In today’s review we are taking a look at the Zoomtak T8U Android box. Zoomtak has been around the block for quite a while now and they are known for making some great media players. With a brand new casing design Zoomtak really looks to have gone all out with the product design but the real question is, is it as good as it looks? Let’s take a look in our Zoomtak T8U review.
Zoomtak T8U Review – What’s in the Box?
The Zoomtak T8U arrived in a larger box than we are used to seeing for most Android boxes we receive. The T8U came packaged in a basic brown cardboard box that is commonly used for shipping. The box was not damaged at all and the T8U box was securely packed inside.
Removing the Zoomtak T8U from the shipping box I was once again surprised by the size and weight of the T8U packaging as it was a bit larger and heavier than we are used to seeing. The T8U comes packaged in a nice matte black box with simply graphics on the front which shows the product model, Zoomtak logo and icons showcasing some of the products features.
On the rear of the box is where you can see the specifications of the T8U laid out in a nice table format. The back of the T8U packages had been cut with a box cutter which would have been caused by customs when they checked the parcel. This is nothing to do with Zoomtak and there was no damage done to the content of the box.
Opening the box I could see why the box was a bit larger and quite weighty when I saw the media player and It’s sturdy aluminium construction and larger footprint. Inside the box there was:
- Zoomtak T8U TV Box
- Power Adapter
- IR remote control
- HDMI Cable
- User Manual
The T8U – A Brand New Design
When it comes to the design of the T8U Zoomtak has certainly stepped outside the box and designed a device that truly is different than other Android boxes on the market. The casing of the T8U is constructed of aluminium which gives it a very sturdy feel and helps to keep the media player nice and cool thanks to its cooling properties. The feet of the media player ensure that the device is kept off the ground at all time which also helps with cooling and helps stop dust from entering the media player.
The design of the Zoomtak T8U with its single piece of aluminium used for the casing really does give the device a premium look and feel to it and should allow it to be placed pretty seamlessly into your current home theatre setup. Whilst handling the device I did not notice any fingerprint issues which was great to see.
The Ins and Outs of it
As you would expect, the Zoomtak T8U comes with all the interface options that you should require. The top of the media player proudly shows the Zoomtak logo which looks good. A lot of other media player manufacturers like to stamp logos all over their products which can make them look a bit cheap. The branding placed on the T8U looks nice and simple and doesn’t take away from the product design at all.
On the front of the T8U you will find the power button as well as an LED display.
Turning to the right hand side of the device you will see there is an SD card slot, 2 USB ports and reset button.
Looking at the back of the device you will find an OTG USB, HDD USB, Optical Audio, Video and Stereo, HDMI, Ethernet port and power adapter.
All of the ports are well constructed which ensured that all connections were secure.
The Zoomtak T8U Remote Control
The included IR remote control is better than most of the other remote controls that get bundled with Android boxes today. The remote control comes with the essential buttons that you need in order to interact with the interface and control media playback.
Although the remote control is ok I still highly recommend using a 3rd party remote control such as the Rii i25 Mini.
- Amlogic S905 Quad core 64bit Cortex-A53 Up to 2.0GHz
- Penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750MHz
- DDR3 RAM 2GB,eMMC 16GB
- Android 5.1 OS Lollipop
- Built-in 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Dual Band AC Wi-Fi(2.4GHz/5.8GHz)With External Antenna
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 265 10Bit 4K UHD Hardware Decoding
- HDMI 2.0
- Kodi 16.1 Pre-installed Updating Online with Wizard
- Gigabit Ethernet (1000M Ethernet)
- Support OTA Update Online
- All Aluminum Housing
- LED Display
Initial Setup, Dashboard and Using it
Setting up the Zoomtak T8U was straight forward, simply plug in your HDMI cable, connect to the TV and power it on. The boot time took around 26 seconds from starting up the device and being taken to the dashboard.
The T8U comes with a tile based launcher which is common with most Android boxes thanks to its ease of use. The launcher allows you to select the tiles to easily and quickly access your apps and settings. The tile based launcher makes it very easy to navigate and use on your TV and Zoomtak has made the right decision to stick with this.
On the left hand side of the dashboard is a large tile that links directly to the Kodi media center that is pre-installed on the T8U. On the dashboard you also have quick access to all of the apps that you have installed on the device, web browser, video apps, music apps as well as a task killer for freeing up system memory and device settings.
Zoomtak T8U OTA Updates
The Zoomtak T8U supports OTA updates which is great. In order to update Android boxes you generally need to load the latest firmware on an SD card or USB and then manually flash the latest update. The issue with this is that its time consuming and there is always a chance you can brick the device.
With OTA updates you can simply click the check for updates button and if there is an update simply hit the download and install button and the T8U will take care of the rest.
2.5 Inch Hard Drive Bay
The Zoomtak T8U comes with a 2.5 inch HDD bay that is located on the underside of the device which allows you to install a hard drive. This is a great bit of functionality to have as it allows you to store your local media on the device itself making it easy to access your content but also giving you the option of taking the media player with you if you were to travel or go to a friends house.
For media play back I used Kodi which is what I use for all of my media playback on my different media players. Kodi is available on the Google Play store for free.
Launching the Kodi app was trouble free and I did not notice any issues such as lag or stuttering. Navigating around the Kodi app was a smooth experience and media playback was great.
I ran AnTuTu Video Tester to determine media playback compatibility where it scored 909.
Antutu Benchmark tests scored 35,934
Running the Geekbench3 benchmarking app the Zoomtak T8U achieved a Single-Core score of 615 and a Multi-Core score of 1750.
Testing the device with Vellamo saw the device receive a Metal score of 964.
The Zoomtak T8U is connected to my home network via an Ethernet cable and my internet connection is running on 100mb Fibre. Network performance on the T8U provided stable speeds both up and down which will allowed me to enjoy buffer free streaming. I received stable speeds for download of 83.26Mbps and upload of 6.42 Mbps.
Where to Buy
If you are interested in purchasing the Zoomtak T8U head on over to the official Zoomtak page for more information.