds to load the BD-ISO that had a bitrate of 30Mbps, the Mini Plus experienced no issues with it. We also tried fast-forwarding and rewinding it during playback to see if the Mini Plus could resume playback properly - thankfully, there were no hiccups.

All that being said, it's important to note that these were done via a wired connection. Smooth streaming of such high bitrate/large file size, full HD videos is not possible via Wi-Fi. Yes, not even 802.11n; we tried it and ended up with lots of lags and stutters.