Playster.com is a new online subscription offering digital forms of every kind of entertainment: games, books, audiobooks, movies and music. Besides offering access to all this content with one subscription, Playster offers something else that none of their competitors have: hardware. When you sign up for one year of Playster, the company will ship you a Playster Combo Box containing an Android tablet, headphones, a power adapter and a USB cable. All you pay is a $9.95 shipping fee (and the year’s membership, of course). Here, we take a look at the hardware options Playster is offering.
The Playster Combo Box arrived in a sleek, solid white package with everything packed neatly inside. The tablet itself is a 7” Android 4.4 tablet with a quad core cortex-A7 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The screen quality is good, with a crisp HD picture and a responsive touchscreen, ideal for using with the service’s considerable selection of mobile games. It runs well, with enough processing power to play Modern Combat 5 at 60 FPS (the game comes pre-installed on the tablet).
The tablet comes with an HDMI port so you can plug it into your TV, which is great if you’re at home and want to enjoy Playster’s content (or any other web entertainment) on a much bigger screen. It’s important to note that this tablet isn’t exclusively a Playster device—it functions completely independently of the service as an Android tablet, so that’s another incentive to get it if you’re an avid entertainment fan and want to commit for the year.
Playster’s headphones are chunky white over-ear headphones. Manufactured in synthetic leather, they have a high quality look and feel, and are extremely comfortable to wear. If I have any complaints about these, it’s that the cable isn’t very long: some could see this as a disadvantage, but it also means it doesn’t tangle very easily. The sound quality is definitely good and they have noise cancelling built in so you don’t have to worry about people listening in on your music selections. I will say that although these headphones are good, they’re not audiophile quality or anything like that—casual listeners are the target audience here. Still, they’re a nice bonus, and definitely not bad.
Playster is an interesting take on the online entertainment subscription model. Rather than choosing to specialize in just one type of entertainment, the company offers many different media types. Users can subscribe to individual media types or pay for a la carte content distribution. The latter option is the most in-line with their brand, offering by far the best value.
The Android app looks great and is pretty easy to use. If I have any complaints about it, it’s that there’s currently no audiobooks functionality built in. You can access audiobooks from your desktop computer but if you want to listen to those on the go, you’re out of luck. The desktop version could also use some improvements on the search feature, but overall, it’s a pretty great service. Considering Playster is still fairly new on the market, i think it can definitely become a household name in the streaming service vertical.
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