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Chuwi HiBox Review: Mini PC with Dual OS powered by Cherry Trail Processor

Today we want to show you a Chuwi HiBox Mini PC Hero review. It is at the moment a “hot” and interesting mini PC for several reasons, firstly,  has a newer Intel Cherry Trail processor – Z8350, which took place far to the popular Z8300, secondly, the mini PC has a Dual OS (Android & Windows), thirdly (as you know), this mini PC appeared on the market as the first mini PC released by the manufacturer of tablets. Perhaps you are curious at this stage, what we have to say about Chuwi HiBox mini PC with Dual OS. We do not want to explore a lot of cards, but the mini PC has many advantages. Of course, not without a few mishaps. What specifically can be found in the review. Through this review we want to show you the features and impressions using Chuwi HiBox mini PC. How the device works on Android and Windows. How works in normal use, how copes with video playback (also in 4K) and that we stumbled upon some problems. Together we follow the standard stages of our review. We invite you to read.

I want to say thanks to Gearbest store for sending us a Chuwi HiBox to review. Now Chuwi HiBox mini PC is available on Gearbest at Flash Sale for $129.99 + free shipping.

Chuwi HiBox

Chuwi HiBox mini PC specifications:

  • Dual OS – Windows 10 Home (not activated) + Android 5.1
  • CPU – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 Cherry Trail (quad-core, up to 1.92GHz)
  • GPU – Intel HD 400 Graphics
  • RAM – 2GB DDR3L 1600MHz
  • Storage – 64GB eMMC flash + SD slot up to 128GB
  • Connectivity –  Dual Band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet 1000M/100M
  • Video Out: HDMI 1.4
  • Audio Out: HDMI CEC
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • USB: 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0
  • Other: Power button, power LED
  • Power Supply: 12V/2A
  • Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 2.5 cm
  • Weight: 200 g

chuwi-hibox_5

What we find in the box? The box included everything that you need to get started:

  • Chuwi HiBox
  • HDMI cable
  • Power adapter 12V/2A (EU)
  • Bracket
  • Screw x4
  • User Manual
Chuwi Hibox

Chuwi HiBox mini PC and Accesories (Click to Enlarge)

The following video from our YouTube channel where you can take a look at more Chuwi HiBox mini PC and bundled accessories.


First look

Chuwi HiBox is very nicely done mini PC, having a housing made of high quality plastic. As we wrote on the beginning, a mini PC is equipped with Intel Atom x5-Z8350 quad-core, up to 1.92GHz. HiBox is a Dual OS, runs on Windows 10 Home and Android 5.1. At the front of the device there is: Power button, two USB 2.0 ports and an SD card slot. On one side there are other I / O ports: DC jack, USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4 port, RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port, headset port and Reset hole.

Chuwi Hi Box mini PC

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Chuwi Hi Box mini PC

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Chuwi Hi Box mini PC

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Chuwi Hi Box mini PC

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At the bottom of the device you see four corners of the small rubber to prevent slipping device. Also space formounting bracket. Below also remote control, which is rare in the Windows mini PC. HiBox mini PC also runs on Android, and therefore was included remote control for easy navigation. Remote control has a small USB IR rceiver. Below pictures.

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Chuwi HiBox

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Below we include the Chuwi HiBox mini PC Hero pictures in combination with a matchbox so it was easier to see the size of HiBox mini PC. 

First impressions, settings, overview of features (Android & Windows)

The HiBox Hero mini PC is powered up via the power button. After a short start up appear icons informing about choosing system we want to run – Android or Windows. If you do not choose a device (by default) run Windows system.

os

Booting Android to the “home screen” takes about 44.3 seconds. Booting Windows 10 Home to the login window takes about 25 seconds.

home-screen

Android 5.1 desktop

desktop

Windows 10 desktop

In addition to the remote control we used a standard keyboard, mouse, Gamepad GameSir G3s and also remote control appIntel Remote Keyboard Host App. Intel has prepared a really great application, which allows using a smartphone (as in TV Boxes with Android OS) can be remotely (via WiFi) to use the mini PC.  Remote control included with Chuwi HiBox great fits the hand and works well on Android and Windows. The device worked in the resolution of FHD 1920×1080Everything worked stable and very quickly without delays. On Android total storage space is only 9.72GB. On Windows we find local disk C:/ size 44.1GB. We had no problem with Ethernet and WiFi connection to router and to Internet (Android and Windows). Below some screenshots.

