Analysis: Beelink GS-King X, an Android box that goes further and serves as a NAS
Android TV boxes have come to enrich the content that we can watch on our TV, while relaxing in the comfort of the sofa. In addition to allowing a wide range of diversity, they allow everything to be customized to the user's taste, and that is where all the "magic" goes. But, how about if we can add one more ingredient?
Increasingly, local storage is valued, the typical NAS, both for backups and for shared repositories, and Beelink GS-King X allows you to handle this aspect with ease, also serving as a NAS. See our review.
Here we have introduced dozens, maybe even hundreds, of Android boxes for different requirements and different pockets. But the truth is that it is the first time that we have brought a box capable of hosting two 3.5 ″ HDD disks for storage on the network, with quick and simple configuration.
To add to that, it brings one of the most recent Amlogic SoCs, intended for TV boxes with superior performance, such as this Beelink GS-King X.
The Beelink GS-King X box is personalized, compact and complete with accessories.
It brings everything necessary to accommodate and operate the two HDD drives it supports. In other words, it has 2 brackets and respective screws, so that, after screwed on the discs, they can be guided in the small internal rails of the GS-King X. Further on, it is shown how this happens.
It also brings a power adapter with 19 V output with 3 A current, thus supporting a maximum output power of 57 W. It will then support not only the box and the two HDD drives, but also additional devices (such as external drives) connected to the USB ports.
It features a remote control with Air Mouse support and voice search and an HDMI cable. Additionally, it also brings an 8 GB microSD card with the CoreELEC operating system, for those who prefer Android.
Beelink GS-King X has top specifications considering the “low-cost Android box” segment. We cannot say that this is a low-cost box, because it is not, but within the segment of Android boxes that we know, this one stands out clearly.
For starters, there's the new SoC Amlogic S922X-H, with a Hexa-core CPU, composed of Quad-core Cortex-A73 @ 2.2 GHz + Dual-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.8 GHz. It has 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage.
The GPU is Mali-G52 MP6 and supports a maximum resolution of 4K @ 75fps, on the HDMI output, with 4K @ 60fps video decoding capability.
As for network connections, it has 1 Gbps Ethernet and Wi-Fi Dual-band ac. It brings Android in version 9.0 and has received some updates in recent weeks, which demonstrates an active support of the model by the manufacturer. It also supports DTS Listen and Dolby Audio sound decoding, although, for now, it only plays with PCM.
Regarding the available ports, the front has 2x USB 3.0, microSD card slot, the Power button and the infrared receiver, only needed to connect the box (after that it works by RF). At the rear it has 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0 (OTG), SPDIF digital sound output, 1Gbps Ethernet, HDMI output, AV output (image + analog sound) and input for the power adapter. It also has some ports dedicated to Hi-Fi sound, such as RCA L / R output, balanced L / R output and 3.5 ″ jack sound output.
Finally, with regard to NAS functionality, it has two SATA 3.0 interfaces with support for up to 16 TB each, supporting a total of 32 TB. HDD discs are placed from the rear.
This Beelink GS-King X, given its specificity for including 3.5 ″ HDD discs, needs to take into account some important aspects such as cooling. Thus, and starting with the design, the GS-King X has a unibody structure, entirely made of aluminum, designed to efficiently dissipate all the heat generated.
In addition, internally, it has a fan to cool not only the SoC Amlogic heatsink, but also to remove hot air from inside, due to the heating of HDD discs. The air outlet is on the left side.
At the top and on the sides there are air inlets, which allow air to circulate in all areas of the box.
Finally, in the frontal area, there is a skull that creates a bolder appearance. The illumination in the eyes depends on the condition of the box: green color when in stand-by, blue color when in normal operation. Unfortunately, it is not possible to turn off this lighting, which can be annoying in some situations.
Two operating systems: Android and CoreELEC
The box brings Android 9.0 with customization by Beelink, thus including the brand's usual launcher and some adjustments in functional terms.
