Mini PCs

PiPO X9 Impressions: A Unique Dual Boot Tablet Hybrid

The PiPO X9 is a unique dual OS mini PC that runs Windows 10, Android 4.4 Mini PC and also features a 1920×1200 pixel touchscreen.

I want to say thanks to GearBest for sending me a sample to review.

Check Price at GearBest

What’s Inside the Box?

PiPO-X9-Inside-The-Box

Inside the box, you get:

  • 1x PiPO X9 Mini PC
  • 1x Power Supply
  • 1x Warranty Card

PiPO X9 Technical Specifications

  • Chipset: Intel Baytrail quad core processor with Intel HD graphics (Z3736F)
  • RAM: 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage: 32GB + microSD slot up to 64GB
  • Video & Audio Output: HDMI, 3.5mm Audio
  • Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, 10/100 Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB: 4x USB 2.0 port
  • OS: Windows 10 & Android 4.4

PiPO X9 First Impressions

The PiPO X9 looks like someone took the PiPO X8 and hit it with an enlarging ray. It’s an interesting looking black wedge dominated by the 8.9 inch touchscreen. The 1920×1200 screen looks fantastic. It’s reasonably bright and, thanks to its smaller size, looks razor sharp. There’s a Windows logo at the bottom that doubles as a capacitive Windows key.

The ports and buttons on the PiPO X9 are located on the back and right of the unit. On the rear, we’ve got a micro SD card slot, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a HDMI port, Ethernet and DC In.

PiPO-X9-Back

On the right is the power button, volume rocker, 2 additional USB 2.0 ports and the 3.5mm audio output port.

PiPO-X9-Right

There’s also small speakers on both sides of the unit. They’re reasonably loud but suffer from the same fate as most small speakers, lacking bass and sounding a little hollow.

The PiPO X9 booted automatically when I plugged it in. When it first turns on, you’re shown the familiar OS selection BIOS we’ve seen on other dual boot devices. You’re given the option to boot into either Windows 10 or Android 4.4, with a 10 second countdown automatically booting into the last used OS.

Windows 10 was activated and there’s about 13GB free out of the 20.7GB Windows partition.

PiPO haven’t added much in terms of customization.  The only clear addition was the WinToAnd app that allows you to boot into Android directly from Windows. Switching to Android took around 53 seconds.

I did some quick tests using the internal screen. For media playback, I installed Kodi 15.1. Both 1080p and 4K H.264 samples seemed to play back well. 1080p HEVC was hopeless, but that’s because the Intel Z3736F chip doesn’t support HEVC decoding in hardware.

PiPO-X9-Kodi-01

In terms of WiFi performance, I was able to stream 4K video from an NFS share without any noticeable buffering.

A quick gaming test was done with Beach Buggy Racing and Jetpack Joyride. Jumping into Beach Buggy Racing in Windows was average, with the frame rate typically sitting just 30 frames per second. I’m wondering whether the slightly higher resolution is to blame so I’ll retest it when the PiPO X9 is connected up to a 1080p monitor to see if performance improves. Jetpack Joyride played reasonably well however.

PiPO-X9-Windows-BBR

Jumping over to Android, PiPO have essentially kept everything stock, aside from the “OSSwitch” button in the notification shade to boot back into Windows. The Google Play Store works and Android’s rooted out of the box.

I did notice one oddity in Android that didn’t happen in Windows though. Whenever a sound played in Android, the speakers quietly hissed for a second after the audio stopped. I’m suspecting this is an Android driver issue.

Brief stress testing under Windows was done using HeavyLoad. After 10 minutes, temperatures seemed to level out at 74°C without throttling according to HWiNFO. Ambient temperature was 20°C.

Verdict So Far

The PiPO X9 is an interesting beast. The 8.9 inch 1920×1200 screen looks glorious and is really responsive. From my brief testing, overall performance seemed good in Windows and Kodi.

However, gaming wasn’t as smooth as other devices with the same chip. This could be due to the slightly higher internal resolution than the 1080p I typically test at so we’ll have to see whether switching to an external monitor improves the situation.

Keep posted for the full review.

Getting One

The PiPO X9 is available from Gearbest in 32GB and 64GB variants.

Check Price at GearBest

Alternatively, it’s also available at GeekBuying and Amazon.

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

The much-talked about mini PC has finally arrived. The PiPO X8 is a dual OS mini PC powered by the Intel Z3736F chipset. What makes it unique however, is its built-in 7-inch screen – an odd yet surprisingly useful inclusion. It also features 2GB of RAM and 32GB on onboard storage.

I’ve been keen to get my hands on one since it was shown off at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. So how successful has this experiment been?

Thanks to GearBest for providing me a sample to review.

Check Price

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.

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?

PiPO-X8-Box-Front

PiPO’s inclusions with the PiPO X8 are pretty sparse:

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

PiPO-X8-Inclusions

I have to admit I’m a little bit disappointed that a HDMI cable wasn’t included. However, given the emphasis on the internal touchscreen, I’m not too surprised.

PiPO X8 Design

The PiPO X8 is an interesting beast. It’s hard not to take notice of the 7-inch screen which stands out immediately. I was worried that the inclusion of a screen would make the device overly bulky, but thankfully it’s only slightly larger than the PiPO X7.

PiPO-X8-10

The screen is positioned at a relatively comfortable angle and is impressive to look at. Thanks to PiPO cramming a 1280×800 resolution into a 7-inch panel, the screen offers crisp text and images. Whilst not the brightest screen I’ve ever seen, it’s bright enough, given the dimly-lit environments it’ll most likely be used in.

PiPO-X8-Screen-1

Black matte plastic makes up the remainder of the case is predominantly black plastic with a matte finish and some PiPO branding at the front. A metal base with vents finishes it off, helping keep the device cool passively.

