The engine that drives the Mini PC market is the same one that drives all consumer electronics, faster and cheaper. Although only a few years old, the Stick and Box market has already gone through generations of technologies. Starting with humble dual core processors, 2D GPU and limited memory, they’ve blossomed into full blown powerhouses with up to eight core CPU’s, 3D graphics and three to four times the memory of their predecessors.
During that time we’ve seen significant price drops in the cost per cpu cycle. While the overall product prices remain nearly constant, we’ve quadrupled or better the performance. The most recent of these Mini PC’s incorporate Octa-core processors from makers like Rockchip and Amlogic. They are engineering marvels, stuffing the latest audio and video advancements into tighter spaces, while providing ever-growing price/performance benefits.
I’ve already taken a look at one of the leading brands offering Octa-core processing. But this business rarely takes a breather, and the newest crop of 8 core devices is already starting to pour onto the market. I’ve counted no less than a dozen solid entries with more on the way. The H96 Pro Plus is one of the best examples of this new crop.
What’s more important with these new boxes is the inclusion of GPU’s with built-in support for 4K HDR, which is rapidly becoming the de facto standard for 4k media streaming.
As important as the hardware is, the measure of future products in this segment is reliable and easy-to-use software pre-installed and ready to run. While it was once acceptable to load a vanilla version of Android and set you off on your way, the latest Mini PC’s include customized versions of the latest Android, complete with a suite of applications for media management and playback.
In addition to the basic playback applications such as Netflix, Youtube and Kodi, you’ll want to make sure you can load your favorite apps from the Playstore or other online sources. If you are buying a box today that doesn’t have both the latest hardware, and the front end software to manage it, you’re getting something that’s already obsolete.
What I like about the H96 Pro Plus Amlogic S912 Octa Core
The H96 Pro Plus uses the new Amlogic S912, 8 Core 64 Bit CPU. If you aren’t familiar with the Amlogic line of processors, they are designed almost exclusively for TV Sticks and Boxes. The CPU sub system is an 8 core ARM Cortex A53 with two CPU clusters in what’s called a BIG.little arrangement. One cluster is optimized for performance (big) and the other for lower power consumption (little)
The S912 is the big brother to the Amlogic S905. There’s very little difference between the two, except that the GPU in the S912 is better at 3D graphics. The S912 AnTuTu 3D score is about twice that of the S905. Not surprisingly, 3D gaming is significantly better than you’ve seen on other TV Boxes. It’s still not going to be your desktop gaming replacement, but it can certainly provide a better experience for lower requirement games.
The 3D GPU is the ARM Mali-T820MP3, which receives some of the highest video benchmark scores of any streamer. This is a 750Mhz chip that’s optimized for both 3D and 2.5D graphics. Another way that the S912 separates itself from the S903 is that paired with Android 6.0 it supports the widest and latest video formats, including 4K UHD (HDR).
The system includes 3GB of DDR3 RAM which makes stream buffering significantly faster. In addition to being able to run simultaneous apps with nary a hitch. The 32GB storage is ample for basic storage, and of course up to 2TB of external can be added via USB.
The Wifi is Dual Band and strong, even without an external antenna. There’s also a Gigabit Ethernet port and Bluetooth 4.1 to round out the network connectivity.
The Pro Plus includes a customized version of Android 6 Marshmallow that makes it easy to manange and launch all your favorite programs from a streamline interface. Remote Control is supported by a standard TV Box type controller that works well and comes with basic navigation buttons.
Company Product Information
WESECH has been selling on Amazon USA since 2017. They sell products from WESECH, H96 , and other brands. They have a small group of electronic products, some of them are fulfilled by Amazon, but most are shipped from their warehouse in Hong Kong. They have a high overall satisfaction rating.
In the Spring of 2017 they began shipping the octa-core Mini PC known as the H96 Pro Plus.
What’s in the Box
- H96 Pro Plus S912, 8 Core 64 Bit CPU, 3GB RAM DDR3 32GB eMMC
- TV Box type Remote Controller
- HDMI Cable
- 5v Power Supply and Cable
- Setup Guide
H96 Pro Plus Amlogic S912 Octa Core
Features, Specs and Tech Details
Octa Core Amlogic 2.0Ghz S912 (64-bit)
ARM Mali-T820MP3 GPU
32GB eMMC 5.0 Storage
802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual-Band Wi-Fi(2.4GHz/5.0GHz),
HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz,Support HDMI-CEC,HDR
Micro SD card reader
USB 2.0 port (2x)
A/V port, IR receiver(remote included)
Android Marshmallow 6.0
Power indicator light, Reset Port
- Nicely done Android interface
- Amlogic S912 CPU is one of the fastest chipset’s available for TV Boxes
- 3GB of RAM for better buffering
- Fast, Dual Band WiFi
- 4K HDR 60fps Video
- Basic Remote is of good quality
- Tiny User guide almost unreadable without magnifying glass.
- Lack of power button
- Better ventilation would reduce internal heat.
- No USB 3.0
Some customer reviews
No lagging. The browser is fast. The display is 4k on a 1080p TV. Wow picture is clean. Settings is well layed out. Icons are crisp and well layed out…Definitely recommend this media player.
This is a great Andriod TV box NEW 2017 H96 3GB + 32GB, very fast plays video streams with no lagging. Has a nice remote control. Comes with Kodi 17.0 works well all I added was Kodi setup wizard app from play store. I was up and running my programs.
This box screams. I love how fast and responsive it is.
The H96 Pro Plus is a next generation TV/Media box that’s already equipped with the latest hardware and software for your entertainment needs. While it might be a great option for a general purpose Android computer, it really stars as a media device with the superfast S912 chipset.