Xiaomi’s miniature media streamer packs a big punch
Isn’t that just the cutest little media streamer you’ve ever seen? It’s Xiaomi’s new Mi Box mini, and believe it or not, there are more than 280 components packed into that tiny little thing, which hopes to compete with devices like the Chromecast for a spot in your living room.
The Mi Box mini looks a lot like a phone charger, but in place of a USB port, it has an HDMI connector that allows you to hook it up to your TV. Rather than building the HDMI connector in, like Google did with the Chromecast, Xiaomi built the power pins in instead, so the Mi Box Mini plugs straight into the wall.
The idea is obviously to plug the device in behind your TV — so that the included HDMI cable can reach between the two — but the Mi Box mini almost looks too pretty to hide away.
Powering the device is a quad-core Cortex-A7 processor clocked at 1.3GHz, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of flash storage. It also has dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and support for DTS 2.0 and Dolby Digital Plus sound. The Mi Box mini outputs 1080p video with support for 3D, but unlike the full-size Mi Box, there’s no 4K support — or a microSD card slot.
Setting up the Mi Box mini is as simple as plugging the device into both a power outlet and your TV, and then connecting it to your home network. You can then wirelessly stream content to it from your smartphone, tablet, and other devices, or access media through its own applications.
Like all Xiaomi devices, the Mi Box mini will be available in select Asian markets, and it will be up for pre-order on January 20, priced at 199 yuan (approx. $30). It’s unlikely we’ll see official support for the U.S. and other Western markets, but you’ll likely find the device on Amazon and through other retailers soon after its release.
Remember when we thought the Apple TV was the sweetest little set-top box you could buy?