What caught my eye wasn't the knife so much, but the price. Amazon was listing it for 38$. It normally lists everywhere from 70-90$. So I checked and double checked the model number and sure enough it was the Swede 92. So I pulled the trigger and bought it.
The odd part comes when not a minute later I go back and look at the Amazon listing again and suddenly it's showing at 75$. So I start thinking I looked at the wrong listing, so I check my order and it still shows 38$, click on the product link in my order, and back to the listing now showing 75$.
What's even stranger is this was a "Ships and Sold by Amazon" knife. So it wasn't a difference in 3rd party seller prices. Not sure if anyone else has had this happen. Maybe Amazon does random secret half price discounts and I just happened to come across one right before it expired. Either that or it was glitch in their pricing system
Either way I got it for about half the price it sells for everywhere else. Happy days! :D
Initially I had looked at several different Android based XBMC/Kodi style boxes and settled on the new offering from Matricom. Overall they seemed to have a good reputation and solid performance based on older offerings. And though this version hasn't been out long (only since November), I went into it knowing there were probably going to be "growing pains" involved.
I also chose the newest offering for the more up to date hardware. Overall, it has about twice the hardware performance of the MX2, with double the storage, and RAM and of course being quad core instead of dual. As this will not be used much for gaming, my main concern was mostly for streaming media. I ordered mine off eBay as Amazon seems to have problems keeping these in stock. Mine shipped fast and arrived within days of ordering it. Unboxing was easy and it came with everything to setup the device and get it running (yes, it even came with a 1.4v HDMI cable, 6 feet in length).
The device comes with all the necessary ports, 1 HDMI, 2 USB (2.0), Ethernet (10/100), optical S/PDIF, as well as an SD card slot. There was some negative reviews for the lack of USB ports, with many citing that the MX2 had 4 ports as opposed to the newer Q having only 2. I didn't have an issue with this as I will probably only ever need two at the most. But that remains to be seen. Overall, connecting the device took me only a couple of minutes, and soon I was ready to fire up my new device.
The remote that comes with the device it a pretty basic remote with all the typical keys. Power, Number keys, separate volume up and down, directional arrows with the center "OK" button. It also has a mouse mode button that enables the on screen cursor. The cursor is controlled by the arrow keys and works as expected (as a mouse being controlled by a remote). Again, this seemed to be an issue with some reviewers, but was within my expectations. I also ended up purchasing a Rii i8 wireless touchpad keyboard. For 17$, it is a great little addition and makes navigating and even playing games much easier. My device (as of yet) has no issues with the keyboard.
Once powered on, the device saw my wired network and connected without issue. Initial setup was easy to follow and familiar if you are an Android user. After adding my Google account, all my Android apps were there ready to be downloaded (for the most part). One of the bigger user complaints with this device was the Matricom UI. However, for me, I found it to be fairly simple and streamlined. They use a simple set of "rows" broken down into several categories (Favorites, Video, Music, etc.) All the rows can be easily edited to add additional app icons to them (for any apps, be they Android or XBMC). The only thing I found that could have been better is if they added the option to add additional rows. But for most people, the existing rows cover most of their category needs. For those who prefer the Kodi UI, the device already has the Kodi icon in one of the rows (Apps) that easily allows you to switch to the Kodi interface and add the needed add ons.
Overall, I found the setup and navigation to be fairly streamlined and painless. A stark contrast to my Samsung smart TV that, to me, has one of the most counter intuitive and clunky interfaces. After dealing with Samsung, the Matricom UI was a joy (in contrast). Settings allow a variety of options such as CEC, DTS, audio pass through, etc. And, according to Matricom, the device support all the standard and popular video/audio formats. (http://matricom.net/g-box-midnight-q-manual/) Likewise, Advanced Settings takes you into the actual Android settings menu where you can make additional changes.
So far I have tested Netflix, Hulu, Play Music, Play Movies. All of which work without issue. The Amazon Instant Video, while available for download in Play store for this device, is not the full app. upon launching, it opens a web browser and takes you to the web. Some apps don't work (like Crackle or Crunchy Roll), but overall, most of my Android apps seem to work sop far. At the moment, I am still familiarizing myself with Kodi, so I cannot offer a review on setting up add ons in Kodi. Likewise, I haven't tested streaming over my network yet. I only tested playing movies over USB from an external drive which seemed to work fine as well.
Now, for the issues I ran into. So far, the only issues I have encountered were both being able to get OTA updates. The device currently ships with firmware version 1.2.1. Matricom has since released firmware updates 1.3, and 1.3.1. Firmware 1.3 introduced a number of changes and performance updates. They removed the stock Android browser and added Chrome, as well as Google music, and YoutubeTV. Some of the issues/performance fixes were for WiFi as well as expanded support for Kodi 14.1+. (https://forums.matricom.net/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=13187). However, it seems that the new update added some issues, namely, reducing network performance (WiFi). This was then addressed in patch 1.3.1 (which was more of an emergency patch) s well as adressing some other issues. (https://forums.matricom.net/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=13249).
The issues with OTA updates stem from Matricoms update servers unable to handle the volume of traffic. This led them to take them offline and have been for about just over a week. At the moment, they are still offline. I was able to update my devices firmware the "old fashioned" way. By downloading the update files and putting them on the root of an SD card. Once the card is inserted into the device, you simply boot into recovery. Matricom was nice enough to offer that option when choosing to reboot the device. You can either select "Reboot" or "Recovery" from the pop up. once in recovery, I selected "Update from External source>SD card> and selected the zip file. Viola! Anyone who is familiar with using custom ROMs on Android devices will be at home with this procedure. I much prefer OTA updates to manual updates, but until they get the issue with their server hammered out, manual is the only method.
Just a warning. If you wipe the device when updating, Kodi will no longer be there as Matricom is no longer packaging Kodi with their updates. But you can still easily use a browser and download then install the Android version of Kodi from their web page. Matricom is also working on an "App store" which will be available from their interface and allow for one click installation of Kodi.
Overall I am pleased with my purchase, and as I get into more streaming (from home network) and start getting more into the ins and outs of Kodi, I will learn more and find out good this device is. However, for someone coming from Google TV, this is definitely a step up. Hopefully, we will see Matricom upgrading this device to Android TV (or at least Lollipop) sometime in the near future. For now, it works pretty well for my needs.
UPDATE 04/15/2015: Even though the processor on this device is listed (by Matricom) as running at 1.2Ghz, It is capable of speeds up to 2Ghz. I was curious about this (mostly curious about why they capped it at 1.2Ghz) so I installed Trickster MOD (after rooting the device) and verified that it is actually peaking out at 1.6Ghz. I was also able to change the max frequency (through Trickster MOD) to it's top speed of 2Ghz (actually it's just under but they round the numbers up). Keep in mind the way these processors work is it doesn't always run at max frequency, it only spikes when it needs the extra power. So far I have been running mine with max setting of 2Ghz and haven't had any issues. But as always, try this at your own risk and I am not responsible if you damage your device in any way.
- The Family Guy Game
- The Bard's Tale
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