Rikomagic MK36S Impressions

5

The Rikomagic MK36S is Rikomagic’s latest Windows 10 PC and their first using Intel’s new X5-X8300 Cherry Trail processor. It also features 2GB RAM, 32GB of storage, dual band Wifi and fast Ethernet. I’ve gone hands-on to test it out and see how it performs.

I want to say thanks to Rikomagic for sending me a sample to review

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Rikomagic MK36S Technical Specifications

General

  • Processor
    Intel X5-Z8300 Cherry Trail
  • CPUCPU
    Up to 1.84GHz
  • GPU
    Intel HD graphics
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Home
  • RAM
    2GB DDR3
  • Storage
    32GB eMMC+ microSD slot up to 64GB
  • Power
    DC 12V/3A

Connectivity

  • WiFi
    802.11 Dual Band b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4Ghz/5Ghz)
  • Ethernet
    10/100
  • Bluetooth
    4.0

Interfaces

  • Video Output
    HDMI 1.4
  • Audio Output
    HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm Audio
  • Other Interfaces
    1x USB 3.0 port
    3x USB 2.0 port

Physical

  • Dimensions
    158 x 120 x 33mm
  • Weight
    300g

What’s Inside The Box?

Rikomagic-MK36S-Review-Inside-The-Box

Inside the box, you get:

  • 1x Rikomagic MK36S unit
  • 1x HDMI cable
  • 1x Power Adapter
  • 1x Instruction Manual

Rikomagic MK36S Impressions

The Rikomagic MK36S looks identical to its predecessor, the Rikomagic MK36. The unit’s faceted design and “brushed metal”-style top plate looks fantastic.

In terms of ports, they’re all located on the right and back of the unit. On the back, there’s a Kensington lock port, micro SD card slot, 2 fullsize USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out, Ethernet and DC In.

Rikomagic-MK36S-Review-Back

The right side houses the power button, USB 3.0 port, another USB 2.0 port and a headphone jack.

Rikomagic-MK36S-Review-Right

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The Rikomagic MK36S is powered up via the power button. A cold boot takes around 13 seconds whilst waking from standby is essentially instant.

The Rikomagic MK36S comes with Windows 10 Home. It’s activated and completely stock. There’s a single 28.6GB C:/ drive that had 19.6GB free out of the box.

Rikomagic-MK36S-Review-Windows-01

As with the Tronsmart Ara X5, the Intel X5-Z8300 handles Windows 10 really well. Navigating through Windows was great and opening up a few apps and browser windows were fine.

I installed Kodi 15.2 to quickly test out video playback. Both my 1080p H.264 and HEVC samples played back well thanks to the improved codec support in Intel’s Cherry Trail processors. Automatic framerate switching also worked fine, switching when I tried to play back 24Hz videos.

Rikomagic-MK36S-Review-Kodi-01

Streaming via Wifi was fine, with 1080p and 4K H.264 videos streaming from my server’s NFS share without any noticeable buffering.

Gaming performance was quickly tested using Beach Buggy Racing at 1080p on Maximum settings. Gameplay was typically around the 25-30fps, sitting under 30fps most of the time. I’ll need to check if there’s new graphics drivers available to see if they’ll improve the performance.

Rikomagic-MK36S-Review-BBR

Thermal performance seems to be solid so far. After 30 minutes of stress testing using HeavyLoad, HWiNFO reported that the SoC temperature levelled out at 81°C with no signs of thermal throttling. Ambient temperature was 20.5°C.

Verdict So Far

The Rikomagic MK36S is definitely showing a lot of promise. It handles Windows 10 well, Kodi performance seems to be good and there didn’t appear to be any thermal throttling during my stress testing. At $140, it’s shaping up to be a solid Windows mini PC.

Getting One

The Rikomagic MK36S is available from Rikomagic for around $140.

View the Latest Price

Alternatively, it’s also available from GearBest and Amazon.

  • pioppone

    Hi, good review!
    I’m not sure… this or tronsmart ara x5 ?

    • Thanks! I haven’t finished my review but at this early stage, they seem pretty on par. The Rikomagic MK36S does have an additional USB port and I prefer its layout with 2 USB ports at the back and 2 more on the side as opposed to the Tronsmart Ara X5 which has only 1 port at the rear and 2 at the front. Performance seems to be the same across both units at this point.

      • pioppone

        thanks!!
        I still waiting for your complete review :)

  • Aaron

    Hello I have just recieved one of these Rikomagic MK36S Mini PC’s that I ordered online. So far so good, still setting it up. When I insert a 32gb MicroSD card the unit chimes to acknowledge that I have inserted the MicroSD card but it does not show up as a drive in file explorer.

    What do I need to do to get it to show up as a drive that I can use in file explorer?