So far, we’ve seen plenty of TV box style mini PCs with Ethernet, Wi-Fi, even Bluetooth. But there have been very few with a digital TV tuner built-in, which is surprising given how cheap DVB-T technology now is (you only need to look up eBay and search for ‘USB DVB-T Tuner’ to see them for under $7).
This MOKO M3-T2 is the first mini PC we’ve seen to incorporate a DVB-T tuner but while it’s unusual, it’s not going to set the world alight with its performance. This one is powered by a single-core Amlogic AML8726-M3 SoC CPU.
It’s based on Cortex A9 technology so it should run slightly faster than the Cortex A8 of something like Allwinner’s original A10 SoC and use less power but being only a single-core, it still won’t do anything with serious speed. The graphics core is a single Mali-400.
On-board storage is 1GB of DDR3 RAM and 4GB of flash, preloaded with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and I probably wouldn’t hold my breath for a Jelly Bean (Android 4.1/2) update.
As for the rest of the unit, it’s actually well stocked with ports, including Fast Ethernet (RJ45) and Wi-Fi, although it’s not stated which Wi-Fi standards are supported. Video output is nicely done with HDMI and composite video/audio output. The composite AV is RCA-based too, not just a 3.5mm socket. Another nice addition is coaxial S/PDIF digital audio – any time we’ve seen this on other models, it’s been the optical version, which is more expensive to deal with.
The digital TV tuner gets PAL antenna passthrough connectors, which is nice – it means you can use this as a digital TV tuner and still feed the antenna output into a VCR (remember those?) or other FTA (free-to-air) recording device. There’s no video input on this one.
As for storage, you get three USB2.0 host ports and an SD card slot with support for 32GB cards.
All up, the MOKO M3-T2 is an interesting model but you’d really need integrated DVB-T support to go with a single-core SoC CPU these days.
It’s selling on Aliexpress for around $85.
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