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Probox EX 2+ – new Android TV box delivers solid performance and features [Review]

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Internet TV is definitely the coming thing, and sales of the small add-on boxes, which convert a standard television into one which connects to your WiFi to deliver games and entertainment, are continuing to rise and rise. We’ve just been looking at a new box which promise upgraded performance, to see whether it delivers.

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The new Probox EX2+ incorporates an upgraded processor and improved graphical processing, which is designed to deliver a smoother and richer experience on your TV. The changes are not massive, but as an upgrade it’s perfectly decent. The new model features a quad core 2GHz processor, 2GB RAM, Android 5.1, Dual Band WiFi, and Gigabit Ethernet connection. Take a look at our video below to get an idea of how the box performs.

First impressions
The device comes in the standard Probox packaging, along with a goodly array of extras. These include an HDMI cable, USB cable, remote control (plus a Probox Air Mouse remote control as a special offer) and a set of A/V cables for connecting to things like your Hi-Fi system. There’s also a decent user guide and an external WiFi aerial to make sure you get a good signal from your router.

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In use
The box installs as easily and quickly as almost all of these Android TV products, and if you’re familiar with Android phones and tablets, the set up of things like the WiFi will be a 20 second cinch. Just plug the HDMI cable into your television, pop batteries into the remote control, connect to your WiFi signal and you’re ready to go. From then on, it’s all down to the software and apps.

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The new Probox operates exactly the same as the previous model we tested, with the same simple but useful user interface, and the snappy quick response rate from Android 5.1. The Antuttu benchmark of 35661 puts it some 4000 points above the original EX2, so there is definitely a performance boost as well. The company has also made efforts to make the whole ‘out of box’ experience better, so there are more apps already installed and waiting, to save time having to set up and install them. These include a couple of fun games and the usual utilities, as well as Chrome, Netflix, Hulu and Kodi (with channels pre-installed).

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We also like the addition of an optional fancy colorful launcher, which you can use instead of the default interface, to make things a bit brighter. Giving customers choice is always a good thing, and in this case it means that the box can be set up to please just about any age or demographic. Nice touch!

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Conclusion
The new Probox model is very much an evolution, rather than an evolution of the original, so it’s not really going to be worth upgrading unless you need the extra features that come with the updated product. For those with weaker WiFi signals in the house, or who have problems with their graphical processing (glitches and such like) on an original Probox EX2, it may be worth taking a look. For the rest, if you’re thinking of taking the plunge into Internet TV, this is just about as good a box as you will get, so it’s definitely worth putting on your evaluation list.

Price: From $118 (or $139.99 as tested with extra remote).

Specifications:

CPU – Amlogic S812 Quad Core Cortex A9 CPU, up to 2Ghz
GPU – Octo Core Mali-450 GPU, up to 600Mhz
Memory / Storage – 2GB DDR3 / 16GB eMMC
Wireless Connectivity – 802.11ac Dual Band WIFI (2.4Ghz / 5.8Ghz), Bluetooth 4.0
OS – Android Lollipop 5.1
Video Output – HDMI 1.4b, up to 4K** @ 30fps, Support HDMI-CEC
Audio Output – Via HDMI 1.4b, optical SPDIF
Power – DC 5V 2A adapter (CE, FCC, CCC Certified)
Peripheral Interface – RJ-45 Ethernet Port (10/100/1000Mbps), USB 2.0 Port x 2, OTG Port, TF Card Reader, AV Port, IR Sensor (Remote included)
Packing Included – PROBOX2 EX, Power Adapter, IR Remote, Dual-Band Antenna, AV Cable, HDMI v1.4b Cable, USB Cable, User Manual
Dimensions / Weight – 115mm * 115mm * 26mm / 200g

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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