REVIEW: CHUWI GBox Mini PC with Intel Celeron N4100 and remote control

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CHUWI GBox mini PC is the new model that we present today in a review, a product of the CHUWI brand that stands out for its design and the inclusion of a remote control, something that is unusual to see on a desktop computer and which is appreciated to use it as HPC. This small computer integrates an Intel Gemini Lake processor, it has a bay for SATA and M.2 6GBps discs, it also has an HDMI 2.0 video output that allows 4K@60fps video. An interesting device for several uses that we will see in detail as always in all its aspects.

PRODUCT DETAILS

ModelCHUWI GBox mini PC 
Basic SpecsProcessor:  Intel Celeron N4100 Quad Core / GPU Intel HD Graphics 600 / 6W TPD / 14 nm
OS: Windows 10 Home 64bit
RAM: 4GB DDR4 integrated
Storage: 64GB eMMC integrada / Disk 2,5″ + M.2 SATA 3
Network: Wifi ac + BT / Ethernet Gigabit
Ports: USB 3.0 Type-C  / USB 3.0 + 2.0  / HDMI 2.0 / VGA / Jack audio
Extra: Flymouse remote / VESA support
Check full specifications

Description

The mini PC CHUWI GBox mini PC is a fanless computer that has a machized aluminum side profile and plastic caps, on the front we have USB connectors, power button and status LED, on the back we have the other connectors. In the lower part we have a cover that hides the SATA 3 bay, inside the plate we have a large aluminum heatsink (simplified from the initial concept) and a slot for M.2 disk cards, the rest of the components are soldered.

  • Materials: Aluminum and plastic.
  • Details: Design with red lines in the case.
  • Interfaces: 1x USB 3.0 Type-C / 2x USB 3.0 / 2x USB 2.0 / HDMI 2.0 / VGA / Ethenet Gigabit / Jack in / out / VESA support included.
  • Remote control: Direct access keys and flymouse mode. With the we can turn off and turn on the mini PC completely.

START UP

System and user experience

We connect to the power source the CHUWI GBox mini PC and press the power button on the box or remote control, as indicated by the specifications we have Windows 10 Home 64bit properly activated, check the list of devices and note that all have their drivers installed correctly. The system moves smoothly and we can run the basic applications without problems, it is clear that with 4GB of RAM and the power of the processor is not oriented to heavy loads but to browse internet is perfect.

Support, BIOS and other OS

From the CHUWI website we have contact mail and forum, although there are few resources of this mini PC yet. We can access the BIOS by pressing ESC, it has a classic BIOS AMI with very few options and nothing to overclock.

  • BIOS: No remote power on options, only Secure boot, No LEGACY mode
  • Other OS: LibreELEC for PC compatible / Ubuntu compatible

HARDWARE TEST

Storage, RAM and Ports

We perform speed tests of the installed storage by default, also of the RAM that comes standard and check the speed and functionality of all its connection ports.

  • USB ports: We have USB Type-C but it is only 3.0, does not output video
  • Video and audio ouputs:  HDMI 2.0 up to 4K@60fps without HDR / VGA

The SATA 3 disk speed installed by default gives us normal performance figures within that category, if we want to improve speeds we can install an additional disk M.2 or 2,5″ SATA3.

We have installed 4 GB of RAM works in Single Channel, we only have installed a single SODIMM DDR4 at a speed of 2133 MHz, we could get more performance from the hardware if it worked in Dual Channel.

Electric consumption, temperature and noise

We check the consumption of the CHUWI GBox mini PC model, as we can see the Intel Celeron N4100 processor with 6W TPD it has low figures as usual in these models and we maintain a contained level even in the maximum performance scenarios.

We perform our thermal and acoustic tests on the passive CHUWI GBox mini PC Mini PC, as we can see the dissipation system behaves quite well and we do not have high temperatures. This model is totally passive and does not emit noise.

  • Measuring temperature 25ºC
  • Noise: 0 db

We perform several types of tests to check the performance in each use scenario, with this data we can make an idea of the overall real performance that the system will have during its working life.

  • Continuous extreme performance: 56ºC Max. / CPU 1.31 GHz / No thermal throlling but limited CPU
  • Performance in games: DOTA 2 62ºC / CPU 1.5 GHz average
  • External temperature: 43ºC on a side

Wifi, Ethernet and Bluetooth

The mini PC CHUWI GBox mini PC has installed a Wi-Fi ac Dual Band wireless adapter with which we connect to an ASUS RT-AC1200G+ Router, a mid-range device. We perform tests on the use of streaming using the iPerf measurement tool to see the maximum performance of each network adapter.

  • Wifi speed results: Correct speeds for this network adapters.
  • Scope Wifi: At a distance of 5 meters with a wall we have a signal of 42 dBm, a very poor result.
  • Bluetooth: Works correctly and connects without problems
  • We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC

PERFORMANCE TEST

Processor

The CHUWI GBox mini PC mini PC integrates the Intel Celeron N4100 with four cores and four threads running between 1.1 and 2.4 GHz, it integrates an Intel HD Graphics 600 GPU up to 700 MHz with 12 EU, it has a maximum consumption of 6 W TPD. As we can see the correct performance for this type of hardware but as you can see in 3D performance are limited, it is a hardware for desktop, multimedia, navigation and office apps.

