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NZXT DOKO review

Richard Easton
11 Apr 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
99
inc VAT

The NZXT provides remote access to your PC but its execution is poor for gaming

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Specifications

Warranty: One year RTB, Details: www.nzxt.com, Part code: AC-DOKOM-K1

The living room is unquestionably the focus when it comes to gaming right now, even for PC manufacturers. Playing games and watching movies can be infinitely more comfortable from the sofa than stooped over a desk, but this doesn’t necessarily mean building a small PC that will fit in your living room AV cabinet.

Instead, there are ways to remotely access content from your main computer, such as Steam in-home streaming for gaming and devices such as the Google Chromecast or media streamers from Roku to get access to your movies. These only provide access to a subset of your PC’s capabilities, however - either gaming or media playback.

The NZXT Doko instead looks to provide full access to your PC from anywhere in the home, essentially emulating the experience you would get if you were sat in front of your PC – meaning the entire desktop and every available application.

The device itself is no larger than an Amazon Fire TV box, which means to say it isn’t very large at all. You could easily hide it out of view behind a television or in a cabinet if you use a wireless keyboard and mouse. The matt black box has subtle Doko branding embossed on the top but is otherwise pleasantly plain, aside from a small LED integrated into the power button that glows white when the device is turned on.

Four USB ports on the front of the Doko allow you to plug in compatible devices, which includes most plug-and-play keyboard and mice, USB storage devices and certain game controllers, which is supposed to include wired and wireless Xbox 360 controllers. An HDMI out on the back will let you hook up the box to a television or display, and an Ethernet port will get you connected to your home network.

NZXT DOKO front ports

The Doko only works over a wired connection, and NZXT recommends a gigabit connection to your router for optimal network performance, but you could use a Powerline networking adaptor. Performance may suffer as a result, however. An Ethernet cable is included with the Doko but disappointingly you’ll need to supply your own HDMI cable.

Another caveat is that the Doko will only support 1080p televisions. NZXT states that lower resolution displays might work but you might experience reduced video quality and scaling issues. We tried connecting to a 720p television and were unable to get an image displayed at all.

PLAYING GAMES

To get the Doko working with your main PC, you’ll need to install Doko’s software first. It’s not provided on a disc or flash drive so you’ll need to download it from the Doko website. The software not only mirrors your computer’s display but it also emulates a virtual USB hub so your computer can detect devices that are plugged into the Doko.

We had no problems connecting a keyboard and mouse and using them to control the host PC. However, connecting an Xbox 360 wireless controller was less consistent. The controller would occasionally stop working and only a reboot of the Doko would rectify the issue. On contacting NZXT, we discovered that the drivers for the Xbox 360 controller requires administrator rights, meaning you need to run the application you want to use, such as Steam, in admin mode.

Similarly, we encountered problems attempting to play Steam games when not in admin mode. Booting up any game would result in just a black screen through the Doko but the game running one the host system. Running Steam in admin mode, however, meant games worked fine. Another annoyance was that pop up dialogues, such as Windows’ User Account Control, didn’t appear on the NZXT’s output, meaning we had to go over to the host computer to clear them.

While the Doko is able to stream your PC’s display at 1080p resolution it’s also limited to 30fps, which is fine for most movie watching or desktop use, but it’s a slightly disappointing limitation for gaming. Anyone more familiar with console gaming, where 60fps is typically more of a bonus than an expectation, might not be too dissuaded, but it’s a letdown for dedicated PC gamers.

We also had a very poor experience trying to play games remotely when the host device was connected wirelessly to our router. There were constant dropped frames and a lot of input lag, meaning even just basic navigation in first person titles such as Bioshock Infinite became frustrating.

With our host system connected through a wired Ethernet connection performance was considerably better. There was still some minor input lag but it was no worse than we’ve experienced through other services such as Steam In-Home Streaming or Nvidia GameStream. The movie-watching experience was at least acceptable for the most part and we didn’t notice any strong image compression or artefacts while watching videos stored on our host computer.

CONCLUSION

The NZXT Doko is a great idea but its execution left a lot to be desired. The experience as it stands is far from seamless unless all you plan on using the device for is remotely accessing your desktop. The movie watching experience doesn’t rival the performance and simplicity of a dedicated device like the Google Chromecast, Apple TV or a Roku media streamer. Extending remote gaming beyond Steam In-Home Streaming or requiring an Nvidia graphics card could have been the feather in the Doko’s cap but the mediocre implementation left us disappointed.

Buying information
Price including VAT£99
WarrantyOne year RTB
Supplierwww.scan.co.uk
Detailswww.nzxt.com
Part codeAC-DOKOM-K1

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