iMito MX1 Mini PC

iMito MX1 Mini PCThe iMito MX1 might be best known as the Mini PC that brought color to Stick Computing. It’s hard to miss the shiny brushed aluminum casing that comes in a variety of CYMK colors. For this review, I’m referring to the MX1 that comes in Brown, but whatever is true for one is true for all of them. There’s no difference under the hood.

Under the hood there’s a snappy 1.6Ghz Cortex A9, Rockchip 3066 with Mali 400 Quad Core Graphics. It’s rounded out by 1GB of DDR 3 memory, 8GB of Flash storage, Wifi, Bluetooth, Android 4.1.1 and a pair of USB ports. Because it’s based on the most commonly used components of the second generation sticks you’ll find a high degree of compatibility and support.

Performance is solid in all areas. Speed tests show it to be a tad faster than the popular MK808 and video performance is outstanding at 1080p.

As I mentioned already, one of the differences of the MX1 is how it looks. The brushed aluminum case gives it a more consumer friendly (or perhaps family friendly) appearance. It doesn’t have the look of a cheap stick or science project. It only weighs a couple of ounces but it somehow feels more solid.

There’s a surprising lack of ventilation on this unit, but even when running HD video the unit barely gets hot. Some users have reported running it continuously for days without overheating.

The MX1 comes loaded with Android 4.1.1 and plays right out of the box. It is compatible with Kodi for Android, although there have been some issues with .MKV files on Kodi. The streaming performance of Netflix is excellent over WiFi.

Configured with additional storage and accessories, the iMito MX1 would work nicely as a media center or even as a secondary PC for browsing the web, handling email, streaming music or making Skype calls.

The UG007B Mini PC is an updated alternative to the iMito.

What I like about the iMito MX1

The iMito MX1 would be great for any level of user. Because it works out of the box, you can plug it in and begin using it right away. Although there are added benefits to upgrading the Firmware to the latest versions, it’s not necessary for smooth operation.

The MX1 does not come rooted. There are easy-to-follow instructions for rooting your device from various sources around the web. I’ve provided a link below so you can root the device after you purchase it. If you’re not familiar with rooting a device, or not sure why you would want to, you can find advice on the forums I’ve linked below. Basically, rooting will give you full administrative access to your Stick, and that’s sometimes required for software installations and operating system upgrades.

For a Dual Core stick, this is a speedy little device. Video playback, even at 1080p is excellent and can even be played while you’re running other applications in the background. The built-in WiFi and Bluetooth perform as good as expected, but there have been some issues with speed and disconnects. I have advice in the FAQ below if you should encounter this issue.

The MX1 ships with Android 4.1.1 which means you have access to Google Play Store and many familiar applications.

The full-sized male HDMI adapter works well to stick in the back or side of your monitor, but there is a nine inch HDMI adapter cable included in case your connection is in a tight place. Alternatively, you could pick up an HDMI angle adapter and hang the MX1 off of that.

Overall I would give the MX1 3.8 out of 5 stars mainly on issues surrounding the SD card, WiFi signal strength and the fact that some slightly more expensive cards can provide better performance for the price.

Company Product Information

The MX1 is made in Mainland China by iMito and is distributed in the US under its own brand name. There are known clones of this product that do not meet the specifications indicated here. In order to insure the authenticity of the product and the best quality and service you should always purchase a product like this from a name that you trust, such as Amazon.com.

What’s in the Box

  • iMito MX1 Dual Core 1.6GHz Cortex A9, Rockchip 3066
  • User Guide
  • AC Power Adapter
  • USB Cable
  • HDMI Cable
  • OTG Cable

Here’s an overview to give you an idea of the basic features.

Unboxing the iMito MX1

Features and Specifications

  • iMito MX1 Dual Core 1.6GHz Cortex A9, Rockchip 3066
  • Mali 400 Quad core GPU supports 1080p video
  • 1GB DDR3 RAM, 8GB Internal Flash Storage, support for up to 32GB Micro SD card
  • Built in 802.11b/g/n WiFi wireless network access, HDMI, USB and MicroSD card ports
  • Built in Bluetooth 2.1
  • Android 4.1.1 OS (Supports Kodi, Google Play Store)
  • Two usable USB ports for connection to hubs and other external devices

