The Tronsmart Ara x5 is a Windows 10 powered TV box designed for low power computing scenarios, such as streaming movies and stuff to your TV, or basic web browsing and email. Tronsmart are also makers of several essential computer electronics such as power chargers I reviewed a few weeks ago.
Powering the Ara x5 is the latest Intel Cherry Trail z8300 quad-core CPU, an understandable 2GB of RAM, and rounding off with the paragon of budget Chromebook achievement, 32GB of eMMC storage. If this sounds quite pitiful to you, you’d be right. But that’s easily offset by the fact that it costs less than $150.
Interestingly, the internal specs is where the pity stops. As the device itself features many a modern furnishings, including three full-sized USB ports, headset jack, standard HDMI port, an ethernet port of all things, a microSD card slot, a supplemental Wi-Fi antenna, and a standard HDMI cable for plugging the device into a modern monitor or TV.
Being powered by Windows 10, setting up the Ara x5 is as painless and straightforward as can be, especially if you already have a Microsoft account. Wi-Fi gets detected immediately, and critical updates downloaded automatically even during setup.
The Ara x5 isn’t exactly an Olympian athlete, but you can’t really blame it consider how cheap it is. Though I’ve only been using it for a few hours, I expect the Tronsmart’s performance will start to improve as Windows 10 gets comfortable under its new Tronsmart skin.
Otherwise, it’s a full-featured PC, with a wide assortment of ports, and as a TV box, it performs its primary function of streaming WinBeta videos quite well. It handles YouTube 1080p 60FPS streaming very well, with no frame dropping or stuttering whatsoever.