The Vorke Z3 is an upcoming Android TV box which is expected to release in February 2017.
It’s powered by Rockchip’s new hexacore RK3399 chip which should offer significant improvements over the RK3288. For reference, the RK3288 is still one of the most powerful Android TV box chipsets to date.
According to benchmarking in Antutu, the Vorke Z3 scored 72483 which is significantly higher than other TV boxes (aside from the beastly Nvidia Shield).
In terms of specifications, the Vorke Z3 runs Android 6.0 and features 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 32GB of eMMC storage, wireless AC, and gigabit Ethernet. These specs aren’t final however and may change before release.
There’s no word on support for Bluetooth 4.0 though I’d be surprised if it’s not included.
There’s no shortage of ports, with a USDB 2.0 port, USB 3.0 port, USB Type-C port and a SATA port for adding storage.
Whilst we’ve been inundated with new Amlogic S912 Android TV boxes almost daily, the new VORKE Z1 is somewhat different.
Although powered by octacore Amlogic S912 like many other Android TV boxes before it, it also features 3GB of DDR4 RAM which offers higher bandwidth than the DDR3 RAM seen in other similar boxes. This should theoretically translate to higher performance though that remains to be seen.
The rest of the specs are pretty much the same as what we’ve seen before. It features 32GB of eMMC storage, dual band wireless AC, Gigabit ethernet and Bluetooth 4.0.
The Vorke V2 is the reasonably named followup to the Vorke V1 (which left me with some very positive impressions). Powered by Ubuntu out of the box (but also supporting Windows though you’ll need to bring your own licence), it’s a compact PC with everything you need to get started.
Thanks to its small form factor (and an included VESA bracket), you’ll even be able to mount it behind your compatible monitor for a minimalist setup.
In terms of specifications, the Vorke V2 comes in several variants powered by Intel’s Skylake architecture. You can choose between either the Intel Core i5-6300U or the more powerful Core i7-6500U, both of which include Intel HD 520 graphics for improved gaming performance.
You’ll also need to decide whether you want 128GB or 256GB of SSD storage.
The rest of the specs are equally solid, featuring 8GB of DDR3 RAM, support for 2.5″ SATA hard drives for additional storage, 2 USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type C port, Gigabit Ethernet, and Wireless AC. There’s no mention of Bluetooth connectivity however.
That USB Type C port is important, as you’ll be able to use the Vorke V2 in dual monitor setups by purchasing a USB-C adapter, in addition to the various other features USB Type C enables.
Inside the box, you’ll get the Vorke V2 Windows Mini PC, HDMI cable, power adapter, VESA bracket and a user manual.
The Vorke V1 is a nice looking Windows PC. It’s got an attractive curved design that looks distinct. However, Vorke making the top of the unit out of glossy plastic was a mistake. Expect it to be covered in fingerprints in about 5 seconds like mine was.
Ports are on the front and the rear of the unit. The front houses two USB 2.0 ports and a micro SD card slot.
I’m really glad Vorke have done this, as it makes it really easy to plug in a USB drive to watch movies or show photos. It’s a common-sense move that a lot of manufacturers don’t include.
The rear has DC In, HDMI out, VGA out, Ethernet, 2 USB 3.0 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Vorke have stated that you can use both HDMI and VGA for dual monitor output.
Now the Vorke V1 is actively cooled, with a small fan drawing heat out of the unit. Thankfully, it’s pretty quiet. The fan runs constantly but seems to speed up under load.
Booting up the Vorke V1 for the first time makes you go through the Windows 10 Setup wizard. When it’s complete, Windows activated without issue. Out of the box, there’s a single 58.7GB C:\ drive with 47.1GB free.
The Vorke V1’s quad-core Intel Celeron handles Windows 10 with ease. I didn’t have any hitches when navigating the OS.
A quick test with Kodi 16.1 (the latest stable release at the time of writing) was promising. Both 1080p H.264 and H.265 videos played back fine.
Streaming performance also appeared solid. I didn’t have any issues streaming a 4K h.264 video from my server’s NFS share.
I fired up Beach Buggy Racing to briefly test 3D performance. The Vorke V1 seemed to handle the game fine.
Verdict So Far
The Vorke V1 looks promising from my brief testing. Though I can’t say I’m a fan of the case’s glossy finish, the actual hardware seems to perform well and I’m happy Windows 10 is licensed.
Keep posted for my detailed review in the coming days.