Plextor External Media Player PX-MPE1000UHD - Plextor External Media Player Review

Sections

Like a lot of these kinds of the devices the 1TB drive comes preformatted in the NTFS file format, making it unsuitable for use with Macs unless you reformat or install specialized software. After formatting the capacity is 931GB, which should be more than enough for most users.


Had Plextor been smart it might have tweaked the interface and rectified some of the failings of Traxdata’s incarnation, but it hasn’t. So while the OS does boot in under 15 seconds, it’s as plain and ugly as before, looking like a Windows 95 interface running in 256 colours.

Menus and structure are also exactly the same, so you’re still faced with annoyances like output resolution for HDMI being found under ‘component out’. Navigation is also made awkward by the unintuitive remote and apparent lack of a back button, meaning you have to manually scroll to an ‘up-directory’ icon to go out of a list.


Format support hasn’t seen an upgrade either, which is a shame considering it was the single weakest point of the Traxdata. Audio support is adequate, comprising MP3, WAV, WMA and OGG, but video compatibility is limited to standard definition DivX, Xvid and MPEG-2. Despite claiming HD output up to 1,080i, the Plextor External Media Player refuses to play even 720p DivX content.

So, how can it claim HD support? Well, that’s because it “upscales” any content up to 720p or 1080i. However, like most things about the Plextor this upscaling is not very impressive. In fact scaling is a far more accurate description, resulting in a soft, unenhanced image with all its artefacts intact and enlarged for your viewing displeasure.


Finally we get to pricing and this is where the Plextor External Media Player falls down most. Things have moved on since we reviewed the Traxdata MultiMediaDrive: with branded 1TB hard drives now readily available for around £70 (and external ones a mere £80), this means you’re paying £110 for the below-par media enclosure.

Not only are there many alternative multimedia enclosures that offer better looks, better remotes, localized controls and even screens in addition to wider format support for less than half this amount, but there’s always the excellent Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player to consider. This little marvel is currently available for around £80 and plays more video and audio formats than anything else out there, making the addition of an external drive the only extra expense.

Verdict


Overpriced, awkward to control, limited in audio and video support and with an interface that belongs in the previous century, there really is no reason for anyone to buy the Plextor PX-MPE1000UHD External Media Player when there are alternatives out there that are cheaper and far more polished.

Score


Score in detail

  • Value 3
  • Features 4
  • Design 5