Matricom G-Box Midnight MX2 ReviewAdd Your Comment
So has the G-box Midnight MX2 finally delivered the perfect Android media streaming box? And where can you get the best price on one today? These plus more questions & answers below.
The G-Box MX2 is the new and much updated version of the regular G-Box Midnight. It runs a special edition version of XBMC custom written specially for the MX2.
If you’ve been looking for a high performance HD media streaming box for your TV, this could be the very box you are looking for. It can play online and locally stored media in resolutions right up to 1080p, hardware decoded, and input directly to your TV via HDMI.
NOTE: If you’ve ever experienced a less than stellar performance from an Android TV box, or any other media player, then I think you’re in for a surprise. Especially at this price.
The MX2 Does Exactly What It Promises!
Probably the most exciting thing about this Android TV box, is that it just plain works. No glitches, no reboots, no lock-ups. It simply does what it’s meant to do.
That won’t sound particularly special, unless you happen to be a forgiving owner of one of the many other TV media boxes out there! Glitches, freezing screen and restarts are a way of life with most players. (Those fiddled with Apple TV boxes running XBMC are not immune either – even they ‘mostly work’, but lock up occasionally!).
Instead, you get a box that starts up quickly (around 30 seconds – which is good), and powers down virtually instantly.
If you want to watch files from your computer, you can browse and play those without problem. All popular formats are covered for streaming over your wireless network (or wired network if you prefer, 10/100 ethernet port included).
Or if you want to watch TV shows or movies etc from online, you can use Netflix, Hulu, YouTube etc.
The Dual Core A9 processor backed up with a Mali400 Dual Core 3D Graphics Processor makes light work of it. HD output without glitches, and stutters.
G-box Midnight MX2 Specs:
- Dual Core A9 CPU
- 1GB RAM (DDR3)
- True HD 1080p Dual Core XBMC Decoding
- Mali400 Dual Core 3D Graphics Processor (GPU)
- Over-The-Air updating for firmware (i.e. Android and Apps)
- 8GB Total Storage (double previous Midnight box) – also USB and SD expandable
- 802.11b/g/n Wifi built in
- HDMI v1.4 video output
- 10/100 Ethernet Port
- Coaxial SPDIF Digital Audio Output (Surround Sound)
- Composite Audio/Video Out (but use the HDMI obviously!)
- 4x USB 2.0 Ports (enough for anyone!)
- Android 4.2.x Jelly Bean installed
- Supports Wireless USB Keyboard and Mouse
- Google Play Store & loads of plugins pre-installed
Looks Great / What’s In The Box
It’s shiny, it’s black and it fits in the palm of your hand. It’s cute at just 5 x 5 inches, and only 2 inches thick, so I’ll even forgive it’s rather flashy shiny silver logo emblazoned on the top. It’s a cool logo just not particularly subtle 🙂
Also in the box you get a remote control. And it’s a pretty decent one too. Good sized buttons and nice and easy to use.
The box doesn’t include an HDMI cable, so be prepared for that. The only other hook-up method is composite – which you really don’t want to be using. So get another HDMI cable at the same time if you don’t have a spare.
The Midnight MX2 runs the latest version of Android 4, but unlike any other box, has also been designed for ‘over the air’ (OTA) updates. Making Android and XBMC updates and fixes totally painless! Very cool feature, that also just works.
Really Easy Interface
The menus don’t feel sluggish (always a big irritation with any set top box or mini PC/media box), and the 3D launcher is great. It all works really nicely with a remote control.
Although that said – if you really want to play games or web browse or use Netflix, then you’re going to have a better time if you add on a USB keyboard. But if XBMC is your main use, you’ll be more than happy with just the remote.
Many of the more popular services are pre-loaded too. Which means all you have to do is go to Add-Ons and choose the plugins you want to use.
Quick Aside: What Is XBMC?
For those that don’t know XBMC is an open source software media player and entertainment hub. It’s fast become the standard for media box and home theater PC use. Mainly because it’s just so darn good!
It comes with an enormous amount of add-ons that allow you to customise it do play what you want. So if you want Spotify or Pandora or Grooveshark – all no problem. ESPN, CBS or HGTV – all in the free add-ons. (You can find loads of info about XBMC on Wikipedia)
But the most exciting thing here is that the G-Box Midnight MX2 (only the MX2 version) includes a purpose built custom version of XMBC. This is to ensure it runs smoothly and without the typical glitches of other boxes. And they’ve done a great job too.
Great Box For Advanced Users Too
The G-Box MX2 is NOT locked down like most media boxes (try installing anything extra on the latest Apple TV box..!). The manufacturers really don’t mind the advanced user messing around with this one. So you can install apps that need root access – without having to do anything questionable, or anything that might invalidate the guarantee.
These are the key differences between the older G-Box Midnight, and the beefed up MX2:-
This is an impressive box. I’ve seen a lot of media boxes over the years, and probably bought (and then sold!) far too many of them… just ask the wife…
But the G-box Midnight MX2 looks like it’s going to be the first one to actually earn a permanent place in my home.
It really shouldn’t be – but when a gadget just works and does what it’s supposed to without bugging you with crashes and obscure erros – it is a big deal!
And that’s why I rate the MX2 so highly. It works. No, it really works. And it’s the first media box, Android or otherwise, XBMC/Kodi or not, that I’ve come across that actually genuinely does that.
UPDATE: Matricom have now updated the MX2 to the G-Box Q2. And the Q2 comes with FOUR TIMES the processing power, and a wireless mini keyboard thrown in for good measure too. That and the latest Android and this thing kicks butt when it comes to running Kodi (pre-loaded).
And at a retail price of just US$97 from Amazon US, that’s impressive.
(You can also get it at Amazon UK here but you’ll pay about £100 – still great value for what you get)
See The G-Box MX2 In Action…
This is quite a long video but it shows you the MX2 right from turning the power on, to running through the menus and viewing programs. All in real time so you get a good feel of how nicely it works.
Sorry there isn’t any audio on this video though – so don’t think your speakers have gone funny 🙂