Minix Neo X7i (i = industrial) is the new kid on the block. The Minix Neo X7 (the one with the 16GB storage) is a veteran in the market for at least 3 years or more, not to mention that these days it is a hard to find hardware in some places.

However, the young generation has just come to the world: say hello to Minix Neo X7i. I was guessing that the “industrial” thing would make the TV box more robust and improved, but comparing the new version to the old one looked almost the same to me, except the 4 rubber legs which were added to the new version.

Minix Neo X7iThis unit already came when it is set to auto-power on, saving me opening the box and jumpering it by myself, as I used to do with the old X7 (as digital signage needs to run 24/7 and must be self booted, after power failure).

The main advantage of the new X7-i is that it has dual band WiFi, that means it can connect not only to 2.4Ghz WiFi networks, but also to 5Ghz WiFi networks. This maybe a good advantage, as in some places they move their router to be transmitting only on 5Ghz.

Besides, now it can be purchased easily, since this is a new model, while the old X7 is becoming more and more rare in some places.

The last thing I would like to mention here is that by default it comes with the JellyBean firmware without the portrait ability, so in case you’d like it to support screen rotation (if you have a vertical screen to be connected to it), you will need to flash it with Minix’s custom firmware. The best firmware for this TV box is the one from 15-Oct-2014 which suits also the old Minix Neo X7 as well as the X7i. Here is the user guide of how to flash your Minix Neo X7 or X7i with this custom firmware for supporting screen rotation.

Here is a video that shows the differences while comparing the Minix Neo X7-i vs. the Minix Neo X7:

The Minix Neo X7-i is still hard to find. However, you can find it in this webshop, which is an official reseller of Minix: http://www.minixwebshop.eu/en/minix-neo-x7i-auto-power-on.html
All in all, I suppose these are good news for the Android community.

Nir.