Kinhank X5 Pro Android TV/Retro Gaming Console Review

One of their latest releases is the Kinhank Super Console X5 Pro, an Android TV Box that runs on Android 12 and is powered by the 8-core Rockchip RK3588S SoC. In addition, you get 8GB DDR4 RAM and 64GB eMMC storage.

These specs make the X5 Pro a fairly powerful Android Box, but chuck in an external 4TB HDD jammed-pack with retro games (over 16,000) for every platform up to and including PS2, and you have a formidable gaming machine.

You also get up to 8K output (which I wasn’t able to test as my television is on 4K), Wi-Fi 6, and a SATA 3.1 interface.

My device, which came straight from Kinhank, included a power adapter and convertor plug, braided 8K HDMI cable, SATA 3.0 cable, and a Bluetooth remote control, which doubles up as an air mouse. The X5 Pro also came with a Gamesir T3 gamepad, which I have to say, is excellent and a nice addition, as opposed to the very cheap fake PS2 controllers that some retailers supply.

The whole package currently costs $349.99, or you can buy just the HDD for $89.99, and with no games included, it comes out to $259.99. Overall, the full package is remarkable value for money when you consider the 4TB HDD is included too.

At the heart of the Kinhank X5 Pro is the Rockchip RK3588S SoC. The processor features a quad-core Cortex-A76 and a quad-core Cortex-A55, allowing for a very capable and responsive performance. Along with the G610 MP4 GPU, there is enough raw power to adequately play the majority of retro gaming platforms included.

The X5 Pro is fully compatible with OpenGLES 1.1, 2.0, and 3.2, OpenCL up to 2.2, as well as Vulkan 1.2. The inclusion of a 2D and 3D hardware engine with MMU allows for some fast and smooth operation, regardless of what games you are playing, whether they be Android or emulation.

There are some decent hardware engines being used too, including support for 8K@60fps H.265, VP9 decoder, 8K@30fps H.264 decoder, and a 4K@60fps AV1 decoder, offering support for 8K@30fps H.264 and H.265. The X5 Pro also supports HDR and 12-bit processing. For an Android TV box alone, it’s evident the X5 Pro packs a punch.

  • 3x USB3.0
  • USB2.0
  • SATA3.1
  • TF card slot
  • HDMI 2.1
  • USB Type-C/DP1.4
  • RJ45 Gigabit LAN
  • 3.5mm Audio jack
  • DC jack

The X5 Pro also comes with that very important 8GB DDR4 RAM and 64GB eMMC storage, as without the RAM, you would have no chance at playing higher end emulation smoothly.

As mentioned before, the X5 Pro runs on Android 12 , and using the RK3588S chipset makes this a powerful gaming machine when it comes to emulation.

Emulation-wise, the X5 Pro is compatible with over 40+ emulators, including PS2, PS1, Sega Saturn, 3DS, and Mame, as well as all of the lower end platforms, such as the SNES, Mega Drive, etc.

The promise from Kinhank is that the X5 Pro offers a hassle-free, plug-and-play experience, which unfortunately for myself, wasn’t entirely the case, which I will go into a bit more later.

The first thing that stood out to me when I set everything up was the 4TB HDD. The reason for this is that the HDD does not come with any type of enclosure. You connect it to the X5 Pro using the included SATA cable, and the HDD just sits there in plain sight.

It spoils the aesthetics of the X5 Pro box, which is actually quite neat and decent to look at. To have an HDD sat next to or underneath/above it without an enclosure just doesn’t look right. I really wish Kinhank also provided an enclosure for the HDD, if I’m going to be truthful, as this current set-up will no doubt put a lot of people off.

Once it is set up and switched on, the main interface is fairly simple. You have the main screen where you can add or remove different apps, so they are close at hand when you want them. Or you can go into the apps folder and look for the standalone app/emulator if you don’t want to use the front end, which is Pegasus.

