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Old 31-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #1
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Minix Neo X5

Instead of mixing up the feedback on the Minix Neo G4. I put up the review on the Minix Neo X5 here.

I call it, the Prototype of our future Android Computers - Review of Minix Neo X5

Tablets, Ipads have been eroding the market of PC slowly & now, companies have even made another step futher... the prototype of our future Android computer, the Minix Neo X5 Android TV box.

As a introductory name, they are being sold as Android Mini PC stick or Android TV boxes. Underneath the hood, it's the same Arm Core cpu from different vendors. There are myriads of such TV boxes or Mini PC sticks from Aztech, Astone & many more brands from China. Reviewing here is the more notable Minix Brand Neo X5 from Hong Kong, China. X5 stood up from the rest by having the faster Arm Cortex A9 1.4GHz Rockchip 3066 chip with 1G of ram, 16G of storage & latest 4.1.1 Jelly Bean OS. Not reviewing the Android Mini PC sticks also, because in general many such Mini PC sticks still suffering from overheating, insufficient power for the USB ports & etc. While it's fun to have a small stick, hanging such a stick behind your TV with lots of cables dangling around isn't the kind of aesthetic I like.










Here is a quick summary of what works & what does not & some solutions found.

1. Minix default Android Interface(launcher) is not as friendly as Android 4.1.1 default. Android 4.1.1 default launcher is available but no easy way to switch launcher.
Solution: Install any launcher & launch it & you will be given a choice to choose the Android default, Andriod new.launcher(=Minix) or the newly installed launcher. Select Android default.
2. X5 goes into sleep mode & never wake up. Solution: Go to settings & developer options. Select 'Screen never sleeps'. It's odd such an important settings put into developer section.
3. Skype call out for 5 seconds & disconnect automatically when connected to both ethernet & wifi. Disconnect wifi & skype will work normal on ethernet. Like wise, disconnect ethernet & skype will work normal on wifi. This is a bug obviously.
4. XBMC works but no hardware acceleration. - there is a tweak for XBMC to launch media using external players like MX player. Not covered in this review. (Scratch that, please see update at page 2, post #16.)
5. Wireless is weak compared to normal USB dongle attached to PC. Within same location in the room, Minix wireless not stable, but PC with a Wifi USB dongle reported good connection.
6. The default remote control is infra-red & totally insensitive. I ordered the X5 together with a Measy RC11 airmouse which is much better then the default remote. Still, nothing beats the friendliness of a wired or wireless mouse.
7. "KuaiShou Kan Pian TV version" not working, and cannot be replaced as it's listed as system app. Install KuaiShou Kan Pian & problem solved.
8. Default file explorer does not remember samba/windows shares credential from your PC or NAS. Install ES Explorer. Automount in the Linux/Windows way is not possible still.
9. The default media player is capable to detects & play from my NAS's upnp, my XBMC server as well as my MythTV server. Did not explore the built-in media server.
10. Key Apps to install:
a. MX Player supports hardware acceleration. But only 1 default subtitle srt file supported. Hope future updates supports loading more than 1 subtitle srt files eg. Eng, Chinese Traditional & Chinese Simplified. Those are important for my non-English speaking family members.
b. Funshion. It seemed some US & HK Drama available in the Windows version but missing from the Android version.
c. Kuai Shou US drama, Kuai Shou HK drama, Kuai Shou kan pian.
d. Skype.
11. Skype from Google Play store works out of the box. Which webcam works with X5? I am using ProLink one as shown below. It's available locally. Still have not figure out how to start skype automatically when X5 starts.



Most people will hook the X5 up to their Full HD TV & use it with the air mouse/remote control.

My setup:
1. Hook up X5 with a HDMI-to-DVI convertor & use it on a DVI LED monitor.
2. Connect a powered speakers to the audio out of the X5. USB speaker would have taken up another USB port.
3. I connect a Prolink web cam, RC11 air mouse & a wired mouse to the 3 USB ports.

This setup stays on 24/7 & i only turn off the monitor when not in use. It's been running stable since I disabled the 'turn monitor to sleep mode' option. Advantage of such setup is that, incoming Skype call will rings through the external speakers which stays on & not consuming much electricity. That will not work on the audio out through HDMI to the TV when it's switched off on idle time. The Minix cost around S$150 from online stores including the Air Mouse & shipment to Singapore. That's a price point that today DIY PC cannot beat.

Today I measured the power consumption of the X5.

I got ~3 watts at idle.



I got ~4 watts while playing back Full HD movie with MX player running on hardware acceleration with the Mali Quad Core chip. Note that I tested on my pc, power consumption is lower when hardware acceleration kicks in. Without that, the cpu will be made to run at full speed to playback Full HD movies & consume more power instead.

