We mentioned a few weeks ago the upcoming MK802 IV from Rikomagic, which promised a Quad Core set top box for your TV. Although, and we’ve said it many times, we’re super satisfied with the mk802 III, we’d also be happy to see what a better CPU can bring us.
Tronsmart beat Rikomagic to the punch, and the Tronsmart MK908 is now out. The Tronsmart is an Android HDMI stick with a RK3188 quad core CPU from Rokchip, 2GB of Ram, integrated Blue Tooth and Wifi.
No surprise on the video acceleration part, the RK3188 integrates a MALI400 GPU, which has proven to be extremely good for video output, since the very first MK802 last year. So what does the Tronsmart MK908 have over similar devices, that would justify its purchase?
According to liliputing’s review, the MK908, at $99, is one of the fastest Android devices out there, beating the Nexus 7 in benchmarks. More interestingly, compared to other set top box Android devices, it seems the Wifi has been dramatically improved. Some Android hdmi sticks have been reported to have heat problems, but the MK908 doesn’t seem to have such issues. Finally, the CPU seems to be even more energy efficient than the dual cores from rockchip when it comes to video playback.
The OS is a slightly tweaked version of Android 4.1. It is not perfect for a TV screen, but does its job. Overall the interface will be no surprise if you ever owned one of those usb sized TV boxes, but will not be as smooth as some (more expensive) smart TV alternatives. The good counterpart is that the device will run most of the google store apps out of the box.
Although video applications such as Netflix or MXPlayer work perfectly fine on the Tronsmart mk908, XBMC is the one big missing point for these Android hdmi sticks, because of the lack of hardware support from xbmc for the rockchip processors. This was the case for the MK802 III, and is according to liliputing still the case on the MK908. The issue is sadly out of the hands of the sticks manufacturers, and between the xbmc team and CPU manufacturer rockchip. I was secretly hoping for some magic thanks to the quad core, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Hopefully an update will come soon.
Specification for Tronsmart MK908:
CPU: RK3188 Quad Core 1.6GHz (Cortex-A9)
Ram: DDR3 2GB
Rom On board NAND Flash 4G/ 8G/ 16G
Micro SD Card/ T-Flash (Maximum support 32GB)
Video Format MPEG-1/ MPEG-2/ MPEG-4/ H.264/ AVS/ VC-1/ RV8/ RV9/ RV10 / VP6/ VP8 / Sorenson Spark/ MVC 1080p@60fps (1920×1080) ; H.263 576p@60fps(720×576)
Audio Format Support: MP3/WMA/APE/FLAC/AAC/OGG/AC3/WAV
Picture Format Support: Max.8000×8000 JPEG BMP GIF PNG
WIFI Broadcom AP6210, Support 802.11 b/g/n,Bluetooth 4.0
Output MINI HDMI Port
1-Mini USB, Support OTG
1-Mini USB for power
1-TF card slot
1-LED power indicator
1-Physical button(For upgrading software)
OS: Google Android 4.1 (uprade to Android 4.2 coming: April 30th)
Dimensions: 88mm * 31.5mm * 15.8mm
Working environment: 5°C–35°C，30%–90% Humidity
Storage environment: -20°C–60°C，10%–90% Humidity
Overall, if you are considering turning your dumb TV into a smart TV, the Tronsmart MK908 seems to be one of the best options out there today, for a reasonable price. Amazon sells it here
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