- Easy to set up and use
- Documentation idiosyncrasies
It's a decent solution if you want a way to take your movies with you, providing your destination has a TV.
Price$ 190.00 (AUD)
The $190 Mediagate portable MPEG-4 player is a clever device that allows you to play multiple media types, including DivX and MPEG-4 formats, by attaching it to a TV and/or receiver. So unlike the more expensive options, you don't get a built-in screen, which means you won't be using it to keep the kids quiet in the back of the car on long journeys.
The Mediagate is essentially a USB 2.0, 2.5" hard drive enclosure that comes with built-in software for playing media files, a collection of cables for connecting it to TV and receiver, and a remote control to operate it. What it doesn't come with is a hard drive--you must purchase a 2.5" notebook hard drive yourself and install it in the enclosure. You'll need to make sure you've preformatted the hard drive, but other than that, installation is straightforward: pop the lid on the player, unscrew the circuit board, push the hard drive into the slot, screw the board back into the enclosure and you're away. Plug it into a USB port on a Windows XP PC and it shows up as a removable drive (you'll need to connect its AC adapter too, naturally).
With the drive connected to a PC, you simply copy your files over. Since it's a high-speed USB 2.0 device, copying large files is painless as long as you've plugged it into a high-speed USB port on the PC. To view or play them, you connect the Mediagate to a TV set and/or receiver using the supplied cables, of which you get quite an assortment. The device has S-Video, composite or component connections for video, and stereo or 5.1 sound.
The Mediagate supports all manner of standard video formats, including MP3 and MPEG-4, and will display still images too. It even supports 5.1-channel sound.
A simple menu interface displayed on the TV lets you navigate through options using the unit's remote control. It's not a fancy setup, but it gets the job done. You also get drivers for using it with Windows 98/SE (XP doesn't require any drivers).
Apart from some idiosyncratic English in the instructions, the device is simple to set up and use, and does a reasonable job. The quality of your video will depend on the media files you are using--garbage in, garbage out, as it were. But when I tried high-quality MPEGs ripped from DVDs--saved at their original resolution and complete with their 5.1-channel soundtrack--the result was quite respectable.
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GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
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The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
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