I’ve recently reviewed my first Rockchip RK3288 Android mini PC, UyeSee G1H, and while it’s not catastrophic, the box still have stability issues related to Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, AV video output, Wi-Fi performance and so on. Now Geekbuying has just announced availability of the beta versions of their Tronsmart Orion R28 Android TV box also powered by the quad core ARM Cortex A12/A17 processor. This first batch (180 pieces) is geared towards tinkerers and “ROM makers”, rather than people who just want something that works, and these first boxes will ship with an Android SDK (5.1GB) on a micro SD card. [Update: link to SDK]
There will be three models: Orion R28 Pro (8GB flash, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi), Orion R28 Meta (16GB flash, 802.11ac Wi-Fi), and Orion R28 Telos (4GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, 802.11ac Wi-Fi). They’ve just manufactured the first two models in the first batch, with 90 pieces each.
Tronsmart Orion R28 specifications:
- SoC – Rockchip RK3288 quad core ARM Cortex A12 / A17 processor @ 1.8GHz with ARM Mali-T764 quad-core 3D GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenCL 1.1, and DirectX11
- System Memory
- Pro and Meta – 2GB DDR3
- Telos – 4GB DDR3
- Pro – 8GB eMMC Flash + micro SD slot
- Meta – 16GB eMMC Flash + micro SD slot
- Telos – 32GB eMMC Flash + micro SD slot
- Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60fps, 3.5mm AV jack
- Audio Output – HMDI, AV, and optical S/PDIF
- Video Codecs – MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4,H.263, H.264, H.265,AVS, VC-1,RV, VP6/VP8, Sorenson Spark, MVC 3800 x 2160P 60FPS
- Video Containers – H.264, H.265, AVI, TS, TP, TRP, VOB, MKV, MP4, MOV, ISO, ASF, FLV, DAT, MPG, MPEG, SWF, OGM, WMV, ASF, RM/RMV
- Audio Codecs – MPEG1, MPEG2(Layer I/II), MP3, AC-3, E-AC-3, AAC-LC, WMA, HE-AAC
- Pro – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6210 module)
- Meta and Telos – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6335 module)
- USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB port
- Misc – Power LED, power button, update button for recovery, and IR receiver.
- Power – 5V/3A
- Dimensions – 15.87 x 8.23 x 2.84 cm
- Weight – 176 grams
These media players will run Android 4.4., come pre-loaded with XBMC, and support OTA updates (yes!). The package will also include a Wi-Fi antenna, an HDMI cable, a USB cable, a simple IR remote control, a 5V/3A power adapter, and a user’s guide.
The first beta devices comes at a discounted price. Tronsmart Orion R28 Pro sells for $79.99 instead of $99.99, and R28 Meta for $99.99 instead of $119.99. If you happen to be the first to release a custom ROM you’ll get a full refund, same thing if you are the first to post a review (video or article). Anybody that posts a review will also get a $10 coupon for future purchases. But again, if you’re really looking for something that works, wait before purchasing a Rockchip RK3288 box. Software bugs can be fixed with firmware upgrades, but if there’s an hardware defect in the beta samples, albeit unlikely, you’ll be out of luck.
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