Upon opening the Pegasus app, it will scan the HDD and populate the platforms available with all of the games. And as you can see from the images, once this is done, it does look rather nice and very easy to navigate.

Along the top of the screen are your platforms, and under each one, once selected, are all of the games that have the box art and some have videos too. There is also a count of how many games are in each platform.

The amount of content is staggering, let’s get that out of the way first. You will probably spend more time looking through the games than playing the majority of them. Kinhank have put together a very decent collection of games here, and for once I saw very few duplicates.

I wish all retailers would do this as there is nothing worse than having 10 versions of the same game…. Retailers take note of what Kinhank have produced and do the same.

The promise of Plug-n-Play, unfortunately, is where the X5 Pro falls slightly short. Yes, you connect it to your television, switch it on and the games are there; however, there are some small issues that I experienced.

Firstly, on some of the platforms such as Dreamcast, the controller just wouldn’t work initially. It was totally unresponsive. This was also the case for PS2. I had to map the controller myself within the actual emulator before I could use the controller within Pegasus.

This wasn’t a major deal for me as I know how to map a controller with these emulators. However, for someone buying the X5 Pro with absolutely no technical know-how, I can see them really struggling with this.

Other platforms worked fine, so I’m unsure why I had this issue with just certain emulators. Afterall, the X5 Pro is meant to be plug-n-play. I’m hoping it was just an issue with mine though.

However, the next issue I had was not so easy to resolve; in fact, I was unable to resolve it. The problem is with the GameCube and Wii emulator Dolphin. For the love of God, I could not get any of those games to function. Upon selecting a game, it went to the Pegasus loading page and then dropped me back to the main Pegasus page.

I even attempted to install my own Dolphin emulators, but nope, I had no joy at all. I contacted Kinhank several times, and I have to say their response within 24hrs was excellent, and they offered various different ways to try and resolve it.

However even that didn’t work. Kinhank did try their best to help and I believe they are still looking into the issue, but unfortunately, I could not test any GameCube or Wii games. I’m hoping this is just an isolated issue with my X5 Pro though.

Moving on, testing PS2 and other platforms, including Dreamcast and Saturn, I’m pleased to say they worked almost flawlessly. The limitations for any sort of glitching experienced, I believe is down to the emulators themselves and not the X5 Pro.

PS2 on 2x resolution, depending on what you play looked and played great. God of War worked so well and looked great on a 4K television. I didn’t experience any glitching.

PSP also ran incredibly well at 4x resolution, and the games looked and played so well also. In fact, other than the issues I experienced with GameCube, everything else worked fine. Controls were all set up as they should have been for the PS2 and PSP.

Mame and arcade games again worked without any issues, and the controller was automatically recognised through RetroArch. I didn’t feel the need to mess about with any of the settings within RetroArch, though I don’t like the scan-line affect that are often used, so at some point I will be removing them.

So, what are my thoughts on the X5 Pro? Well, it’s obviously a very capable retro gaming device, as well as the addition of playing Nextflix, Kodi and other streaming apps (all of which worked fine, once you logged into them). I didn’t spend time playing Android games purely because this article is aimed at the retro gaming scene. But I’ve no doubt Android gaming will also be fine.

My main criticism is with how the HDD is meant to just sit there outside of a casing. This cheapens what I think is a decent looking Android TV box. There is also the problem I had with GameCube and Wii content not playing, but as I mentioned earlier, I’m hoping this was just an issue with my box, which Kinhanksent me.

The other issue is with some of the controls needing to be set-up, when this is being advertised as an easy plug n play device. Those without technical knowledge if they had the same issues as I had, may struggle to resolve them, even with the excellent customer support that Kinhank offers.

But there is no doubt that the X5 Pro is an excellent emulation box, and with the amount of content on offer, you will spend thousands of hours of retro gaming enjoyment, whether just browsing through the extensive list of games or actually playing them.

You can purchase your Kinhank X5 Pro directly from them by clicking here

 

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