Date: April 24, 2006
Author(s): Greg King
We are taking a look at a very interesting product from Vantec, called the AVOX Jukebox. It looks like many other 2.5″ enclosures on the market, but not only does this one work as an external drive, but also a media player when hooked up to your TV. Good or gimmick? Read the review and see.
One of the latest "crazes" of late is multimedia. It would seem that every other day a new product comes out to let us do more than we could previously. We are taking a look at one such product today in the Techgage labs.
What we have on our plate for this review is the Vantec AVOX. The AVOX appears to be a versatile piece of hardware. This unit can double as a media peripheral as well as an external 2.5" hard drive when connected to your PC via the included USB 2.0 cable. Enough of the introductions, lets get into the meat of this review as see what the AVOX has to offer.
First thing we notice is the packaging. This is something that Vantec has not had a problem with in recent memory. The box is colorful and full of information relating to the product.
That’s a nice looking box but we certainly didn’t get a box to review so let’s take a look at what’s inside.
As you can see, Vantec has spared no cable, documentation nor CD. One last note on the packaging before we move onto the specs and individual components, the packaging was done well with each item secure in its own space in the box.
First item up for inspection is the remote.
The remote is full of buttons and Vantec even included a battery. How nice!
In these pictures, you can get a feel for the unit itself. In the first picture, we see the AVOX in its entire splendor. There are a few graphics on the top of the unit but nothing gaudy. Below it you see the back of the unit with ports for the cables.
From left to right: USB 2.0, power, external IR receiver (not included) or 5.1 surround, component output and finally the composite video out.
Below that is the front of the unit with 3 activity lights for power, HDD activity and IR. The last picture is of the clips that you push inward to open up the AVOX in order to install your HDD.
For this unit, I have a Toshiba 60GB drive that should work nicely.
Let’s take a look what’s underneath the hood. Once the top is off, you can remove the circuit board and install the HDD.
From here, we are going to take out the board, study the chips and learn what we are dealing with here.
We can see that Vantec has used the Sigma Designs REALmagic video processor and memory chips from Hynix.
As you can see here, we have the HDD in the tray, screwed down and back into the AVOX. Once everything is back in place, we will format the drive and transfer the media onto the HDD.
Before we get into the performance, let’s take a look at the specs of the AVOX.
This information was pulled from Vantec’s website. Now that we know what the ‘jukebox’ is all about, let’s see if it can live up to all of the expectations.
Once everything transferred over to the AVOX, we took it to the television and took it for a spin. First up, I am going to try out the audio. For this, I am playing some songs from a favorite local band of mine who just happen to consist of some really good friends of mine. Let’s see how the AVOX likes 180 Out.
*Disclaimer: My TV isn’t new. In fact, it is terrible but what can I do?
As you can see, there are tabs at the top of the screen that can be cycled through via the remote. From here, you can select what folder you want, and in my case, the folders are artists. You also have the option to select the song "file" and get its information such as bit rate, length and file size.
Let’s move onto the video shall we?
Here we see Trinity talking on her phone in a little film titled "The Matrix." Heard of it? Thought so.
The video quality is rather good and comparable to a DVD. The picture doesn’t do the quality any justice but then again, neither does the fact that I am rocking a non-HD TV. As stated earlier in the specs, the AVOX does offer high def output for those of you with appropriate TVs.
You also have the opportunity to run a slide show of pictures that you want to be shown.
I must say, I am very happy with what the AVOX has to offer. Vantec really took a good idea and ran with it. The unit is small, sleek and works just as it should. The fact that this has HD capabilities and can double as a external storage solution only makes the AVOX more appealing to persons in the market for such a product.
We review so many products that do what they say but nothing in recent memory has wowed me like the AVOX has. The versatility is amazing so with that in mind, the Vantec AVOX is getting a very rare, 10 score as well as an editor’s choice award for good measure.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed working with this unit and none of this would have been possible if not for the dedication and commitment to the PC community that Vantec as done so well for so long. Thank you for the chance to review such a great product and congrats to our two March contest winners who have one of these units en route to them as we speak.
If you feel the need to spill what you think of the Vantec AVOX, you are in luck. Check out our related thread where you don’t even have to sign up to reply to.
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