- Poor manual, demands a tech-savvy user
The Mediagate MG-35 is a combination portable hard disk and network media player. It works well; however, a relatively poor manual and tricky setup demands a tech-minded user to make the most of it.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
While most media devices on the market either include a hard disk for storing content locally, or are able to play files stored on a networked PC, the Mediagate MG-35 has a bet each way. It's both a network media player and a portable storage device rolled into one. It's designed to pipe video and audio content across a network and play it back on a TV or home stereo system, but can also be used as a portable hard disk to move files around or play media stored on its internal drive.
The Mediagate doesn't ship with a hard disk, so you'll have to factor the cost of storage into the buying price. The unit takes a regular 3.5" IDE drive. Installing the drive should be no problem for anyone comfortable with opening up their PC case; however, those less experienced with technology may need some help from a more knowledgeable friend or relative. Plugging in the drive takes a couple of minutes, and then you're free to connect up the MG-35 to a PC via USB to format the disk and start transferring media across. The device handles many video formats, including MPEG-1, -2 and -4, DivX and XviD. It can play MP3, OGG, WMA and WAV audio files and display JPEG images. There's no support for progressive scan playback, however.
Though the USB connection is handy, the MG-35 also sports an Ethernet port and includes support for DHCP. The Mediagate doesn't ship with any software other than a USB driver for Windows 98, and instead relies on the user being able to tweak Windows settings to set up IP addresses and shared folders. The advantage of using this method is that the Mediagate doesn't specifically require Windows and will work with Linux and Mac OS.
The manual provides step-by-step instructions to help the user through the process. It's poorly written and the instructions can get confusing.
The rear panel serves up a reasonable range of connectors, including coaxial, composite and S-Video outputs, and S/PDIF and RCA audio plugs. The white front face has power, play, stop and navigation buttons, while a small silver and black remote control provides primary access to the machine's functions.
One of the major advantages of the MG 35 is its small footprint; the base measures 9 x 14cm, and the unit stands just 20cm tall. It sits neatly beside a TV in even the most cramped lounge room, and is a solid offering for anyone comfortable with adding a drive to the box and then coercing it to talk with other PCs on a home network. Anyone less comfortable with technology should steer clear, though.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- YouTube launches streaming TV service with 40 channels and unlimited cloud DVR storage
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSales AssociateACT
- FTDigital DesignerOther
- FTCommunications & Change AnalystOther
- TPSenior Change ManagerACT
- FTRAN SMEOther
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- TPTest ManagerNSW
- FTIT Infrastructure EngineerOther
- TPBusiness Process AnalystVIC
- CCTest LeadWA
- FTPlatform/DevOps EngineerOther
- FTService Delivery Manager - Telecommunications InfrastructureOther
- CCAudio-Visual DesignerVIC
- FTSolution Architect - SecurityVIC
- TPSenior Project Manager - System ImplementationQLD
- FTMicrosoft Azure Cloud EngineerNSW
- FTNetwork EngineerSA
- FTProject CoordinatorOther
- FTDesktop EngineerOther
- FTCustomer Support OperatorSA
- FTSoftware Tech Lead | C++ | Trading | Market ConnectivityOther
- TP.Net DeveloperWA
- CCSenior Java DeveloperQLD
- FTFinance and PeopleSoft Project ManagerOther