The A11 uses the same SoC (System on a Chip) that the A5 and A10 are using. This SoC is made by HiSilicon and is called the Hi3798C V200. It’s a 64 bit ARM A53 CPU clocked at 1,6 Ghz paired with 2GB RAM and 12GB onboard storage. Currently its running on Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) but development on Android 7 has already started by Egreat. One of its selling points is the video decoding section which claims to offer very good capabilities (more on that later) due to its HiVXE 2.0 processing engine which is similar to VXP incorporated in some of Sigma Design’s SoCs.
The package and what’s inside:
• 2x HDMI cables
• SATA extender cable
• User guide
• Power cord
• RCA cable
The I/O is as follows (in addition, see the picture of the back of the unit):
• HDMI 2.0 as main video out
• HDMI 1.4 as audio out in case the AVR does not support HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2
• Optical out
• Stereo RCA out
• Coaxial out
• 1x USB 3.0 (back)
• 2x USB 2.0 (1x front, 1x back)
• SATA extender
• IR extender input
• IR eye on the back
The case is well built, finished with aluminum brushing and overall feels in accordance to the price tag of the A11. It features a large and bright display at the front, which can be used to show the remaining time of the movie which is playing for example. The brightness can be changed and it can also be turned off completely. In case you turn off the display there is no light whatsoever on the A11 while in operation. This is of special interest to people who are placing the player near the display and are not distorted by any light. When the unit is turned off there is a small red light to indicate so.
The front cover can be opened to reveal one USB 2.0 port and the 3,5” hot swap drive bay for fast and easy access to the internal HDD. The A11 comes with a fan installed which can be deactivated by the user. However, it is recommended to turn on the fan (or set it to intelligent mode) in case a HDD is installed. Luckily the fan is rather quite in operation.
Open front cover:
The remote control offers a lot of functionality and is well built. Although its is not very ergonomically shaped it fits well in the hand after some use. The pressure point is excellent and gives a haptic click as feedback that you pressed the key. Furthermore, the remote offers keys which are automatically backlit for a few seconds after a key was pressed. The navigation keys are pleasantly big and are surrounded by the most important functions like play/pause, menu and the info button. Vastly helpful are the short keys for video, music, photos and all files. This makes it possible to reach the folders with your media very fast.
Furthermore, its also to use the remote via Bluetooth. This can be done by activating Bluetooth inside the settings. Then the buttons "up" and "down" need to be pressed simultaneously until the red light on the remote blinks frequently. Keep both buttons pressed, then press the "eject" key for 5 seconds and you should see a message indication that Bluetooth is activated.
The graphical user interface (GUI):
Although the player is based on Android it is hardly visible due to Egreat skinning almost every aspect of the player to make it their own and more user friendly for a big TV.
This is the home screen which is shown after booting the device. It looks very minimalistic and clean. From this point every important aspect is easily accessible. At the bottom of the page it is possible to pin apps for fast access.