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Minix NEO X5 review

Can a combination of stock Android and app support make the NEO X5 a winner?

There has been a recent rise in the amount of Android PCs to hit the market, with the latest coming from the largely unheralded Minix. The NEO X5 looks to dabble as both an Android PC and a media hub to attract a wide variety of people. Design wise, there’s nothing special here, although the curved edges of the hub do have a nice aesthetic to them. Around the back are a wide selection of ports for you to use. There’s a single HDMI port, three USB ports, one microUSB port, an audio out, ethernet and also a SD card reader. The list is fairly staggering for something of its size.

The process of connecting it up to your TV is easy via the HDMI port, even if it will take a few seconds for the device to load up initially. It runs Android 4.1, meaning it’s compatible with a large library of apps and includes a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor which could do with being a bit bigger for our liking. You can use either your phone or tablet to control the X5 while using it on your TV, or also a wired keyboard and mouse if you want an authentic PC experience.

Like any other device running Android 4.1, you can install apps directly from the Google Play store or sideload them through the SD card reader. There’s a number of apps pre-installed, with the likes of Netflix and Pandora being a click away. Movies can be watched in 1080p, but the X5 does have issues recognising certain file types. The same can be said about audio files, with the X5 having trouble recognising some of the MP3 files we were trying to play through it.

The NEO X5 is by no means a poor Android PC. It has plenty of connectivity  options, runs stock Android and does offer a decent PC experience. It does however have teething problems with recognising files and a slightly underwhelming processor.