Note that, the measurement are all taken with the Minix X5 alone. My LCD monitor & the speakers is taking up another 20W or so. Total of the Anroid PC + Monitor + Speaker is ~ 25W. Even my ultra low power Intel i3 2100T consumes 35Watts on idle. May be this is finally the computing technology that finally save the earth.

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Last edited by coyote; 10-03-2013 at 11:26 PM..
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Old 31-12-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
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other than xbmc any good app for watching videos from NAS?
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:08 AM   #3
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Thanks for starting thread, I recently got this as well, neat little machine.
Here's the specs for everyone

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Old 02-01-2013, 11:15 AM   #4
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coyote are u able to install chrome browser for tablets on JellyBean?
I'm on ICS and unable to get chrome (device not compatible)
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:13 PM   #5
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No problem installing chrome & firefox on 4.1.1 but it seemed the default browser is more compatble with web.applications & etc.

Last edited by coyote; 02-01-2013 at 02:32 PM..
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:12 AM   #6
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Sharing some useful apps that i use for the Minix Neo X5 and some other TV sticks!
  • TVlauncher PRO
    A launcher designed for TV which is air mouse friendly!

  • Null Keyboard
    To remove the on-screen keyboard which takes up a lot space on the screen.
  • DroidMote Server
    Control the Neo X5 with your android device with multitouch and gamepad support.
    Using DroidMote to play GTA: Vice City

  • SnapPea
    Access Neo X5 from your windows desktop! Connect via Wi-Fi to the same network and it will allow you to manage files and folder on the X5 and also allowing you to install apk files right from your PC!

  • ProxyDroid
    Set the proxy on your android devices to allow you access all the drama/movie on PPS影音! (Require root!)
    Basically run the app and set the Host as "201.98.123.126" and Port as "80". Enable proxy and you are good to go!

That's all I have! Do contribute more if you guys have other useful apps or tips!!
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:26 AM   #7
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I'm interested in buying this product but i have some questions to ask.

1) I read tat the minix neo x5 has its google playstore set at China. If true, can it be changed?

2) I intend to buy from the local distro at SLS for $199. Are there any other places that offers this with cash & carry?

Many thanks in advance!
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:20 PM   #8
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How to delete apps?

Hi Coyote,
Thanks for extensive review.

May I know how to delete apps?
There are a lot of apps that I dont need
I have the same keyboard controller as you.

Thanks.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
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Flash ICS to JB

My experience so far in flashing from ICS to JB has been frustrating.
- Bought 4.0.4 version from SLS
- Followed Official Firmware | MINIX Forums - Unofficial to upgrade to 4.1.1_1227
- Trimmed the OTG cable to ensure full contact with the device
- Successfully flashed and restarted
- During normal operations, constant random freezes/crashes, sometimes it even self-reboot out of nowhere

Brief glimpse of JB: vastly improved interface, speed and functionality. Sites recognise the X5 as a tablet rather than phone. So they will load the tablet version if its available, making big screens effective now.

Attempted 3 times before giving up. Damn sian, so decided to flash back to 4.0.4.
If someone has links to the 4.1.4 (not the _1227 version) firmware, please do share. Or solutions to the freezing will be appreciated too, thanks!

Last edited by duri4n; 03-01-2013 at 07:58 PM..
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:07 PM   #10
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Try the following, not sure if it helps.

2. X5 goes into sleep mode & never wake up. Solution: Go to settings & developer options. Select 'Screen never sleeps'. It's odd such an important settings put into developer section.

- During normal operations, constant random freezes/crashes, sometimes it even self-reboot out of nowhere

Or solutions to the freezing will be appreciated too, thanks!
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:41 PM   #11
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Hi Coyote

May i check how did you download fushion and kuaishou?
Cant find them on PLAY.
Hope you can advise.

Thanks!
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:26 PM   #12
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funshion

kuaishou

Hi Coyote

May i check how did you download fushion and kuaishou?
Cant find them on PLAY.
Hope you can advise.

Thanks!
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Last edited by coyote; 04-01-2013 at 12:12 AM..
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:39 PM   #13
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goto settings-->app, select the app you want to uninstall and click uninstall.









Hi Coyote,
Thanks for extensive review.

May I know how to delete apps?
There are a lot of apps that I dont need
I have the same keyboard controller as you.

Thanks.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:03 AM   #14
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thanks coyote, so far so good
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:40 AM   #15
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Anyone knows how to import Firefox bookmarks from PC to Android TV box?
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