JUSTOP K9B Android Mini PC - First Look
The JUSTOP K9B is one of the better devices that have emerged from China since late last year. Often advertised under the category of an Android Mini-PC they are small (mine is 9x4 cm’s), cheap, self-contained units designed to connect to a TV or monitor via HDMI and powered by a 5V micro-USB socket.. They commonly come under a model type, the earlier ones are called MK 808’s and the newer ones are MK 809’s and MK 809 II.
If after reading this you decide to look for one be advised that there are plenty of 808’s still around for sale so be sure of what you are buying as at first glance they have similar specs.
I brought this device as a way of turning my Samsung TV into a ‘smart’ TV without having to go out and buy a new one. Admittedly you have to buy a separate controller but I did get a very nice and small keyboard/touchpad combo for not a lot of money (more on this later).
The first device I received was a generic MK 809II, which miffed me slightly as I ordered the JUSTOP. In use the generic device was flaky to say the least. Performance was poor and video playback awful – It wouldn’t even display in 1080p. The firmware on the device was unrecognised by any manufacture of these devices (and any Android forum I looked at too!). Even though the hardware was being reported as the same components as the JUSTOP it was simply awful. Needless to say I returned it ASAP.
When the JUSTOP arrived a few days later it was like a breath of fresh air. It was fast, responsive and well worth the extra few pounds I spent on it. So even though I have not had as much use out of it (yet) as I’d like I shall list the specs and some points below.
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- Cortex A9 Dual-Core up to 1.6Ghz Processor (ARM7)- 1GB DDR3 RAM, 4GB NAND
- GPU: Quad core Mali 400
- 802.11 b/g/n WIFI
- HDMI video out
- HD video playback
- Built in Micro SD card reader
- 1x USB Port 2x Micro USB ports (one used for power)
- Supports 2.4Ghz wireless mouse, keyboard, touchpad, airmouse (not included)
- Play Store
- Firmware upgradeable
1. Price – I paid £41 but they are now down to £36.99 on Amazon
2. Video Playback – I’m using XBMC to stream media from my home media server via Wi-Fi. Both MPEG2 (DVD rips), 720p playback fine, although the 720p isn’t quite as good as I think it should be. 1080p video…well, just don’t. I have not had chance to try it via a USB LAN adaptor (powered USB hub required), but suspect that it should handle it just fine
3. Play Store – Works just fine and no apps have failed to work or install
4. Antutu Benchmark – It returns a score of 7205. Whilst not particularly rapid it does what I need it to do
5. Games – Angry Birds in full 1080p is pretty sweet! All other games such as the Sonic ones work and render fine at speed
6. Catch-up TV – It wouldn't be much use as a smart TV ‘upgrade’ if I couldn't watch catch-up TV would it? I got the iPlayer working with Dolphin Browser (Chrome seemed to throw a hissy fit with it) and 4oD also performs well. I've not had a chance to try any others or streaming media apps such as Netflix yet
7. Controller – I bought a Rii wireless mini PC keyboard with built in touchpad for £20 from Amazon. It works like a dream and is rechargeable. For some reason it also has a laser pointer built in!
Unfortunately I have not yet had much time to use it beyond some basic testing but I shall keep you informed as to how it performs as time goes on.
Edited to add video. This shows an MK 809II in action. it is not a JUSTOP device, but will give you an idea of what they can do.