Best Kodi Boxes 2017

by Dylan - first posted January 10, 2017

I’ve run Kodi (or back in the day, XBMC) for a decade now on various devices. I started running it directly on my main computer but eventually moved away from a desktop to independent Kodi boxes. I started with a hacked first generation AppleTV, then moved onto a Cubox i4pro, and currently, have an AMlogic powered Matricom mbox Q.

But here we are, in 2017, and it’s time for an upgrade! I’ve spent a long time researching the best Kodi boxes on the market for 2017, and here is what I’ve found.

Different people will need their media center to do different things, especially with hardware and Kodi itself becoming more diverse with Windows, Linux, and Android devices all having their own flavours of Kodi. Because of that, I’ve decided to organize this article based on the way you’ll need to use your box. All of these media centers can be found on Amazon.

I need a Kodi box that is cheap; under $100

This is for those of you who don’t necessarily need the most powerful box with all the bells and whistles. These are the best Kodi boxes under $100.

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | $39.99

Full Netflix integration
8 GB internal storage

Pros: The obvious pro of this is its super cheap price tag. Probably the best and cheapest option if all you want is to plugin it in and play 1080p content. The remote is super sleek and minimal, and the added Alexa voice is far more convenient that I ever imagined!

Cons: Not capable of 4k, or playing hardware accelerated HEVC x265 files.

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Xiaomi Mi Box | $69.63

2ghz quad-core a53 CPU & 3+2 coremali-750m
Dual band 802.11ac wifi support 2.4g/5g 802.11ac

Pros: If you just need a box to run Kodi with a 1080p TV, then this is really all you need. This box has built in WiFi and does support 4K content, but you’d probably want a more powerful box to run your Kodi 4K files at. One of the best things about this box is it has little setup time. Just plug it in and start up Kodi!

Cons: The Xiaomi Mi Box 2017 runs off of AMlogic S905 gpu, which is fine if you want to run Kodi 16, but you may run into problems with Kodi 17 as they have all but dropped support for AMlogic hardware acceleration.

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Raspberry PI 3 Model B | $74.99

A 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU
Full HDMI port
802.11n Wireless LAN
Bluetooth 4.1 (low energy)

Pros: One of the cheapest and best devices you can get for running Kodi on in 2017, the rPie is a builders dream. You can also install your own OS flavour such as RetroPie, a Linux distro that turns your rPie into a retro gaming console as well as media center.

Cons: This is NOT a plug and play device. The rPie takes build and setup time that a hobbyist will love, but the non-techy readers should probably skip this one for a more complete solution.

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I want the best price and performance

This is where a guy like me fits. I don’t want a $500 juggernaut, but I need more power than a budget box can provide.

Matricom G-Box Q² Android TV Streaming Media Mini PC | $94.00

Android TV 5
Quad Core S812 CPU
Mali-450 Octo Core 3D GPU Graphics Processor
16GB internal storage

Pros: Price! Even though this box is less than $100, I decided to put the Q² in this section because it’s just such a great value. This Kodi box is fully capable of playing 4k content and x265 HEVC files with full hardware acceleration – which is why the Q² is the media center I use daily. Is very simple for the average person to setup.

Cons: It does run an older version of Android, but Kodi support on it is rock solid. Runs Amlogic s812.

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I want the best Kodi Box 2017 has to offer!

So, you want the best of the best, do you? Here they are!

NVIDIA SHIELD Pro – 4K Ultra HD Streaming Media Player 2017 | $299.99

Android 7.0.1 w/ Google assistant!
Stream AAA PC games. Cast your PC games in 4K HDR
Includes remote and full controller
NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor
256-core NVIDIA graphics
64-bit CPU
500 GB storage
802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi

Pros: Pretty much everything about this beast is a pro. It’s gorgeous, easy to use and setup, full 4k streaming, 500 GB internal storage, and comes with Google assistant! That’s cool.

Cons: The SHIELD is more than just a media center, it’s also an android powered gaming center and media streamer. As amazing as this thing is, it might be overkill if you don’t intend to either stream your PC games to it, or use it to game.

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