One of the hardest things a product reviewer has to do is remove any pre-conceived notions regarding the review unit and not hold that product to comparisons that are neither accurate nor just. In the case of the MojoPlay MP-920XB, I had to step back and examine it for what it was, a portable standard definition LCD. While this may seem simple enough, when you remove your Xbox 360 from a 52" Hi-Definition DLP and connect it to a small non-HD unit, it is tough to do. Never the less, I was pleasantly surprised at how well this little unit performed.
While unpacking the MP-920XB, I noted how well it was protected. The unit was packaged in a non-abrasive bag (soft foam) and cradled in a three-sided molded cardboard carton. In addition to the MP-920XB, the box contained the video connection cable (attached to the unit), power cord, screws, plastic tabs and instruction manual.
My first impression of the MP-920XB was that it was one sturdy piece of equipment, with a form-fitting design to allow it to snugly attach directly to the top of the Xbox 360 chassis. The weight was negligible (only 2.2 lbs), but the unit was very rigid and just felt solid while either closed or open (it is a flip design). The color scheme is designed to match the Xbox 360 perfectly and provides a nice touch.
Set up was literally a snap, as the MP-920XB snapped right into the ventilation holes on the top of the Xbox 360 chassis. However, one item to note is that MP-920XB is form fitting and curls around the back panel of the 360. So if there is a Nyko Intercooler or any other device attached to the back (like the Microsoft Wireless Adapter), there is a high probability that you will have to remove or adjust it to allow the the screen to fit properly. Granted the Intercooler and other devices may not even be necessary when going portable....
After plugging in the video connection cable and the power cord in, I was in business. The video connection cord fit well in the 360 slot, but was only long enough to allow the unit to connect while setting right on top of the Xbox 360. There simply isn't enough length to plug it in and then set the screen on a flat surface away from the console's chassis. While some may wonder why anyone would want to do this, I can think of many reasons including space constraints and the ability to move (swivel) the screen around for others to view or play.
One thing I knew needed to be done was to adjust the resolution on my Xbox 360 dashboard to match that of the MojoPlay unit. After hitting the System blade, I made the appropriate video adjustments of setting the resolution to 848x480 and turning the widescreen feature on. Initially I had set my resolution at 600x480 and forgot to turn the widescreen on (isn't needed with the HD Component hook-up), which caused an intermittent quarter-second flick of the screen to the left. This occurred every once in a while (but it wasn't regular by any means) and was corrected after consulting the MojoPlay team and realizing my error in the video settings.
I fired up "Crackdown", as the audio and visuals in this game would provide a good across-the-board test for the screen and speakers. Knowing this wouldn't come close to hi-def quality, my main concern was accurate rendition of lights and darks as well as colors. As the day changed to night, the image on the screen held up well. The overall video quality was good for this screen resolution and size with decent graphics and no trace of any of the known LCD issues. The ability to adjust the picture was a touch disappointing, as it is limited to a brightness knob located on the screen housing. The knob did very little to change the bright level when adjusted from one extreme to the other. Tilting the angle of the screen to get a perfect viewing angle seemed to help more.
The speakers are fairly small and built into the housing below the screen, but they pack quite bit of loudness in them. My testing room is fairly good size at 19' x 20' with 9' ceilings, and I was able to hear the volume at various setting wherever I was in the room. Keeping in mind the screen is only 9.2" in size, anything within a 4' distance (about the maximum viewing depth) was plenty loud to accompany any on-screen action. The volume knob is on the left side of the screen, right beside the dual headphone ports. I did hook two headphones up at once and the playback was solid. There are no option to adjust the Bass or Treble, just overall volume. Regardless, the sound of the vehicles, gameplay music, gunfire and the broken-bone splat noise made when your Agent hits the ground after falling from the top of the Agency Tower were all recognizable.
Overall, the MojoPlay MP-920XB is a great solution to make your Xbox 360 portable. While some may fret that the MP-920XB is not hi-def capable, at a retail price of $169.99 and with its ability to seamlessly integrate with the Xbox 360, it is truly a bargain. If the intent of this unit is to allow Xbox 360 gamers to hit the road, then the MojoPlay MP-920XB accomplishes this with ease.
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