PiPO X8 Impressions: A Dual OS PC with a Built-In Screen

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It’s finally here! The PiPO X8 is a unique dual OS mini PC featuring a built-in 7-inch screen. It’s powered by the Intel Z3736F chipset, the PiPO X8 features 2GB of RAM and 32GB on onboard storage.

Thanks to GearBest for providing me a sample to review. Click here to view the latest price.

Update: Click here to read our PiPO X8 Review

What Is It?

The PiPO X8 is a small form factor Dual OS PC powered by a quadcore Intel processor and featuring a built-in 7-in touchscreen. Suitable as a office or home theatre PC, its integrated touchscreen adds to the device’s capabilities such as for a jukebox where guests can select tracks whilst content plays on the second screen.

PiPO-X8-01

PiPO X8 Technical Specifications

  • Chipset: Intel Baytrail quad core processor with Intel HD graphics (Z3736F)
  • RAM: 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage: 32 GB internal storage + micro SD slot
  • Video & Audio Output: HDMI, 3.5mm Audio
  • Screen: 1280x800px
  • Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 10/100 Ethernet
  • USB: 4x USB 2.0 port
  • Other Features: Power button, Integrated Speakers, 1 year Office 365 subscription.
  • OS: Dual-Boot: Windows 8.1 with Bing/Android 4.4
  • Power Supply: 12v 2.5A

What’s in the box?

Inside the box, you have:

  • 1x PiPO X8
  • 1x Power Adapter
  • 1x Warranty Card

PiPO-X8-Inclusions

PiPO X8 Impressions

I’ve been curious to see this box in the flesh after it was shown off at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. Would it be a bizarre experiment or a successful union?

I’ll admit I was worried the screen would make the box bulky. Thankfully, it’s fairly compact, being only slightly larger compared to the PiPO X7.

The 7-inch touchscreen dominates, making the PiPO X8 immediately stand out in a good way. Set at a comfortable viewing angle, the screen is excellent. Shrinking down its 1280×800 resolution down to 7-inches leads to excellent picture quality with sharp text and excellent clarity. It’s also bright enough, particularly given it will typically be used in a dim environment rather than daylight like a typical tablet.

PiPO-X8-10

The remainder of the case is predominantly black plastic with a matte finish. A metal base plate featuring ventilation is underneath the device to help keep it cool.

The ports are distributed along the right and rear of the device. On the rear, going from left to right, we have the USB OTG port, micro SD card slot, 2 full-size USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out, Ethernet and DC In. A large WiFi antenna also makes an appearance.

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PiPO-X8-Back

The right-hand side houses the power button, volume rocker, 2 more USB 2.0 ports and the headphone jack. Both the left and right sides feature small speakers.

PiPO-X8-Right

The on-board stereo speakers are functional and reasonably loud. They’re an improvement over your usual tablet speakers but still sound a little hollow.

On booting the device, you’re shown the OS selection screen with a 10 second countdown. You can choose to always see this screen or automatically boot into the last used Operating System. After selecting the OS, Windows takes approximately 16 seconds to boot. An OS switch took about 44 seconds.

Out of the box, Windows had 11.7/15.6GB free. It was also activated and I was prompted to install Office 365 so it seems the PiPO X8 comes with the 12-month subscription. Windows felt fast and I didn’t see any noticeable lag on both the screen and when connected to an external screen.

Rikomagic-MK36-Windows-Desktop

To switch OS’, Windows has a “WinToAnd” application whilst Android features an “OS Switch” button in the Notifications shade.

Android was fast on the PiPO X8 too. On the integrated screen, everything worked like you would expect on an Android tablet, including the 5-point multitouch and even the gyroscope. However, plugging in the HDMI cable exposed a quirk. With the resolution set to 1080p, it still refused to fill the full screen despite the aspect ratio looking correct. Clearly, Android’s not designed for dual screens yet.

Gaming performance was tested using Beach Buggy Racing and Jetpack Joyride under both OS’. On the screen’s reduced resolution, both games were silky smooth under Windows and Android.

On Windows, outputting 1080p to an external screen saw an slight yet expected performance hit to Beach Buggy Racing. However, it maintained a fairly solid framerate, with occasional slowdowns during busy scenes. Jetpack Joyride’s performance was remained consistently excellent however.

The PiPO X8 features an external WiFi antenna and it seems that it has improved WiFi reception. Whilst the Beelink Pocket P1 averaged 4 bars, the PiPO X8 has consistently had 5 in Windows. Streaming 4K video from an NFS share didn’t show any buffering.

PiPO-X8-02

Thermal performance is certainly an area where PiPO have had issues in the past. I used Prime95‘s Small FFTs test to load the PiPO X8, which is designed to generate lots of heat. After 30 minutes of running it, the SoC temperature maxed out at 66°c according to HWiNFO. It was slightly warmer compared to other devices I’ve tested, but there’s still plenty of thermal headroom here which is an excellent improvement. Ambient temperature was 19.1°c.

Verdict So Far

The PiPO X8 is proving to be more than a strange experiment, with seemingly genuine utility behind what should have been an unholy union of TV box and screen. Windows performance feels solid so far, although Android has its quirks – most likely due to not being designed for a dual screen environment.

Keep posted for our full review shortly.

Getting One

I was provided my PiPO X8 from GearBest. Click here to view the latest price.

It’s also available from Amazon, AliExpress and GeekBuying.

[gb-pipox8]

 

  • saor

    Putting a tablet screen on the mini pc gets around paying the licence fee to Microsoft for the OS …..

    • Yep, very clever on PiPO’s part. The screen is actually quite nice – I originally had my concerns.

      • k h

        Mike, great review and read. I just got one of these little boxes today and am wondering if yours has the multiple (as in 14!) RAW partitions showing in the Disk Management of Windows and why in the world would Pipo do this? And, have you upgraded it to Windows 10 yet?

  • David

    I have a questions.
    Can you use the internet screen and hook it up to a Projector at the same time?

    I would like to use this at a poduim so that i can open a PDF or powerpoint on the small screen and display it on the projector.

    • Hi David,

      Yes, as long as you are using Windows. You just set it up with dual screen and tell it to duplicate the screens via the Intel driver

  • Anderson Casotti

    Please help,is a hardware like this capable of output 1080p ISO from an external HD to the TV. Lets say a 50gb imagem of a movie?
    Thanks in advance

  • SSyar

    Can i use its HDMI out to view it on TV Screen.,., ???

    • Hi SSyar,

      Yes, you can connecting it up to your screen via HDMI. Under Windows, the in-built screen acts as another monitor so you can do dual screen, or output only to one.

      On Android, you can only mirror the screen.