• Pros:
  • Packed with features
  • In-built Wi-Fi
  • Plays just about everything
  • Cons:
  • None

ASUS’ latest media player has to be the most complete one yet

While it has surely settled down from the initial hype, digital media players like the ASUS O!Play Mini Plus are still great devices to consider in any home entertainment system. The problem with picking a specific one is that they’re all essentially the same. But the ASUS O!Play Mini Plus, well, this one plays its own game.

But first, the design. The O!Play Mini Plus looks as its name says – it’s small (heaps smaller than the first O!Play), and it’s light and slim enough to blend in anywhere. There aren’t much in aesthetics, but the top does resemble the obsidian diamond-back design of the ASUS RT-N56U router. The connectivity options on this thing is more extensive than presumed: it has a USB port and a 4-in-1 card reader at the front, and the HDMI, eSATA/USB combo, RJ-45 LAN and S/PDIF ports allocated to the back. The device comes with a remote control.

Having the myriad of connectivity options is just one reason why we consider the O!Play Mini Plus a complete media player. The device itself pretty much crams in every feature we’d like to see in it, including built-in Wi-Fi capability (for HD streaming of content), notebook-to-TV streaming, media sharing through mobile phones and even Internet access. How much more feature packed can it be?

The Internet connectivity it has deserves a little more mention. While you’d be hard press to use it for browsing, the device lets you stream from YouTube, a variety of online TV channels and radio, and access to Facebook, Picasa and Flickr (Facebook’s access require a firmware upgrade, however). The device also support Acetrax, which is unfortunately unavailable here.

Each feature is thankfully easily accessible, and setting them up isn’t hard. With the player supporting essentially most of every popular video extensions out there, you can bet it to run everything you can find.

CHIP CONCLUDE : The ASUS O!Play Mini Plus is the most wholesome media player of ASUS yet. Maintaining its core functionality perfectly, the device expands on its features and gives it a lot more value than most media players out there. Well played, ASUS. Well played.

(previously published on issue February 2012)