Portable Android Multimedia Center
Ever since the computers were able to play decent quality music and video, people like myself have dreamed for an appropriate multimedia center solution. Old computers refurbished with the use of better video and audio add-on cards, small PCs or towers hidden behind the TV – you name it, it’s been tried.
Not unsurprisingly, with the onset of Android as a solution for anything (did you know there is an Android based sonar for finding fish when fishing?) a plethora of devices that can be named multimedia centers has appeared on the market and the temptation is very difficult to overcome. It is however, difficult to choose what device is suitable for each house – not all manufacturers choose the best way to give us control to the device (and ultimately the apps it runs)
Until OrbZee SoundPad 2 showed up on the market:
It is a beautifully designed device, looking a bit like an orb (hence its name) and I love it. Ever since I brought the first sample, it has become the centerpiece in my kitchen and barbecue area.
Honestly, the first proof this device is good to have was when my wife wanted to cook some fancy French sweet things and instead of dusting in sugar my Galaxy Note 10 tablet she just used the OrbZee with the remote whilst I was reading my Facebook news on my tablet 😀
Amongst its many uses, being a perfect solution for all major internet music streaming services (they all have Android apps) is on top of the list – now I don;t have to look for my mobile in order to listen to some music.
Then (obviously) comes the fact that it can be used as hands-free for Android, IPhone and Windows phones and it does quite a good job – thanks to a pretty sensitive microphone and the high quality speakers.
I use it as a bed-side alarm clock/weather station. The included clock app isn’t that great (stock app) but thanks to Glimmer – an alarm clock app that wakes me by gradually increasing the luminosity of the screen and volume of the music played – I have now a beautifully designed one. And with Weatherzone added as well, I have a perfect bed-side assistant.
But what is most surprising about the OrbZee SoundPad 2 is the addition of the HDMI port. Now, many Android devices have an HDMI port (in particular tablets) but this one has a NORMAL size port. Which means you can simply plug it into your TV and make it a SmartTV :). Believe me, the only reason my old media center PC is still there is because I just completed its building about one year ago and I wouldn’t want all the work to be for nothing. And it cost me about three times the price of the OrbZee 🙁
- Android 4.4
- RK 3028A /1G processor/Dual-Core
- 1G DDRIII
- 8GB Storage
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth v2.1 with EDR
- 0.3MP front camera
- IR remote controller
- 2 x 5W Speakers
- 1024*600 TFT capacitive screen
- I/O: USB HOST, TF card reader(up to 32GB), HDMI, Aux in, DC