With all of the pre-installed applications and the vastness of the Android Marketplace, you can really do just about anything with the XIOS DS, even things like tracking ghosts in the house, gaming and media streaming, making the mere $114 asking price a drop in the entertainment budget. While this product doesn't exactly fit my needs, I can see where this could be a lot of fun for most everyone or even a test bed system to root and write apps for so that you aren't bricking expensive phones. I made sure to give myself ample time with the Pivos XIOS DS and I set it up on my main monitor at my work PC, figuring I would swap over the TV inputs and mess around with it from time to time. In reality I kept reaching for my Galaxy, as it is just simpler to deal with. While the Sense remote did make life easier than the basic remote or even the mouse and keyboard I used, for some reason for me things just didn't click. I had fun, but this didn't end up being a go-to product that I just had to come home and play with. If I didn't have a smartphone or just wanted an easy way to delve into the Android arena, this device is priced perfectly for that.
I went ahead and got all the updates and even had a chance to play around with a development that Pivos worked on to bring XBMC to the XIOS DS. For those used to playing around with XBMC you get the same abilities just this time specifically made to run on the XIOS DS. While it does give you an all-in-one solution to media, so does the XIOS DS or many other applications available in the marketplace. I can appreciate both the time it took to make this all happen and the user base that feels comfortable with products they have already become accustomed to. With me I was able to do what I needed with the basic applications and since my last Xbox was the original system, I sort of missed out on the necessity of XBMC since its inception.
The XIOS DS is pretty snappy swapping pages, getting to the internet and the marketplace with ease, even loading games and applications in good time. What gets me is the boot time from powered off to actually being able to use it. In the two to three minutes of the boot time, I lost interest in it and ended up moving to the phone. I would have left the unit running all of the time, but what I found is that if the ambient got over 25 degrees Celsius, the device temperature climbed pretty fast as the ambient went up. Sitting here as I type this, the box is currently 45 degrees and it's at rest. While playing videos or streaming over the wireless network, I saw readings of up to 60 degrees. I am positive the hardware can take it, but be sure to leave this is a well-ventilated area and expect the XIOS DS to generate some heat.
Even though the XIOS DS Media Play isn't one of those devices I just had to tinker with all of the time, I may have not given it all a fair enough amount of time, but then again I don't typically sit in my living room getting so bored with cable that I am looking for something else to do. That being said, I can definitely see the need and potential market for a device like this. Essentially offering you everything a phone and tablet can do from the comfort of your couch, even there is a bit of Wii action mixed in with the $25 Sense remote.
For around $150 the XIOS DS Media Play and the Sense remote offer an easy to grasp interface and what could be a very enjoyable experience in any room in the house with a TV with an HDMI connection.
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