Benchmarks

Games

We perform our performance test in games on the CHUWI GBox mini PC, the results are in line with this type of product of this type, the Intel HD Graphics GPU 600 is perfectly valid for simple games such as we can find in Android phones by downloading them from the Microsoft Store. Also indie titles in 2D or current games with light 3D load like LOL, the emulators are also feasible but at the most we stayed in some simple Game Cube titles.

  • GTA V / Overwath / Fortnite, low settings, 720p resolution and no VSync.
  • DOTA 2 / WOT, ow settings, 1080p  resolution and no VSync.
    *On models with powerful discrete GPU settings in medium and 1080p resolution

With the CHUWI GBox mini PC we have done a performance test with the game DOTA 2, a more demanding title than League of legends (LOL) with which we normally have 10fps more since it asks for less graphic power, with this video you can have an idea how it would be played. We also do a special test with CS:GO and we see that we stay at 20fps and never reach 30fps a minimum requirement to have a minimally enjoyable gaming experience.

VIDEO AND AUDIO TESTS

Video playback test

To play video content in the CHUWI GBox mini PC mini PC we have the integrated IIntel HD Graphics 600 that has a VPU with hardware support for the HVEC codec and for VP9, in this processor we have support for 10bit color video and also HDR although we can reproduce it in basic color quality since Gemini Lake does not have HDR support.

Video results

H.264 FormatResult
BBB – H.264 8bit – Simple@L1 – 1080p@25fps – 7 MbpsCorrect
Samsung Oceanic Life – H.264  8bit – High@L5.1 – 1080p@30fps – 40 MbpsCorrect
Timelapse – H.264 8bit – High@L5.1 – 4K@24fps – 43 MbpsCorrect
Anime – H.264 10bit – High 10@L5.1 – 1080p@24fps – 10 MbpsCorrect
H.265 Format
Tears of steel – HVEC 8bit – Main@L6.2@Main – 1080p@24fps – 17 MbpsCorrect
Samsung UHD Dubai – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L5.2@Main – 4K@24fps – 51 MbpsCorrect
Jellyfish – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L6.1@High – 4K@30fps – 392 MbpsLow Frameskip
Anime – HVEC 10bit –  Main 10@L4@Main – 1080p@24fps – 21 MbpsCorrect
HDR Format
Life of Pi HDR10 –  HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L5.1@High – 4K@24fps – 45 MbpsCorrect
LG Demo – Dolby Vision – HVEC 12bit – Main 10@L5@Main – 4K@24fps – 30 MbpsCorrect
Planet Earth II – HDR HLG 10bit  – Main 10@L5@High – 4K@25fps – 31 MbpsCorrect
The world in HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 4K@60fps – 20 MbpsFrameskip
Peru 8K HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 8K@60fps – 20 MbpsFrameskip


Audio playback test

Testing the CHUWI GBox mini PC using a Yamaha RXV-577 AV receiver we check that the miniPC supports DD and DTS 7.1 pass through, is curious because the default hardware only supports stereo and does not have licenses for DD or DTS formats. We recommend, as always, to update all the drivers with Windows Update to the latest before connecting the device to our AV receiver.

Audio test results

FormatsDD 5.1DD+ 7.1DD True 7.1DD Atms 7.1DTS 5.1DTS MA 5.1DTS HR 7.1DTS X 7.1
HDMIOKCoreOKOK*OKOKOKOK*
SPDIF
  • PCM – Stereo only doing downmix from DD or DTS
  • Core – Only the core of the format is played back with what we passed to the Dolby / DTS base system
    * Our AV receiver does not support these native formats but we verify that it is played back to 7.1

Streaming services

We perform performance tests on the CHUWI GBox mini PC mini PC in the most popular streaming services such as Youtube, Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video and others with their native apps or using the most compatible browser. You can consult our guides where we explain in detail all the best known streaming services, how to configure them and what requirements are necessary to see content in HD or 4K quality

Streaming serviceVideo QualityAudio Quality
Youtube4K@60 (2060p)5.1
NetflixFullHD (1080p)5.1
HBOFullHD (1080p)Stereo
Amazon Prime VideoHD (720p)Stereo

CONCLUSIONS

Score

Chuwi Gbox mini PC -

8.2

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

8.5/10

HARDWARE

8.0/10

SOFTWARE

8.5/10

SUPPORT

8.5/10

PRICE

7.5/10

Pros

  • Cool design
  • Fymouse remote by default
  • Network performance
  • Thermally correct
  • Multiple connections, SATA and M.2

Cons

  • Only 4GB of RAM

Opinion

As we have seen the mini PC CHUWI GBox mini PC is a passive mini PC with good overall performance. It is necessary to emphasize of this model his design, the mechanized metallic perimeter and the system of dissipation that behaves well. Undoubtedly a differential point of this model is the inclusion of a flymose control by default, a complement that is much appreciated as it is perfectly integrated allowing you to remotely turn on and off the mini PC, we can also control it comfortably with the pointer or using the basic keys in KODI for example.

As for hardware components, the CHUWI GBox mini PC defends itself well as an Intel Celeron processor with low power consumption, the Gemini Lake generation gets some more performance but this range of processors is intended for light use, navigation or multimedia playback. The integrated components such as eMMC storage and network adapters behave well, we can also expand using a 2.5 “disk or M.2 SATA 3 card. We miss a little more of RAM working on dual channel and a integrated microphone for Cortana, but in general we have a passive mini PC ideal for desktop or as a HTPC.

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