Zidoo is one of the most recognizable companies in the media player world. Zidoo X9s is probably their most successful release so far that is still considered to be among the best ones out there. Their new release, X10 follows the same tradition and in certain areas is even better than its predecessor.
Packaging – Specifications
Zidoo X10 arrived in the biggest box we have seen so far. Perhaps the positioning of the model in the premium segment accompanied by the unit’s largely increased physical dimensions dictated so. At least that ensured that the parts enclosed had the best possible protection, which was the case.
Besides the base unit, inside you will find the dual detachable Wi-Fi antennas, an A/V cable, an HDMI cable, the remote and basic documentation. Batteries for the remote (2x AAA) are not included.
The specifications list is more or less similar to the X9s model from the same company. That is not bad at all since it still remains impressive.
The media playback “king” RTD1295 from Realtek alongside with 3-core Mali T820 are here once again to ensure compatibility with 4K, 3D, HD Audio bit-streaming, auto frame switching and Full BD menu playback among others. The 2GB of DD3 RAM are efficient for all tasks even though new media players usually arrive with 3GB of RAM.
In terms of I/Os, Zidoo X10 is equipped as good as it gets. 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI 2.0a out (HDCP 2.2), 1x HDMI in, 1x optical out, 1x SD slot (up to 32GB), 1x A/V out and with one 3.5” HDD enclosure for drives up to 8TB.
The new VFD LED display in the front (can be dimmed from the menus) just can’t be praised enough with its aesthetically pleasant fonts and detailed information (LAN info, resolution, time etc.). It is also quite big and certainly the best and most useful one we have seen so far in a media player.
In terms of networking, Zidoo made sure it uses the best parts available by including Gigabit wired LAN, Dual band ac Wi-Fi with dual detachable antennas, BT4.0 and hotspot option.
Google’s Android 6.0 is the selected operation system.
Media Player – Remote
It is just massive! Certainly among the biggest media boxes around. Can be comparable in overall size only with big Dune models like MAX/DUO, but this is still taller (almost 7cm height).Other dimensions are not small either (20cmx20cm). The aforementioned could otherwise hurt the looks of a media box but this is not the case with this one due to the exquisite build quality that has no rival. Zidoo names the aluminum shell “Space Aviation Aluminum alloy case in smoke-colored”. The name is catchy but it matches the beauty and feel of the aluminum material used. We are not sure that the photos will do it justice. You will have to take our word for it.
On the front the main attraction is the big display mentioned earlier and on the right side all three USB ports are located. At the back you will find the rest of the connections. The dual antennas are mounted on the back (left and right edges).
At the left side, the 3.5” HDD bay is located. We tested a 3TB WD RED model with success. Installing and removing the HDD is an easy task.
The remote is the same that we saw in the X9s model. Certainly among the best with good range and very pleasant grip. Buttons have great feel and some of them can be programmed from a dedicated application. Dedicated buttons simulating the full BD menu functions (top menu for example) are missing so in order to browse through the menus, you must use KODI’s on screen selections. We would also prefer a back lit solution that would be a better match to the unit’s price range and overall premium feel.
Overall, Zidoo X10’s build quality is second to none.
Menus – Settings
Nothing seems changed compared to X9s’s UI. The gray colored theme is still very pleasant to look at and use. It still sports beautifully designed large icons for all major selections/applications (Media Center, HDMI In, Settings, Browser etc.). You do have the option to add shortcuts of your own. A beautiful weather widget is located at the top left side.
Settings menu is the classic white one we find in Google’s stock Android OS. All available options can be found here, both common and more complex ones (color space). After unit’s first boot a quick settings menu will appear for all major selections (display, sound, Ethernet, language).
Zidoo X10 had excellent performance in all areas just like its small brother X9s. That is due to the same basic hardware and software implementation in both units.
Zidoo has made special tuning to both a dedicated fork of KODI named ZDMC and the external basic video player. The second one appears to implement all X10’s special features like HD Audio, 3D, auto frame switching and full BD menus. The combination of both (just select in ZDMC video settings to use the external player instead) provides a superb combination in terms of media playback (KODI UI and add-ons with external player’s features). The overall playback capabilities can only be found in other premium media boxes like NVidia Shield (lacking 3D and BD menus) and Dune Solo 4K (lacking 4K@60).
4K and 1080p playback of high bit-rate material was absolutely perfect, not only in terms of image quality but in motion handling as well. Auto frame rate works like a charm.
That was also the case with BLU-RAY menus as well.
Due to lack of proper equipment, we could not test 3D and HDR, so we can only mention reports from users speaking of correct playback in both cases.
If only it could support 4K Netflix…
HDMI In application has exactly the same options like the one at Zidoo X9s. PiP is supported but don’t try to record protected material since there is HDCP protection. Recordings are saved in TS format and there is option for scheduled recordings. Recordings are up to 1080p resolution and only in stereo.
Network performance is also excellent. Streaming 4K and Full BLU RAY backups via both wired and dual band Wi-Fi network was flawless (you will be needing a matching AP though)
Gaming experience is very good and you will be able to play almost any modern game from the Play Store with almost no stutters and lags.
Overall, the performance of Zidoo X10 is superb.
Disclaimer: Review firmware was 1.3.0. There was a newer beta version available (1.4.4) but we did not focus on it due to USB 3.0 and network bugs (lower speeds). 1.3.0 firmware (the one tested) is a much more stable version if you stream videos from network or USB 3.0 storage devices. This review will be updated soon with the new 1.4.5 version.
Android – Open WRT
No major differences compared to what we usually see.
The Marshmallow version of Google’s platform is installed and nothing is left behind. Play Store, You-Tube, Chrome and all applications and games are ready to be installed (~11GB free after first boot).
Zidoo probably is the best in terms of support and you can be sure that frequent updates will be provided for bug fixing and feature updates (like the smurfs 2 file support J ) . We already got one during our testing period.
The device is not rooted.
Zidoo X10 also supports open WRT via web interface. It works, akthough setting it up is not exactly easy. For sure not for beginners.
You simply just can’t go wrong with Zidoo X10. Although the price tag is noticeable (~230$), the performance (4K, 3D, auto frame rate switching, HDMI In, tuned apps), specs (HDD enclosure, VFD LED display) and build quality are certainly on par and are usually found in ever pricier solutions.
If you value looks, build quality and top media playback performance, Zidoo X10 is probably the only way to go.
You can purchase Zidoo X10 from Gearbest at a competitive price.
- If this review helped you towards making your decision, we would appreciate if you made your order through the previous affiliate link(s). This way we will be able to review more products in the future.