Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The XIOS DS arrives as a tiny white plastic covered unit and by small I mean just slightly larger than an SSD and only twice as thick. In actual dimensions, it sits at four inches wide, four inches deep and stands only six tenths of an inch high. The top of the unit offers the XIOS naming centered in the field with the Droid logo split on the top and bottom. On the front of the unit there are LED indicators and a microphone to receive voice commands. On the right there are USB ports and a SDHC card reader. The back offers a LAN port, USB, HDMI, the power jack and the power button. The left side is just the plastic shell with stickers on it. This just leaves the bottom of the unit that has a rubber pad across it with four bumps as the feet to keep the XIOS DS in place on any surface.
The unit also comes with a remote control that will offer you the basic buttons and functionality that is found on any tablet or smartphone. With the version of the remote that is shipped, I did find it easier to control things with a wireless keyboard and mouse, but even here Pivos has a better solution that they are also offering. They have also sent along the XIOS DS Sense remote that works much like a Wii controller. With the dongle plugged into the XIOS DS, you now can point anywhere you want the cursor to select on the screen, rather than having to use the arrow keys on the stock remote.
As you can see by the listing of codecs for audio, video and file types, there isn't much this system won't read and even when shifting a movie over from my PC, the Droid 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich offered to convert the file I had into one that was playable on the XIOS DS much like your phones and tablets do. With an ARM Cortex A9 processor running the show, a Mali-400 Open GL 3D GPU, 512MB of onboard DDR2 for system memory, along with the 2GB of NAND flash for storage, this unit is ready to go out of the box. As we all know 2GB of storage isn't that much, but with the Micro SDHC slot on the side, you can add up to an additional 32GB of storage to the XIOS DS.
Since I received the XIOS DS, the availability has increased a lot. When I first received the sample there weren't any places actually stocking this device. Over a two week period of time, that all changed as I can see that now there are five locations in the US to obtain one of these. There are a few listing prices a bit better than the one at Newegg, but all included, the $114.99 pricing there is really reasonable for this device. Considering what tablets cost or even to grab a smartphone on the retail market, they aren't exactly cheap. For just over $100 you can have all of the fun and entertainment you carry around in your pocket every day, just now it is as easy to hook up to the TV as a VCR, just with this you will never get the time to continuously blink 12:00 AM.
Let's dig a bit deeper and see just what the XIOS DS Media Play! system has in store for us, what it looks like and just what comes included along with some of the developments since the original release of this creative little gadget.