Asus O!Play Air HDP-R3

Packaging and Appearance

The O!Play arrived in a standard rectangular box, with a product shot and the product name occupying most of the upward face. On the front edge we have the box contents, with various other key product features dotted around the remaining sides of the box.  

 Asus O!Play air box

Inside the box is a small insert which houses the O!Play itself. Pulling this out gives you access to all the bundled accessories. Included in the box we have: a power adapter (UK and European plug adapters), RCA cable, Remote control, Quick start guide and a CD with the Users manual and Connection utility. It's a shame that Asus haven't included an HDMI cable, especially on a device that offers such good support for HD playback.    

 Asus O!Play air packaging   Asus O!Play bundle

The O!Play is well rounded in appearance, and fairly plain to look at. From the front it is a simple flat fascia, with only a row of 3 hidden LED's and labels. Moving around to the rear of the device we can see all the vital hook up connections. From left to right we have 3 composite outputs, S/PDIF, HDMI, RJ45 network connection and the DC Power port. I'm quite surprised there isn't the full 5 HD composite connections, for those users that have either saturated all their HDMI ports or simply don't have them.    

 Asus O!Play Air Front   Asus O!Play air rear ports

On the right hand side we find the memory card reader, which will accept most memory card types. Just above the card reader is the O!Play branding, and a small air vent just above that. These are most likely just a precaution, since the heat output from the device should be minimal. Something I noticed quite quickly was the O!Plays ability to attract fingerprints almost as well as Aries attracts PC enthusiasts - it was almost impossible to get rid of them, despite the use of a microfibre cloth.    

 Asus O!Play air media card reader   Asus O!Play air front

The left hand side of the O!Play also houses a small vent, identical to the right hand side. Below the vent we find a small reset button, nestled between e-Sata and USB ports. The bundled remote control is fairly modest, and has only a couple of additional buttons over the bare minimum. This is quite refreshing, and should make it less daunting for people using this sort of unit for the first time. It may not appeal to the real media enthusiast, but will be far more usable for the average user.  The remote takes 2xAAA batteries, and fits into the hand quite nicely.  

 Asus O!Play Air USB + eSata   Asus O!Play air remote control

The O!Play doesn't really break the mold visually, and certainly won't draw any attention to itself in the living room, but that's definitely not a bad thing. The included accessories bundle is a little unsatisfying, with no bundled HDMI cable, but that shouldn't distract if the O!Play can deliver on it's promises... Time to test out the O!Play...

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Most Recent Comments

26-01-2010, 06:57:00

I've been waiting for something like this from a respectable company. Many thanks Tom Koflach for this great review May slide towards buying the set Quote

27-01-2010, 22:20:39

'dvix' ? ;-)Quote

07-02-2010, 17:56:51

As several local storage devices can be connected to the O!Play, "File Copy" is useful to transfer from files (or whole directories) from drive to drive without needing any other computer!

"Preview" can be turned off in the main menu.

Thanks for the review Quote

08-02-2010, 07:06:12

Is there any chance to make some comparison with WD Live? Quote

06-12-2010, 03:11:37

I have been hunting for a media player that will cope with my 135GB, 16000 song, music collection. Media Monkey on the computer does it nicely but I really wanted easier communication with my hi-fi system and to be able to play music when the laptop is in use doing graphics or not on at all. Enter the Asus O!Play Air HDP-R3 with a 1TB External HDD......... or so I thought.

Everything that the review writer says is true and it is a good media player, but still not perfect. It has a “Music Shuffle” button on the remote which is supposed to play your music on random, (or shuffle for the Americans). Problem is that when you press the Music Shuffle, sometimes it takes so long to process the tracklist that it just fails and restarts or simply just doesn’t do it.

When it does do the shuffle play list it selects 4000 songs from the library of artists in alphabetical order. So I’m hearing lots of Devo, ELO, Bondi Cigars, ACDC and ABBA but none of Pink Floyd, Xavier Rudd or ZZTop. Bugger!

The other little annoyance is that on the currently playing display, there is no artist title. So when a song comes on that I don’t recognise I can’t check who it is. The song name is there but not the artist. Bugger!

So it’s a good media player but still not exactly what I’m looking for.Quote

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