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A video media playback application for optical disc and file-based content, Leawo Blu-ray Player provides a decent playback experience and is now compatible with the Windows 8 touch interface. Sadly, it lacks several important features.
Sleek interface: Heavily inspired by Windows Media Player, Leawo Blu-ray Player proves to be one of the quickest and nicest to navigate players we've tested. The intuitive settings are just one click away, and we particularly appreciated the audio output activation option through HDMI that made the connection of our laptop to an external TV much easier than with most similar applications.
Fast, region-free Blu-ray playback: Blu-ray reading took no more than 20 seconds, faster than most home theater players.
Good file support: The comprehensive file repertoire includes all mainstream formats. Keep in mind, though, that the resolution is limited to 1080p.
File management: Browsing files is cumbersome, creating playlists is difficult, and digital file organization is practically nowhere to be seen.
Lack of standard disc playback features: 3D Blu-ray playback, BD-Live support, and auto-resume are now all basic features supported by most players; this app's lack of these features is inexplicable. Also, audio CD playback should have been a default feature.
Menu languages: Although localizing the interface should be relatively easy for this kind of app, few languages are supported.
Leawo Blu-ray Player has deep optical disc roots, exhibits strong performance, and sports a satisfactory interface. If the inexplicable lack of key Blu-ray features does not bother you, the annual subscription cost of $39.95 probably will. Still, you may want to give the trial edition a go, since Blu-ray playback is the only function disabled after the 30-day trial period.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Leawo Blu-ray Player 188.8.131.52.