PiPO X9

PiPO X9 Review: A Successful PC/Tablet Hybrid?

The PiPO X9 is a hybrid tablet/mini PC that runs both Windows 10 and Android 4.4. It also features a 1920×1200 pixel touchscreen. How good is this unique hybrid PC/tablet? Keep reading my PiPO X9 review to find out!

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

PiPO have included the basics to get you started:

  • 1x PiPO X9 Mini PC
  • 1x 12V/3A Power Supply
  • 1x Warranty Card

It’s a shame that PiPO haven’t included a HDMI cable but as the PiPO X9 technically doesn’t need one, I understand the omission.

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 Review: Design

If you’ve seen the PiPO X8, you’ve seen the PiPO X9. The new device is essentially its predecessor enlarged.

The PiPO X9’s design is a matte black edge that’s dominated by its 8.9 inch touchscreen. There’s a Windows logo at the bottom of the screen that acts as a capacitive Windows key (or Home button in Android).

All the PiPO X9’s ports and buttons are on the back and right of the device. On the back, there’s a micro SD card slot, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a HDMI port, Ethernet and DC In.

PiPO-X9-Back

The right side houses the power button, volume rocker, 2 additional USB 2.0 ports and the 3.5mm audio output port.

PiPO-X9-Right

Both the left and right sides have small speakers. They’re capable of putting out decent volume but, like most small speakers, they lack bass and sound hollow.

PiPO-X9-Screen-01

Thanks to its high resolution and (relatively) small size, the 1920×1200 panel looks incredible. Cramming all those pixels into its 8.9 inches makes everything look razor sharp. It’s also reasonably bright too.

PiPO-X9-Screen-02

PiPO X9 Review: Using It

When I first plugged it in, the PiPO X9 booted automatically. You’re shown the familiar OS selection BIOS we’ve seen on other dual boot devices where you can choose to boot either Android or Windows. There’s a 10 second countdown, after which it’ll automatically boot into the last used OS. Unchecking the box in the top-left corner will hide the OS selection screen on subsequent boots.

Windows boots fast at around 12 seconds, whilst Android’s slower at around 36 seconds.

Windows 10 on the PiPO X9 works well, with the Intel Z3736F handling Microsoft’s OS with ease. Windows 10 was activated and there’s about 13GB free out of the 20.7GB Windows partition.
PiPO-X9-Windows-01Windows is essentially unmodified, with PiPO only adding the WinToAnd app that allows you to boot into Android directly from Windows and reactivate the OS selection screen. A switch to Android took around 53 seconds.

PiPO-X9-WinToAnd

The PiPO X9 features a HDMI out port and its practicality depends on the OS being used. Under Windows 10, the TV acts as a second monitor so you can mirror the displays, extend the desktop across both monitors or use only one.

Android isn’t really designed for dual monitor setups, with screen mirroring being the only option. I couldn’t find any way of disabling the integrated screen under Android. As I mentioned in my PiPO X8 review, Android’s not really designed for dual screen setups yet.

PiPO X9 Review: Android ROM

Android is essentially stock, with only the “OSSwitch” button in the notification shade added that boots you back to Windows. The Google Play Store works and Android’s rooted out of the box.

PiPO-X9-Android-02

If you’ve used Android 4.4, it’s pretty much the same Android experience we’ve seen before. Interestingly, the included video app did seem to automatically switch the refresh rate and turned off the integrated screen when connected via HDMI making it a bit more friendly than normal.

The ROM did have an annoying issue where after audio played, some slight hissing could be heard for a few seconds after the audio stopped. It didn’t happen at all under Windows, so I’m suspecting it’s a bug.

PiPO X9 Review: Media Playback

PiPO-X9-Kodi-01

Media playback was tested under Windows 10 using Kodi 15.2 via HDMI.

Video CodecVideo Performance (Kodi 15.2)
1080p 3D SBS H.264OK
1080p 3D ABL H.264OK
1080p30 H.264OK
1080p High Bitrate H.264OK
1080p60 H.264OK
720p50 H.264OK
1080i25 H.264OK
4K 30FPS H.264OK
4K 60FPS H.264Unwatchable (Video lags behind Audio)
1080p24 HEVCUnwatchable
1080p VP8OK
720p Hi10pOK
1080p Hi10pOK
1080p MPEG2OK
720P RMVBOK
1080p VC1OK
Unencrypted Bluray ISO (Sintel)OK

Media playback was pretty good, with only 4K 60FPS and HEVC content failing to play due to a lack of hardware decoding support on the Z3736F chip.

In Kodi, automatic framerate switching worked perfectly during testing. Deinterlacing performance was good, without any noticeable artifacts.

I’ve had a few requests to specifically test 23.976FPS content. With AFR switched on, 23.967FPS content played back without any noticeable stuttering.