Unfortunately, on Android OS is the problem of reading external USB media with NTFS file system. Android installed on CHuwi HiBox see only the external USB media with FAT32 file system. Therefore it was not possible for the Android OS check sample video above 4GB. Netflix on both systems working properly. From Windows it is easy to switch to the Android OS, just run the application SwitchNOW.

switch

Windows OS can be activated and configured at the first startup. Updating the device downloads easily and correctly. Installed Windows 10 has the most current drivers, but also you can check if there are new driver updates via the Intel Driver Update Utility. By Diskmgmt.msc on Windows, you can see how the disk space is divided – much partition. Below some screenshots.

disk-mgmgt

When you enter the BIOS, you can see that the device has UEFI 2.4. No boot from USB. Below are a few screenshots.

To perform test video was installed the latest stable version Kodi 16.1 Jarvis. We tested Chuwi HiBox Mini PC how copes with the games. On both systems, you can easily play, for example, in Beach Buggy Racing. Gamepad GameSir G3sHe is doing a good job on both systems working properly.

beachbuggy

Operating system and components (Android & Windows)

As I wrote earlier, Chuwi HiBox mini PC runs on Android 5.1 and Windows 10 Home. Chuwi HiBox is equipped with a an Intel processor – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 Cherry Trail (up to 1.92GHz) and Intel HD Gen8 Graphics GPU. On the following screens you can see components used (Information taken from the PerformanceTest 9.0 Evaluation Version ). HWiNFO64 detects Atom x5-Z8350 processor and its HD Graphics 400 GPU correctly. The big advantage is the OTA update. Below screenchots.

hwinfo

Also Information taken from the CPU-Z app (on Android). After using the DRM info (app) we know that Chuwi HiBox unfortunately does not support Google Widevine Moudlar DRM, Microsoft Playready DRM, Marlin DRM and Verimatrix VCAS. Below some screenchots.

Performance tests and benchmarks (Android & Windows)

For testing we use the AnTuTu Video Tester 3.0 app and AnTuTu Benchmark 6.1.4. Unfortunately, despite installing Antutu Video Tester (on Android) application would not start.

antutu-video

Video playback by Kodi 16.1 Jarvis runs smoothly. Unfortunately on Android failed to check some large files (4K), because they could not be uploaded to the USB stick with FAT32, but without problem HiBox plays movies (via Kodi) with the resolution of 480p,720p and 1080p (24fps, 30fps,60fps) and also 4K (60fps) (mainly on Windows) with various codecs video such as H.264, H.265, MPEG2, MPEG4, RMVB and audio – DTS and AC3. Dolby Digital 5.1 worked fine via HDMI. Also I tested several video formats – AVI, MKV, MP4 (typical formats in which it holds the majority of films) and also videos was played without any problems. Also video playback on youtube in 4K working properly (besides playing through the Chrome browser). Unfortunately, the sample VP9 4K do not work smoothly and there are artifacts. Format 1080p work correctly on Android. Below screenshots of 4K video playback on YouTube vs. CPU usage vs. browsers.

