If you want to play Android games or stream video from Netflix, YouTube, or other devices to your TV then an Android TV stick with a single or dual-core processor will probably do the trick. But that hasn’t stopped Chinese device makers from putting out ever-more-powerful models.
One of the latest is an Android TV stick with a quad-core Allwinner A31 ARM Cortex-A7 processor and PowerVR SGX 544 graphics.
The folks at GeekBuying got their hands on a pre-release sample and took it for a test drive.
The processor seems reasonably fast, scoring 10915 in the AnTuTu benchmark. That puts it pretty close to what you’d expect from a device with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor.
GeekBuying also reports that the device can handle 4K video playback – but out of the box it only actually outputs 1280 x 720 pixels when you hook it up to a TV or monitor. There’s not even an option for 1080p. The hardware should support it, but the included software doesn’t seem to work just yet.
The Android TV stick also struggles with 1080p video playback when using the XBMC media center app for Android. According to GeekBuying, their test unit also randomly rebooted a few times.
In other words, you might want to wait for a firmware update or two before spending money on this particular unit. But if you just can’t wait, CNX-Software notes that there’s a new seller at AliExpress (with no feedback) taking orders for $101.
The device features 2GB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage, 802.11n WiFi, 2 mini USB ports, a full-sized USB host port, and a reset button. There’s an HDMI adapter on one end, which you can use to plug the stick directly into a TV. It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.