Asus O!Play Air HDP-R3
The O!Play is a mixed kettle of fish. On the one side we have all the great things about the O!Play - it's ability to play HD Content without stalling, HDMI interface, sleek aesthetics and easy to use software interface. Then there's the bad - the choice to exclude an HDMI cable from the bundle seems odd, It's also a shame to see that every time you want to play a media file you have to navigate your way to it. It would have been nice to find all my media displayed in a single location.
Just before going to press Asus informed us of a firmware update for the O!Play air, which should remove the bugs experienced in todays testing, as well as adding a few exciting new features. Although there is no definitive list, the features currently in the pipeline include a web browser, ability to listen to free radio stations and stream live TV.
I do feel however that the positives outweigh the negatives by quite a large degree, and that the O!Play is a solid product. Although it's nothing ground breaking, it doesn't have any significant flaws and performs its' primary tasks very well. Scan offer the older, non-wireless version for a very reasonable £81.26 with the new version set to come in at £100, the price hasn't increased by more than about £20 so the O!Play Air is an excellent purchase - especially if Asus deliver on the firmware update. However, if it pushes above the £100ish mark, then the value for money will suffer, making it a more of a difficult purchase.
The Good: - Able to play HD content without stalling or stuttering
- Compact size and clean aesthetics
- Massive range of media files supported
- Wide range of external media sources supported
- Wireless N Support
- Simple and easy to use
- Bugs in current firmware, although this is being sorted - No bundled HDMI lead.
The Bad: - Nothing to report