Pivos Aios HD Media Centre ReviewnVidia_Freak - October 4, 2011
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- System: Pivos Aios
- Monitor: ASUS ProArt P246Q
- Keyboard: Déck Legend
- Mouse: Microsoft Sidewinder X8
- HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 750GB
- Removable Storage: Kingston 32GB mSDHC
- Networking: D-Link DIR-655
To test the Pivos Aios, I attempted to use every program available and tested every function that I could. General ease-of-use and functionality play a large part in testing this product because there are no benchmarks to run. Therefore, the experiences I present are somewhat subjective, but I will reveal any flaws or fine points as they are.
The Aios had no issues playing any of the files I threw at it. Several raw camcorder m2ts files that I have trouble playing back on my own computer played flawlessly on the Aios. Although this is likely due to missing codecs on my part, the fact that the Aios can play them immediately and without work-arounds is excellent. Audio files were also played with absolute ease. FLAC files are indeed able to be decoded without issue, and I commend Pivos for choosing (and Realtek for making) the excellent RTD1185DD media processor. ISO image files were able to be played back as well and provided no difficulties. The remote control worked well, and all the buttons performed their functions admirably. Playing files from a hard drive or an external flash card saw no slow downs, skips, or any other unwanted occurrences.
Transferring files between external cards and the hard drive, or between computers and the hard drive, was painless enough. Using the supplied USB 3.0 cable to connect the Aios to my main computer, I was able to see the Aios, or rather the hard drive inside it, as an external device. Transfers via USB 3.0 are much quicker than USB 2.0, but eSATA would have been preferred. Regardless, once the files were transferred they had no issues being recognized or played. On the downside, refreshing the file lists can take some time with connected USB memory devices or SD/MMC/MS Pro devices, particularly if they are of the slower sort. If an unindexed full card is connected to the Aios, it can take a minute or two for everything to be organized and then accessed through the file browsers. During this time the Aios may be unresponsive, but do not worry and shut it off because it will soon be ready for use.
The included applications work well for the most part and provide some extra connectivity that is not present with the Internet browser. There were no problems streaming audio or video from webstreams or YouTube. Entering text can be a mild pain because of the shoddy keyboard functionality, and everything must be entered with the remote control and virtual keyboard. Fortunately, a mouse is not needed here and is, in fact, not an option for the applications because everything is selectable via the remote control. Functionally, the applications are near flawless.
Web browsing is relatively easy with the Aios. Unfortunately, there is no navigation bar within the browser and you must search for everything you need. However, once you navigate to a site you can add it to the bookmarks to be accessed later with comparative ease. It should be noted that the red button on the remote control switches between navigation and page modes. The default selection is page mode, which can give the impression that the browser functionality is broken. Switching to navigation mode allows you to select and choose otherwise seemingly unreachable links and buttons. Mouse support would be quite nice, but not once was it able to recognize a mouse, either wired or wireless. The lack of mouse support is the main gripe I have against the Aios.