Specs

Screen Resolution 1080p
Max Screen Resolution 1080P
RAM 1 GB SDRAM DDR3
Disk 8GB
Graphics Mali Quad core GPU
Wireless 802.11b,g,n
Bluetooth Mediatek 2.1
Number of USB Ports 2 (1 Full, 1 Micro)
Dimensions 5.2 x 3.1 x 2 inches
Weight 47 grams (under 2oz)
Color Brown (CYMK colors available)
Hard Drive Interface USB 2.0, Solid State
Power 5V 2A (via Mini HDMI port)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Dual Core RK3066 means widest support and upgrades available
  • Preloaded with Android 4.1.1 and runs Kodi
  • Bluetooth 2.1 included
  • Durable Aluminum casing
  • SD Memory Expansion up to 32GB
  • Supports external drives 1TB plus
  • Easily Rooted

Cons

  • Users have experienced issues with shipped ROM *see FAQ below for more info*
  • Does not come rooted
  • SD card can be difficult to seat properly.
  • Some users report weak WiFi signal *see FAQ below for more info*

Comparison

Probably the best comparison for the iMito MX1 is with the MK808. These are both widely used and readily available devices. They are both powered by the Rockchip 3066 and Mali 400 GPU. Both of them have a growing and loyal user base. In raw performance tests, the MX1 beats out the MK808 in video playback. The MX1 also has built-in Bluetooth. The choice may come down to one of personal taste, or the need for upgrading to Linux, which the MK808 currently supports and the MX1 does not.

FAQ

ROM Upgrades

Because of strong community support there are options for upgrading your MX1 Firmware. You should only attempt to upgrade Firmware if you have a measure of expertise and can follow the instructions exactly. Improperly flashing a ROM can cause your device to become non-functional!

One option for the MX1 is the so-called “Finless ROM”, named after its creator. You can find the upgrade in the FreakTab forums under the iMito section. You should look for Finless ROM 1.7B or newer, which has been tested as compatible with the MX1. This version allows you to auto-hide the status bar, lock the screen, enter sleep mode and a variety of other enhancements.

Here is a link to the latest Firmware.

Rooting your Device

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the MX1 does not come rooted. In order to enable full administrative access to your Stick, you must enable root. It is beyond the scope of the article to give you the details on how to do this, but I’ve provided a link here which explains step-by-step how to do it. It is not difficult to do and only takes a few minutes. Go here:

Increasing the WiFi signal

Some users have reported issues with the WiFi signal strength. While you might not have a similar experience, or if you find your stick needs to be too far from your router, you may try the advice give by a user on the Armtvtech forum. He’s discovered that if you open the case and expose the wireless antennae, the signal strength improves substantially. I don’t advise you do this unless you have no other choice, such as moving the router or connecting your MX1 via Ethernet cable. Anytime you have to open the case, you risk damaging internal components. That said, here’s the link.

Another MX1 user has noted that simply by adding a powered USB hub he greatly improved his WiFi signal strength. You might give that a try!

SD Memory Upgrades

You can upgrade your MX1 with Class 10 32gb SD memory. The slot for SD cards seems to be persnickety, so be patient. Don’t try to force the SD card in or you might break the slot. You’ll need persistence and some strong fingernails to get it seated.

Keep in mind there are unrated, Class 4, and Class 10 SD chips, for compatibility you need Class 10.

Who is the product for?

The iMito MX1 is an above average performer. If you’re looking for something that works right out of the box and streams HD content from the web or your media collection, then this is a good stick for you. Of course it can also serve as a general purpose secondary computer and with two USB and Bluetooth wireless, expansion options are wide open. If you’re the type who likes to tweak your devices there’s plenty of opportunity for upgrades and experimentation as well.

Customer Reviews:

“I like that fact that you can easily connect to different tvs/display devices, and the resolution is pretty decent. Android system seems solid and stable, I haven’t had any crash so far. It works well with my air fly mouse. The unit is affordable.”

 

“I use this as a “PC” on my TV. Works just great. Did not have an issue with wifi as some people did. Worked perfectly out of the box. YouTube works great as well as other apps. Did not try to play any games yet. Also tried Skype and works fine. Recognized Microsoft camera as soon it was plugged in. Highly recommended.”

 

“The Wifi connection just worked. It played 1080p without any video/audio sync problems. And Installing Apps from the Google Play store was an easy trouble free experience. No upgrade or custom ROMs needed to be installed.”

 

iMito MX1 video preview

Summing it up

I’d recommend the iMito MX1 as a sturdy streamer and also as a worthy upgrade to a first generation stick such as the MK802. It’s stylish, speedy and very solid. With some updates to the ROM you’ll be more than happy with this choice.

Order with confidence and get fast delivery with Amazon.com