Chuwi HiBox Hero: mini Windows PC 10 and Android, the full review!

Chuwi HiBox Hero

In today's review we will try the recent and expected Chuwi HiBox Hero, the first TV Box - even mini PC -, of the Chinese manufacturer Hold on, now well known for its cheap tablets and characterized by an excellent hardware compartment.

Il Chuwi HiBox Hero It is one of the very few TV Boxes to have both Windows 10 and Android Lollipop in Dual-Boot, on a hardware platform based onIntel Atom Z8350, Flanked by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory.

Il Chuwi HiBox Hero It is available at the store GearBest at a price of approx 130 € with shipping from China.

Packaging and accessories

The sales package is made of recycled cardboard, on which we find little information about the product and limited to some technical specifications.

Inside we find the TV Box, thepower pack with European outlet it's a HDMI cable, a short user manual in English and a air-mouse. From report the presence of a VESA support, which will allow you to fix the TV Box behind your TV.

Specifications

The technical specifications of the Chuwi HiBox Hero they see a processor Intel Atom Cherry Trail X5 Z8350, characterized by four cores X86 supported by 2 MB of cache and made with a production process 14 nanometers. The base operating frequency is of 1.44 GHz but it is able to go up to 1.92 GHz on one of the four cores. The integrated GPU is theIntel HD Graphics 400 of eighth generation that can count on 12 calculation unit, operating at a frequency between i 200 and the 500 MHz.

MiniPc Z83 II

The installed memory is of type eMMC and has one 64GB capacity while RAM amounts to 4 GB. Connectivity is guaranteed by the Dual Band Wi-Fi b / g / n and ac, a door Gigabit Ethernettwo 2.0 USB ports and one 3.0 full-size. An Audio output is not missing mini-jack 3.5mm (also supports microphone input) and the Bluetooth 4.0.

The dimensions of the shell, of a square shape, are of 120 x 120 x 25 mm, while the weight is around 250 grams. Finally, we find a door HDMI 1.4, the power connector and the operating system Microsoft Windows 10 in Chinese language, in dual-boot with Android Lollipop 5.1.

Construction and design

La shell of Chuwi HiBox Hero it is the classic of almost all recent ones TV Box. Square in shape and with a limited thickness, the plastics are done, even if they are extremely poco oleophobic. The solidity is excellent, as I did not find any creaking or bending at any point of the frame.

At the top we find the logo "Hold on" is that of Intel, accompanied by a tiny blue LED of activity. At the bottom we find instead the four rubberized feet and a small joint to take advantage of the VESA support, included in the package. On the front profile we find only one small state LEDs, colored blu. In the right one, however, we have the two USB 2.0 ports, the card slot SD and power button.

At the back there is the exit HDMI, the door USB 3.0 andRJX Ethernet Gigabit. Present then the auxiliary power outlet and the audio outputs. Finally, on the right and left side there are only some ventilation slots.

Chuwi HiBox Hero

Simple but functional the supplied air-mouse, which in addition to operating discretely, also offers good ergonomics.

Performance, heat and consumption

The processor Intel Atom Cherry Trail X5 Z8350 manages to offer acceptable performance, especially for a basic use of the system, given the results obtained from the benchmarks, which place the device in the medium-low range of the sector.

The performances on Windows 10 turned out to be true more than enough and able to guarantee a fairly pleasant user experience, especially with light workloads and poco demanding, such as, for example, in the classic office use. The same goes for use on Google's operating system, which also offers better responsiveness than its Windows counterpart, thanks to the abundant amount of RAM.

Good calculation power, suitable for less expensive and often used programs. In web browsing, the pages are rendered discretely, even in the heaviest and most demanding ones. Moving on to the somewhat pushed multi-tasking (in particular on Windows 10), the limits of this SoC emerge, even if the 4GB of RAM can compensate very well, returning often useful during Web browsing with several open tabs and other programs in the background.

 The graphics performance, on the other hand, proved to be suitable for playing the main benchmarks and games, including Asphalt 8 Airborne, with which the playful video experience proved satisfactory even in Full HD, given the fluidity more than enough also with a average graphic detail. Of course we are not in front of a product intended for gaming at high levels, however with the latest games from the Google Store you do not have problems, while Windows gaming activities will be limited to the old titles or those on the store Microsoft.
A bit 'subdued speed in reading and writing of installed memory.
Turning to consumption and thermal management, the values ​​turned out to be aligned with similar solutions, including the Z83 II, which boasts the same hardware.
After running the entire suite of benchmarks, I measured values ​​on the body below 45 ° C for the environment, and the CPU has reached a value maximum, under stress test, of about 71 ° C, thus avoiding the Thermal throttling. Turning to consumption, however, the values ​​recorded in daily use are around between the 3 and the 5 Watt, until reaching peaks of 10 / 11 Watt while gaming and to settle down about 2.5 Watts at idle.

Multimedia and video playback

Despite the presence of Android in Dual-boot with Windows 10, I must say that both OS are clean, since neither I found App or utilities installed, except for an OS switch program. Despite this, we can easily install Kodi, by downloading it from the Microsoft Store or in Google Play on Android.

Moving on to video playback, I didn't have any problems watching videos in Full HD e 4K to 60FPS, both with codecs H264 and H265 and in format . Mkv o .mp4. With videos a 10-bitinstead, I had the "classics" fluidity problems e lag, often encountered on this hardware platform. The speech is valid on both Android and Windows, although on the latter I had to install VLC to run all the samples.

Software

On the software front, as already reported, we find Windows 10 to 64-bit in Chinese in dual-boot with Android Lollipop 5.1, the latter also in Italian, fortunately. Unfortunately I must inform you that I was not able to translate the system via Windows update or even installing the appropriate translation packages (.CAB). I wanted to do a clean installation of Windows but the risk of eliminating the bootloader configuration made me desist.

The license, in fact, is limited to the Chinese market only, as payment for all devices with a screen greater than 10 inches, so the interested parties will have to take into account this big problem, since it is not so simple to reinstall Windows and find all drivers.

As already mentioned, the OS are both clean, especially on Android, unlike the many other TV Box tested, we find only the essential App; nothing Netflix, Kodi or other pre-installed, therefore.

The partitioning of memory, finally, provides 8 GB of free space for Android it's about 30 GB on Windows 10, a fairly fair choice in my opinion. Too bad only for the Chinese language, given that the Android / Windows pair makes this product really very interesting and "different" from the competition.

Conclusions

We come to the final, therefore. Starting from the hardware platform, le offered services are acceptable and allow a satisfactory use of the two systems, especially Android which continues to be lighter and more snappy than Microsoft's counterpart, even though they lack real functionalities multi-window, features present on the classic Windows 10.

The strong point is the two OS, a pity for the Chinese language that makes Windows 10 almost useless, a defect that we hope to resolve in the coming weeks with some guide or straight provided directly by Chuwi.

Un Intel Atom Z8350, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB for 120 euros they are still palatable, even if the price starts to rise a bit 'too much in my opinion, seen for example the cost of fresh review Z83 II, available at approx €85 with similar specifications and no translation problems.

A product promoted with reserve, for the unknown language rather than performance.

Il Chuwi HiBox Hero It is available at the store GearBest at a price of approx 120 € with shipping from China.


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