PiPO-X8-Left

The ports are located on the righthand side and rear of the device. On the rear, from left to right, is the USB OTG port, micro SD card slot, 2 full-size USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out, Ethernet and DC In. The PiPO X8 also features an external WiFi antenna.

PiPO-X8-Back

Looking at the right side, there is the power button, volume rocker, 2 more USB 2.0 ports and the headphone jack. Both sides feature small speakers.

PiPO-X8-Right

The on-board stereo speakers aren’t the greatest. I’d say they outperform your typical tablet speakers, pumping out more power and bass. However, they still sound hollow and lack depth.

Using It

Booting the PiPO X8 is done by holding down the power button for several seconds. Before booting into an Operating System. you’re shown the OS selection screen with a 10 second countdown. After selecting the OS, Windows takes approximately 16 seconds to boot. An OS switch takes around 44 seconds to go from Windows to Android. You can set the PiPO X8 to always boot into the last used Operating System and I suspect most will avail themselves of the option.

Out of the box, Windows came activated and there was 11.7/15.6GB free on the C drive. Windows felt great during use, much like other devices using the Intel Z3736F.  I didn’t see any noticeable lag when navigating the Start menu or applications on the build-in screen or when using HDMI out. Interestingly, it seemed that the in-built screen never turned off when connected via HDMI. It seemed that the backlight remained on and the screen responded to touch, albeit as if it was in portrait mode, which was weird.

Rikomagic-MK36-Windows-Desktop

Windows was essentially “stock”, with the only inclusion being the “WinToAnd” application used to switch to Android. An equivalent “OS Switch” function appears in the Android notification shade.

PiPO-X8-OS-Switch

Android was a mixed bag. The Android version is more or less stock, with “OS Switch” function appearing to be the only customisation. Using just the integrated screen, the device functioned like your typical Android tablet such as 5-point multi-touch and the gyroscope. Navigating through the menus and launching apps felt nice and fast. However, plugging in the HDMI cable exposed Android’s inability to handle dual screens. There was no option to only output to the TV, so you always ended up with duplicated screens under Android which is frustrating. Even after setting the resolution to 1080p, the PiPO X8 seemed to lock the UI resolution to the screen’s 1280×800 resolution, leaving black bars on the sides.

PiPO-X8-Android-Drawer

Under both OS’, the touchscreen was responsive, whether navigating UIs or playing games.

PiPO X8 Media Playback

Media playback was tested using Kodi 14.2 under Windows.

Video CodecVideo Performance (Windows 8 – Kodi 14.2)
1080p 3D SBS H.264OK
1080p 3D ABL H.264OK
1080p30 H.264OK
1080p High Bitrate H.264OK
1080p60 H.264OK
720p50 H.264OK
1080i50 H.264OK
4K H.264OK
1080p HEVCUnwatchable (Too many skipped frames)
4K HEVCUnwatchable (Too many skipped frames)
1080p VP8OK (Software Decode)
720p Hi10pWatchable (Some Dropped Frames) (Software Decode)
1080p Hi10pWatchable (Some Dropped Frames) (Software Decode)
1080p MPEG2OK
720P RMVBOK
1080p VC1OK

Video performance was pretty solid across the board. I can confirm that automatic framerate switching worked under Windows.

PiPO X8 Gaming Performance

To test gaming performance, I installed 2 games,1 2D and 1 3D under both Windows and Android:

PiPO-X8-Beach-Buggy-Racing-Windows

When using the internal screen, with its sub-1080p resolution,  both games performed brilliantly under Windows and Android. Outputting 1080p to an external screen in Windows did impact performance. Whilst Jetpack Joyride performed as well as before, Beach Buggy Racing saw an anticipated drop in performance, but it still maintained a fairly solid framerate with the typically slowdown during high-action scenes that we’ve seen on these devices.

Gaming Controllers and Bluetooth

I connected my iPazzPort Bluetooth keyboard and iPega PG-9025 via Bluetooth without issue.

PiPO X8 Networking Performance

Thanks to the PiPO X8’s external antenna, wireless performance was excellent. Signal strength was consistently showing 5 bars under Windows. I was able to stream 4K video from an NFS over WiFi without any signs of buffering under Kodi 14.2.

PiPO-X8-02

PiPO X8 Windows Benchmarks

3DMark Ice Storm

PiPO-X8-3DMark-Ice-Storm

3DMark Ice Storm Extreme

PiPO-X8-3DMark-Ice-Storm-Extreme

3DMark Cloud Gate

PiPO-X8-3DMark-Cloud-Gate

CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3

PiPO-X8-CrystalDiskMark

PiPO X8 Android Benchmarks

Antutu 5.7.1

Antutu returned a respectable score of 36873, although the UI resolution was locked at 1280×800.

PiPO-X8-Antutu

PiPO X8 Thermal Performance

I was a little concerned given the PiPO X7’s thermal throttling issues. Using Prime95‘s Small FFTs test on the PiPO X8 when connected to an external screen was the SoC temperature max out at 66°c according to HWiNFO after 30 minutes. Switching over to the internal screen saw the temperatures increase however.

Loading up a test that taxed both the CPU and GPU did see the temperatures climb further however. After 8 minutes of running the PiPO X8 at 100% CPU and rendering 3D images, the device did see some minimal thermal throttling. PiPO could have improved cooling further but the PiPO X8 still outperforms the X7 considerably.

PiPO X8 Power Consumption

Power StatePower (W)
Powered Off0.9 W
Standby4.4 W
Idle6.3 W
Load11.5 W

Getting One

I was provided my PiPO X8 from GearBest.

Check Price

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

PiPO X8 Additional Images

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

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.

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]