Beelink GTQ Media Center Conclusion
IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
Our first rating category focuses on performance, and the Beelink GTQ Android TV BOX Media Center earns high marks. It’s true that HDMI 2.0 would enable 60-FPS 4K playback, but as it stands most people won’t notice any perceivable difference from the 30-FPS possible with HDMI 1.4. Similarly, wireless-n transfer rates may be limited to 40 Mb/s, but most people have 30 Mb/s broadband Internet or slower. Essentially, these two items only concern those with access to high-bandwidth content – something that is especially rare at this point in the evolution.
Beelink designed the GTQ with function preceding fashion, which is why the all-metal enclosure receives a muted flat black or silver finish. For anyone who has handled a glossy piano black finish, GTQ will not show dust and fingerprints. There are no lights to disturb you, as the only LED on the device is below the power button.
Durability was the theme Beelink followed when constructing the GTQ. The metal chassis could easily outlast the electronics inside of it, although the protective circuitry caused the device to immediately restart after static shocks. The plastic external antenna transmits both 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz wireless-b/g/n bands, and is easily positioned for beam-forming. Your biggest risk is losing (or breaking) the remote, which is made of lightweight plastic.
Where the Beelink GTQ does shine brightest is in its playback of high- and ultra-HD content. H.265 decoding is up to 50% more efficient than H.264, and 2GB DDR3 paired to a 600MHz quad-core Amlogic S812 CPU flexes Mali-450 MP6 GPU muscle. Further, Kodi and Android TV both perform exceptionally well with multimedia fetched from the ultra-fast 8GB eMMC ROM storage. Every media CODEC tested played flawlessly, and Netflix streaming quickly buffered into highest quality. Beelink’s GTQ is certainly ready for 2160p content to become mainstream.
As of October 2015, the Beelink GTQ Android TV BOX Media Center sells online for $76.99 (GearBest | ShopBot), which places its price directly between the WD TV Live ($79.99) and 2015 Roku 2 ($69.99). Considering the processing power and flexible features, this is a very good value compared to the other locked-down players.
In conclusion, the Beelink GTQ is an excellent choice for ultra-HD multimedia enthusiasts interested in customizing their experience with apps from the Google Play Store. Users wanting a more simplified experience would be better suited with a basic playback device, but those willing to take the time will be rewarded by GTQ’s flexibility. The Beelink GTQ Media Player earns our Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award for quality recognition.
+ Google Android 5.1 ‘Lollipop’ OS
+ Amlogic S812/Mali-450 Processors
+ Super-fast 8GB eMMC ROM storage
+ Easily play multimedia from Android devices
+ Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity!
+ Decodes practically all formats
+ Kodi and Android TV add customizations
+ TosLink optical digital audio output
– Limited remote control functionality
– Requires initial push-button power on
– HDMI 1.4 limited to 30-FPS 4K playback
– Lacks IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi bandwidth
Final Score: 8.85 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
COMMENT QUESTION: What media player do you prefer for playback?