Reviewed by GEV.com
Asus O!Play MINI is a compact Media Player with fewer connectivity options than other models from the series, which targets users who need a product capable of playing most audio and video formats without paying extra for additional useless features.
With a minimal design and a simple remote control, Asus O!Play Mini remains a very versatile media player, based on a powerful hardware platform, capable of playing most media formats, including Full HD resolution.
While previous generation TVs can use the analog composite connection and stereo sound through RCA connection, LCD TV users can use the HDMI 1.3 connector with support for 1080p resolution.
The sound can be broadcast to a LCD TV through the HDMI cable or using an analog connection and RCA cable. Those that own an audio system with a digital decoder can also use the S/PDIF optical output.
The list of supported audio formats includes: Mp3, WAV, AAC, OGG, WMA, FLAC, ATIF, and when using an optical connection we get full support for the following formats: DTS-HD, Dolby True HD, DTS 2.0, Dolby Digital AC3 and PCM/LPCM.
In the package we have an HDMI cable and a RCA one, for TV’s and audio devices that support analog connections. Asus O!Play Mini uses an external AC adapter which can be connected in the back side of the device.
The front side of the case houses the remote control infrared sensor, along with an USB 2.0 connector and the SD/MS/MMC/xD memory slot, that supports up to 32 GB.
When connecting an external hard drive of USB Flash Drive formatted using FAT32 or NTFS, O!Play Mini makes an initial indexing of the available media files, an operation that takes place in the background, allowing us to browse the folder structure used by the integrated file manager. It automatically generates icons for photos and provides a preview mode for video files. The file list can be displayed as simple list, thumbnail or preview, and for a better control we can also use filters for selective display of photos, movies and audio files.
The graphical interface is pretty good esthetically but it also provides a good functionality, offering an easy to learn and use menu system.
The list of advanced configuration options offers the possibility of adjusting the aspect ratio and the working resolution, video zoom feature and a digital algorithm for reducing the noise level, useful for lower quality videos. For a more cursive rendering of videos we an use the 1080p/24 HZ format.
The image quality is good, in general, for both Full HD and SD resolution videos. The noise reduction feature is useful for videos with a low bitrate, however for Blu-Ray videos its better to be disabled.
The list of supported formats is impressive: MP4, MOV, XVID AVI, ASF, WMV, MKV, FLV, TS, M2TS, DAT, MPG, VOB, MTS, ISO, IFO, TP,TRP,M1V,M2V,M4V and AVS.
Asus O!Play Mini has also played 1080p video files very well, based on TS container and directly taken from a BluRay disk. MKV files caused no problems, just like the ones based on Mp4 and Avi containers.
When used for photos, O!Play Mini automatically scales the images to fit the screen’s format, allows you to rotate the image and even to adjust the color saturation.
Playing Mp3 files is done very simple, all you have to do is browse through the folder structure and choose the file you need.
Conclusion of this review
At a first glance, Asus O!Play Mini presents itself with a simple and friendly design, that does not provide too many clues regarding its qualities.
But we all know that appearances can be deceiving, O!Play Mini housing a strong video processor that can play almost any type of media file you have to offer.
The menu system is simple and it has a raw design in some cases, however it provides enough configuration options. The same thing can be said about the remote control.
- supports a large number of media files
- a lot of configuration optins
- good quality/price ratio
- HDMI included in the accessories package
- lacks internal memory
- can only be controlled using the remote control
- the lack of an USB connector in the back