Then, of course, it supports Google services and allows access to the Play Store, where you can install all kinds of applications, including games. NAS functionality is also included, with a dedicated application.
However, if your goal of using the box is more restricted, the CoreELEC operating system may be more suitable. That is, if you want to use the box only as a Media Center and NAS device, then CoreELEC is more optimized and specific for that type of use.
If you do not know CoreELEC, it is basically a special version of Linux whose main interface is Kodi. You can learn more about this operating system on the official CoreELEC page. During testing, Android was essentially used.
NAS - boxed as a networked storage device
Backup of videos, photos, old documents, data recovered from an old computer, virtual machines, games, series ... All of these are more than reasons to use a NAS on your home network, whose information is quickly accessible (with the appropriate credentials) to from any device on the network.
Thus, from the Settings menu, it is possible to access the configuration of the File Server (SAMBA), which is very simplified and available to any type of user.
Then just define the Workgroup and NetBios Name, if different, define the username and password, choose the drives you want to share on the network and press ON. The storage is immediately accessible from the local network.
In the drives available for sharing, internal storage, HDD disks connected to the SATA ports, and any USB drive connected to the box are considered.
As for the connection speed, using ethernet connection, between 60 and 80 MB / s (approximately between 600 to 800 Mbps) are achieved, both for reading and writing. You are not being limited by the network connection or the storage drive, so you may need to optimize the software, even if it's not bad. If the Wi-Fi connection is used, about 1 meter away from the router, it is possible to reach about half that speed.
There are already some Android boxes that bring this SoC Amlogic S922X-H, however, this is the first one that we have analyzed. For this reason, we made the tests “as usual”, where some benchmark applications were used. Here are the results:
Antutu v8.4.3: 155947
PCMark Work 2.0 Performance: 6393
Geekbench 5: 287/957
Apart from these results, which put this GS-King X at the forefront, all the use of the interface and applications is very fluid, without delay and with great stability.
Regarding the interface resolution, although the box is referred to as 4K and the TV is, in fact, receiving the image at that resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels), the entire interface is 1080p upscaled. The same happens in Kodi, due to the limitation of the application itself. This is neither new nor related to this GS-King X, it is simply a limitation of the technologies and software in use. However, a 4K video is truly played in 4K, with detail and fluidity in all its splendor, including YouTube. Nothing to report in this regard.
As for energy consumption, we can say that it is moderate, especially when compared to operator boxes. Thus, without HDD disks or USB drives connected, it has a consumption of 6 W in idle (11 W in full load). If an HDD 3.5 ″ disk is added to the SATA connection and an external 2.5 ″ disk via USB, consumption rises to 14 W in idle.
Beelink GS-King X is a top box in its segment, and the capacity to serve as NAS up to 32 TB is suitable for most users, who only want units available on the network. Yes, there are no advanced features on the NAS, nor is that what you want. Simply, quickly and uncomplicated, it is easy to make the HDD 3.5 ″ disks, the internal storage of the box and any other drive connected via USB accessible on the local network. Therefore, it is a 2-in-1 that looks good to be part of the furniture in the room.
It has good build quality and good materials, with an interesting cooling flow considering the size. It also offers current technologies, such as USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit ethernet, Wi-Fi 5 GHz ac and support for Dolby / DTS sound.
Performance is fit for purpose, the 4 GB of RAM ensures that there are no delays in switching applications and the internal 64 GB is generous for the most enthusiastic users (in addition to being able to extend the internal storage using another storage unit).
The remote control provided is ergonomic, complete and functional, including the ability to use the Google assistant using the remote. Then, for those with a more specific interest, the CoreELEC operating system may be an advantage, with possibly more refined and very complete performance in its niche.
The Beelink GS-King X box is available in the 4GB / 64GB version, for around 212 €, using the discount code 50F1CXCI. Shipping is fast and made from Europe, so there is no additional charge.