Astone Media Gear AP-100 media streamer
A budget Full HD media player
- Ethernet connection, Full HD media playback, multiple digital output options
- Complicated networking, impractical placement of USB ports, flimsy design
The Astone Media Gear AP-100 offers value for money, providing good quality Full HD media playback and extensive format support. The plain design, complex networking system and lack of a hard drive may deter some people.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
At first glance, the Astone Media Gear 1080p AP-100 looks like a bedside clock with its flimsy construction and bland design. However, it's actually a media player with good format support, a reasonable price and the ability to play Full HD media.
There are two USB ports at the front; unfortunately they are placed extremely close together. This makes it virtually impossible to plug two USB drives into the unit simultaneously; to use both ports, one would need to be plugged in via extension cable.
On the back of the unit there are composite connections, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, a mini connection for component video and an S/PDIF socket for digital audio output. This is an impressive array of connections for a player at this price point. (The Western Digital WD TV — which also retails for $199 — lacks Ethernet, for example.)
One of the best things about the Astone AP-100 media player is that it supports a wide range of video codecs including MPEG-1, DivX and FLV. Playback is seamless and smooth; we didn't notice any frames skipping in videos. A few times while watching high-definition video files audio was out of sync with the video, but a quick re-buffer of the file and you’re back to enjoying Full HD media. When watching videos, users have the option to switch between resolutions, including 480p, 576p, 720p and 1080p. Users also have the option to view photographs, and eight transition effects can be selected for slideshows.
The media player lets you create playlists of videos, music and photos; however it does not have any internal memory. In order to access media files an external storage device will need to be plugged into the unit via the USB connection.
The media player can connect to an existing network and stream music, photos and videos directly from a connected computer. Unfortunately there are about 12 pages in the manual dedicated to connecting the device to a network, which includes going through settings on a computer’s Control Panel and Local Area Connection Panel, which may deter less tech-savvy users. An optional USB dongle connects the device to Wi-Fi networks.
The Astone Media Gear AP-100 media player certainly offers good value for money. If you're willing to overlook its flimsy design, poorly positioned USB ports and complicated networking, the high-performance Full HD media playback and extensive format support will definitely satisfy most users.
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Synology DiskStation DS215j NAS device
- 2 Fitbit Charge wireless activity tracker
- 3 HP Stream 11 laptop
- 4 B&O BeoPlay A2 portable Bluetooth speaker
- 5 Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-111)
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Blackphone super-secure communications app had serious flaw
- Alibaba clashes with Chinese regulator over online sales of fake goods
- Cisco integration gives Samsung Knox users more options for secure connectivity
- The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Wednesday, January 28
- France wants to hold social media networks accountable for hate speech
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.