Typical 1080p KODI on Android KODI on Windows
MPEG2 / MP2 2.0 – 6.6Mbps OK OK
MPEG4 / MP3 2.0 – 7.6Mbps OK OK
H264 / AAC 2.0 – 7.2Mbps OK OK
VC1 / WMA3 2.0 – 25Mbps OK OK
VP8 / VORBIS 2.0 – 7.8Mbs OK OK
 –  –
4K Video
Sintel – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 24fps  – (large sample) OK
BBB Sunflower -H264 – 60fps OK OK
Honey Bees – 96fps OK OK
Skyfall – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 10Mbps OK OK
Puppies Bath – h264/AAC 2.0 OK OK
Cinemartin H265/HEVC OK OK
Tears of steel – 60fps – (large sample) OK
HD Club Chimei – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 60Mbps OK OK
Jellyfish 4k uhd HEVC 10bit – 140Mbps OK OK
Jellyfish 4k uhd HEVC 10bit – 200/250/300/400Mbps Not smooth (without sound) Not smooth (without sound)
LG Demo – Istanbul 3840×2160 MP4/H264 8bit – 116Mbps OK OK
Sony 4K – Camp HDR MP4/HEVC 10bit – 75.8Mbps Not smooth Not smooth
Demo Samsung 2014 – USA Road Trip TS/HEVC 10bit – 51.4Mbps Not smooth Not smooth
Demo Samsung 2014 TS/HEVC 10bit – 51.4Mbps OK OK
H.265/VP9 Video
Tears of steel – H265-HVEC / AAC 2.0 – 15Mbps OK OK
Youtube – VP9 / 1080p OK OK
VP9 / 4k – Eye of the Storm 4K Ultra HD.webmv Not smooth, artifacts Not smooth, artifacts

 

Chuwi HiBox Mini PC Benchmarks (Android & Windows)

Chuwi HiBox has great performance. On Windows  – HiBox Hero mini PC scored 84685 (!) on AnTuTu Benchmark v6.0.5 UWP Beta5, on GeekBech 4.0.3 scored: Single Core score – 848 and Multi Core score – 1965. The following screenshots.

On Android – HiBox Hero mini PC scored 63225 (nice!) on AnTuTu Benchmark v6.1.4 The Chuwi HiBox on GeekBech 3 scored: Single Core score – 901 and Multi Core score – 2181, and RenderScript score – 0. Other tests following screenshots.

Below screen with the results in Vellamo and GPUbench. Chuwi HiBox mini PC has the internal memory benchmarks: Read 145.22MB/s – Write 85.10MB/s. RAM copy speed was 3182.57MB/s. Below also the results of the CrystalDiskMark 3.0.4 and CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1.

Conclusions

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Chuwi HiBox mini PC Hero with Dual OS is a well-made mini PC with a high potential. The device surprises a performance. The device well copes with video playback in 4K. Unfortunately HiBox requires optimization. No display external USB storage with NTFS file system is problematic. We hope that this will be fixed in the next update of Android for Chuwi HiBox. HiBox Hero mini PC is a great combination of devices for work and entertainment. HiBox mini PC is a good value for money. Once again we want to say thanks to Gearbest for sending us a Chuwi HiBox sample. If you are looking Dual OS mini PC with great performance, OTA updates, fully licensed Windows is Chuwi HiBox mini PC is for you.

Chuwi HiBox Hero

$129.99
Chuwi HiBox Hero
9.7

Performance

10/10

    Usability

    10/10

      Features

      10/10

        Design

        10/10

          Value

          10/10

            Pros

            • Good value for money
            • Powerful performance
            • Good video playback
            • Dual OS
            • OTA update

            Cons

            • On Android, exernal storage only FAT32 file system

            • Moe

              hey there
              i have this device and it’s very good except i can’t use NTFS HDD

              my question is how to root this device to be able to use a NTFS HDD

              thank you 🙂

              • ast_team

                I think you have to wait for a firmware update from Chuwi. No read NTFS for Android OS is inconvenient problem.

            • Yasir PAMUKSUZ

              Hi.
              You say “On Android, exernal storage only FAT32 file system” on this device.

              Well, Do not use external storage has NTFS file system on Windows 10?
              I want to use that. I want to watch HD movies in gpt formated 8 tb hdd by docking station on Windows 10.