Media Streamers and Hubs Guide

Aztech PlayXtreme 2 review

Aztech PlayXtreme 2 - Gingerbread-flavored Media Player

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Overall rating 7.5/10
Design:
7
Performance:
7.5
Features:
8
Value:
7.5
THE GOOD
Small footprint
Access to Google Play store for tons of Android apps
Remote has a useful touch pad and many shortcut keys
THE BAD
Doesn't load ISO files
USB transceiver for remote takes up one USB port
Lack of support for HD surround audio formats
No easy way to connect to analog video inputs


Introduction

*Update (4th Jun, 2012): Here's a piece of good news for existing PlayXtreme 2 owners and those considering it: Aztech has informed us that the PlayXtreme 2 will be upgradable to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) come 20th of June. The update will be made available on Aztech's website.

Gingerbread-flavored Entertainment

Media players these days are taking on so many functions that it's increasingly unfair to shoehorn them into the 'media player' category. Most, if not all, of them now sport Internet connectivity and services, and boosts to turn your google box into a Smart TV on the cheap. And it seems that the next trend is to incorporate Android as the player's operating system. While Google's mobile OS is capable of bringing enhanced app experience to the big screen, it remains an uphill task to make an interface designed for use with touch input work well with a remote control. We've previously reviewed the AC Ryan Veolo; today, we're taking a closer look at the Aztech PlayXtreme 2.

Now, this is not the first time Aztech is doing an Android-powered media player/Internet TV hub device. It’s previously released PlayXtreme media player also featured Android 2.3. Besides full HD media playback, it connects to the Internet, so you can browser the Internet, and engage in social networking activities. You can also install games and third-party APK files to expand the device's functionality.

The new PlayXtreme 2 has retained all the goodness of its predecessor, but added several new features. For example, there’s a new remote control with a touchpad, and 1Mobile Market access that's a catalog of 200,000 apps. You can get the Google Play store too, but more on that later. The unit also manages to squeeze in an additional USB 2.0 port while being slimmer than the original PlayXtreme. So, would all these new enhancements make the PlayXtreme 2 the go-to Android media player for the living room? Let's find out!