Reserved space for You-Tube video (arriving soon)
While we are still waiting for the next generation of AMlogic’s System on Chips (SoC), we have yet another S912 based unit for a glance. The TX9 Pro by Tanix is the successor of the capable TX92 unit we reviewed earlier this year (you can read it here). Aside from the different design, the specs are almost identical. Let’s check if the performance is up to par.
Packaging – Specifications
The TX9 Pro is indeed TX92’s sibling, something easily recognized from the exact same packaging. The only way to distinguish the two boxes is from the model description at the back of the box.
No wonder why all accessories included are the same. Inside the cardboard box you will find the power adaptor, the remote, the HDMI cable and a quick start guide. Don’t expect to find any batteries for the remote (2x AAA).
Specifications list is once again the same. It is equipped with 3GB (of probably DDR3 type) RAM and 32GB of fast eMMC 5.0 ROM. A combination that promises much better multitasking and effortless playback of media files compared to other models with less RAM. A 32GB ROM model exists as well.
The Amlogic S912 8-core CPU with Mali T820 GPU ensures fast processing, 4K / HDR compatibility and good 3D gaming performance.
I/Os feature 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x S/PDIF out (in a mini jack form), 1x HDMI 2.0 out (with 4K and HDR support) and 1x micro SD slot (up to 32GB).
For wired network connections an RJ45 with Gigabit LAN is the best available option and the same applies for wireless connections with dual band Wi-Fi AC and BT 4.1.
Android 7.1.2 is the selected operating system.
Media Player – Remote
The chassis of the new unit is at least different. To be honest, the predecessor has better design, but the overall build quality is similar. We do miss the on/off button, but at least the front display remained intact. There are surprisingly no ventilation holes at all (!!!) but in reality we didn’t experience any issues.
I/Os are exactly the same, layout included. The only difference now is that the ports are reversed which means that the main board is upside down on this one. All connections and I/Os are located at the back so cable management will be easy. The micro SD slot is an exception, since it located on the left side, but no one will notice its existence anyway.
The front display is not disturbingly bright so viewing should be hassle free. The time, USB and network status is all it shows.
The remote is a nice change from what we are used to. Quite similar in design with the ones found in NVidia Shield and Xiaomi Mi Box 4K but without the BT protocol so careful pointing will be required. Both grip and feel are very nice and the plastic build appears to be solid. Layout is good and you will spend little time trying to memorize the buttons. It is still the same one that came with the older unit.
Menus – Settings
The new user interface (named “Alice UX”) is still here after the relatively short boot sequence. Still our favorite launcher, Android TV aside. Although there is one main screen, on the left there is a “circle” switching between “Main”, ”Apps” and ”Settings” sub menus. You are able to create your own shortcuts in all three sub menus at the bottom of the screen for your convenience.
Although the more user-friendly stock Android 7 settings menu system exists, Tanix chose to use a custom one for basic settings like Display, Network and Bluetooth. It works well but since at some point you will need to access the extra Android settings, the extra navigation steps could be avoided.
A OTA update system is included.
Tanix TX9 Pro performed the same as the TX92 variant. This is a good thing since the TX92 showed one of the best S912 based performance in all areas.
As expected, playback of all popular stereo audio files (mp3/FLAC) was an easy task for the powerful 8-core processor.
The pre-installed fork of KODI, named as TV Center, showed very capable video performance. UHD HEVC video files had very good playback, even the ones with high bit rate. HDR was enabled and HDR-SDR conversion also worked decently in cases were the display was not HDR compatible. The Tanix handled 24p motion very nice for as long as you would not forget to switch manually the display refresh rate to 24 Hz. An auto frame rate switching option is the only thing we really missed (it is implemented on much cheaper Tanix TX3 Max model though)
Full HD playback was also stellar with Blu Ray backup files and home videos.
Once more, Android 7’s audio enhancements helped the TX9 Pro to bit-stream HD Audio perfectly. Including latest codecs like DTS X and Dolby ATMOS. Down-mixing to stereo was also handled perfectly so still good news if you intend to connect the media box directly to your TV set.
Wi-Fi performance was also good with Wi-Fi AC being able to stream 1080p files of average bit-rate. Just make sure that your access point is equally good or better. Wired performance was also great since streaming of BLU-RAY backups was issue free.
Gaming performance was also very good with the majority of 3d games having very good performance. With the addition of a gamepad, it can provide many hours of good gameplay. Due to the lack of ventilation holes the unit got much warmer than the TX92 model but we never (noticed?) experienced anything out of the ordinary.
Furthermore, throughout every task, from UI browsing to task switching and application launching, it gave us the impression that it could handle all tasks with “ease” which is the case for the majority of 3GB RAM media boxes. The very fast (compared to competition) internal ROM (~120mb/sec read, ~75mb/sec write performance) also assisted towards that matter.
Android 7 (Nougat) is the established trend and that’s the case with this one as well. The user interface is very responsive, and a navigation bar at the bottom will make things easier. Play Store is pre-installed so that you can install any application you want from Google’s never-ending catalog.
4K YouTube is not licensed but 1080p works perfectly. Fans of video streaming service like Netflix and Amazon Video will be a bit disappointed since the official apps can support playback only up to 480p.
Hardcore users will be happy to see that the device arrives pre-rooted with Super user not installed (you can install it manually in no time).
After the first boot you will find ~25GB of free space which should suffice for the installation of many programs and games.
Tanix TX9 Pro is a great performer. We really don’t know why Tanix released it since the existing TX92 model has similar performance and the same software.
At least it is a bit cheaper (~10%) which may count for many future owners out there.
If you are out for a great all-around performer and don’t mind about the lack of HD Netflix/Amazon Video, the Tanix TX9 Pro should on your shortlist. Note that the branding of the unit varies from store to store. For example they are labelled as Tanix in Gearbest and Banggood and as Vorke in Geekbuying. Both software and hardware are identical.
We would like to thank www.gearbest.com for sending the player in exchange for an unbiased presentation.
- If this review helped you towards making your decision, we would appreciate if you made your order through the following affiliate link(s). This way we will be able to review more products in the future.