I have to admit it. I’m a little biased towards the G-Box Midnight MX2.
It’s not really my fault. You see, I’ve got a friend who’s one of those obnoxious “Apple Guys.” You know the type. You probably have one too. He stood in line for the iPhone 5, and then the 5S. I swear he’s written a few sonnets about how much he loves his Apple TV. So I have an interest in finding something that’s better than the Apple TV. So saying that I was excited to get my hands on the G-Box Midnight MX2 is a bit of an understatement. But, I had to ask: Is it better than the Apple TV?
G-Box Midnight MX2
- AmLogic A9 Dual-Core CPU
- Mali400 Dual-Core GPU
- 1GB DDR3 RAM
- 8GB internal flash storage
- 802.11 b/g/n wireless
- 10/100 wired Ethernet port
- 4 USB Ports
- SD/MMC card slot
- Coaxial SPDIF Digital Audio Output
- HDMI v1.4 output port
- Composite audio/video out
The G-Box Midnight MX2 is designed from the ground up specifically for streaming media. It comes with a custom version of XBMC as well as Android 4.2 pre-installed. This shaves a lot of time off the initial set-up process. For those that need a little extra help, G-Box has created an official setup video on their YouTube page, but you can watch it below:
Bigger, but Better
The G-Box Midnight MX2 is one of the largest Android mini PC’s we’ve reviewed. It is slightly bigger than the Apple TV. The MX2 sits at 5 inches on each side and two inches high. The Apple TV is just under four inches on each side and one inch high. It’s definitely not something you’ll be hiding discretely behind your television. But, at the same time, no other device gives you this much flexibility. The included wireless remote is nothing special, but it is certainly adequate for basic operation. I would recommend getting a touchpad enabled keyboard like our favorite, the Logitech K400. The G-Box Midnight MX2 gives you 4 USB ports – so no need for an external hub. It gives you both wireless and wired networking connections. It gives you an SD card slot for external storage or easy transfer from other devices. With the exception of Bluetooth capability, this unit has it all right out-of-the-box. Advantage: G-Box MX2
As I mentioned before, the G-Box Midnight MX2 comes with both Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and XBMC pre-installed. The XBMC installed is a custom version, developed specifically for this device. This means that there is no lag or audio/video sync issues like other devices. The MX2 also automatically updates itself through either wireless or Ethernet so it always has the latest features available – without the need to manually root and flash it!
The G-Box Midnight MX2 is simply one of the best streaming media players I’ve tested. It easily keeps pace with a Roku 3, and offers a lot more flexibility than an Apple TV. Looking at the G-Box MX2 as just a streaming media player, it easily holds its own against the competition. The sheer number of USB ports, the SD card slot, wired Ethernet and improved wireless capability make it one of the best streaming players on the market. The fact that it runs the Android OS, giving you access to all your favorite apps is just a bonus!