If you want a 4K HDR media player right now, you may consider the Himedia Q10 Pro.
Yes, we know, it is almost the same price as the Nvidia Shield but consider the following:
The Himedia Q10 includes Dolby Vision HDR decoding, which may be a deciding fact for most of us.
This TV box also includes space for a standard 3.5 inches SATA HDD / SSD drive. No custom formatting, proprietary stuff or soldering required: just plug and play.
What is even more interesting ,there is a thriving community of Q10 Pro users, including some very knowledgeable people involved even in the making of custom firmware images with interesting additions.
In my opinion, just the existence of such community forum is more valuable than the purchase price difference when compared with the cheaper media players we’ve been reviewing until now.
Himedia Q10 Pro hardware specs
The Himedia Q10 pro is fueled by the Huawei HiSilicon HI3798CV200 Quad-core 64-bit high-performance ARM Cortex A53 with NEON. On the GPU side, it includes a high-performance multi-core Mali T720. On the software side it comes with Android 5.1 including Google Play support.
To put a bit of perspective on the graphics processor side, the Mali T720 is about five times more powerful than the Mali 450 usually found in cheaper media player TV Boxes.
On the I/O side, we can find an USB 3.0 and gigabit ethernet ports, which are a refreshing addition, considering again the cheaper media players out there which only support usb 2.0 and 100mbit ethernet ports. The Himedia Q10 pro also includes two usb 2.0 ports, for added connectivity.
Lastly, you can find a microSD slot, along with the USB connectors.
The Himedia Q10 pro enclosure is made in aluminium, including a nice led display which actually shows just the time, a missed opportunity, as it is happening with other media players with the same visual candy, as the T95 media player.
When you open the enclosure you find the SATA dock which will support your HDD (or SSD) over vibration dampeners and a cooling pipe that, coupled with the silent fan inside the case, will help kipping everything cool.
Since you can install your own disk, up to six terabytes, the Himedia Q10 pro includes a SMB samba server app, which will add nas functionality -quite basic, but useful anyway-.
Himedia Q10 pro firmware and software options
On the firmware side, it is being actively updated, at a release rate of approximately two months for each new firmware version.
The Himedia Q10 pro developers are somewhat peeking into the community forum, fixing bugs and adding new features, as requested. This is quite encouraging, given the update – listening rate of other chinese based media player brands.
To sum it up, at this time the Himedia Q10 pro costs about 200 usd: It is a hefty price to pay, but you get a nicely designed hardware and an interesting users community, which is being monitored by the developers at Himedia, which is more to say than even “big brands”.
I gave it the following score: and I must confess: I am tempted on getting a Himedia Q10 Pro.