5.1 audio passthrough in Kodi also worked.

PiPO-X9-01

PiPO X9 Review: External Storage

I didn’t have any issues watching videos from my NTFS-formatted USB thumbdrive and 2.5″ USB HDD.

PiPO X9 Review: Gaming

PiPO-X9-Windows-BBR

To test gaming performance, I installed 2 games from the Windows store – 1 2D and 1 3D title:

Both games were tested at 1080p.

Gaming performance was typical of the Z3736F. The less demanding Jetpack Joyride was nice and smooth. Beach Buggy Racing was playable at maximum settings, though lowering the graphical settings led to a much better experience. Using the internal screen saw a drop in performance due to the slightly higher resolution of the panel, typically hovering around 30 frames per second.

Gaming Controllers and Bluetooth

I connected my iPazzPort Bluetooth Keyboard via Bluetooth without  issue.

My Tronsmart Mars G01 was recognized as a Xbox 360 controller and I was able to use it in Beach Buggy Racing.

PiPO X9 Review: Networking

To test out networking performance, I used iperf (iperf –t 60 -c SERVER_IP -r) to test networking bandwidth in both directions. My router is approximately 5m away, with a single wall between the router and the device. WiFi performance is heavily impacted by a number of factors so your performance may vary.

PiPO-X9-Ethernet

Wireless Performance

Wireless performance was reasonable, with upload and download speeds of 19.8Mb/s and 37.0Mb/s download respectively

Real world testing saw 4K video streaming without buffering from an NFS share. 1080p YouTube was fine too.

Ethernet Performance

Ethernet performance was reasonable, achieving 89.9Mb/s upload and 88.3Mb/s download.

PiPO X9 Review: Benchmarks

Windows Benchmarks

3DMark

Ice Storm Unlimited13109
Ice Storm Extreme8572
Cloud Gate1149

PCMark

Home Conventional973
Work Conventional1414

CrystalDiskMark 3.0.4

Benchmarking was done on the internal storage, offering solid performance.

PiPO-X9-CrystalDiskMark

PiPO X9 Review: Thermal Performance

Thermal performance was tested using HeavyLoad, a freeware application that simultaneously stresses the CPU and GPU. Testing was conducted using the internal screen at maximum brightness, as this situation would cause maximum heat inside the unit.

After 30 minutes, HWiNFO reported the SoC temperature as levelling off at 74°C without any throttling. Ambient temperature was 21.3°C.

PiPO X9 Review: Power Consumption

Windows (HDMI) 0.5W 4W4.8W 8W 10.5W
Windows (Screen)0.5W4W7W10.8W12W
Android (HDMI)0.5W4W3.1W12W12W
OffStandbyIdle1080p30 Video in KodiUnder Load

Should You Get One?

PiPO-X9-03

The PiPO X9 is an interesting device that works well. As a mini PC, it handles Windows 10 well, multimedia playback was great and Android worked well for those who need to use Android apps. Thermal performance was solid too, which is often a concern with some mini PCs.

I found the integrated screen pretty handy in some situations, particularly as a kitchen PC for recipes or at a recent party where it acted as a music control panel.

However, the Android ROM still has a few rough edges and the screen may not be useful to some.

Ultimately, if you’re in need of an inbuilt screen, the PiPO X9 is an decent contender as a PC/tablet hybrid.

Getting One

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

Check Price at GearBest

Alternatively, it’s also available at GeekBuyingAmazon and Banggood.

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 X9 Dual OS PC Hybrid Features 8.9 Inch Touchscreen

PiPO have unveiled the PiPO X9, a upgraded version of the popular PiPO X8. Upgrades to the PiPO X9 include a larger and higher resolution 8.9 inch 1920 x 1200 pixel touchscreen and a dual OS configuration booting both Windows 10 and Android 4.4.

I have to admit that I’m impressed by the “higher than Full HD” touchscreen, which should look really nice at 8.9 inches.

The rest of the specifications are essentially identical to those of the PiPO X8.

PiPO X9 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 (up to 32GB)
  • Video & Audio Output: HDMI, 3.5mm Audio
  • Screen: 8.9 Inch (1920x1200px)
  • Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Ethernet (speed unknown)
  • USB: 4x USB 2.0 port
  • Other Features: Power button, Integrated Speakers
  • OS: Dual-Boot: Windows 10/Android 4.4

When I reviewed the PiPO X8, I thought the PiPO X8 was an interesting device with lots of potential. I’ve been using mine as a jukebox at parties which is awesome.

I’m hoping PiPO have improved their passive cooling, as some people complained about overheating on the PiPO X8. However, I didn’t experience any during my tests.

Getting One

The PiPO X9 can be purchased from GearBest and GeekBuying for around $130.

What do you think of the PiPO X9? Will you be getting one? Let us know in the comments.