REVIEW: PIPO X12 a hybrid between tablet and mini PC now with Stylus

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From the online store Gearbest.com kindly offer us this product to perform a review, this is the new hybrid model between mini PC and tablet PIPO X12. This is a version with some changes with respect to the previous model PIPO X10, now we have included a stylus and COM port. Inside we found an active fan to keep temperatures at bay and we have a 10000 mAh battery, a very interesting addition that will allow us a certain autonomy of the electric network. This model includes as Windows 10 operating system and as we can see it has an external wifi antenna. Let’s see how it behaves in our review below.

  • PIPO X12 can be bought at Gearbest.com only for $227 with shipping cost included
  • You can compare this device with others models in our shopping guide

SPECIFICATIONS

ModelPIPO X12
CPUIntel Atom x5-Z8300 @ 1.44GHz / 1.84 GHz
GPUIntel HD Graphics Gen8 12UE @ 200MHz / 500GHz
OSWindows 10
ChipsetIntel Valleyview
BIOSAMI BIOS
Formattablet + miniPC
RAM4GB DDR3L
Storage64GB eMMC
WiFiSi, Realtek RTL8723BS 2.4GHz
(1x external antenna)
EthernetDM9621A USB a Ethernet 10/100
Bluetooth4.0
AudioRealtek ALC283
Ports1x USB 3.0
3x USB 2.0
1x audio jack
1x HDMI 1.4 4K@30fps
1x microSD reader
2x speakers
1x COM (RS-232A)
OthersManual
Transformador 5V 3A (15W)
Stylus
Dimensions: 8.66 x 5.91 x 2.44 inches
Weight: 2.2 lb

CONTENT DESCRIPTION

Package content

The PIPO X12 model is presented in a large cardboard box where inside we only find the main device, a 5V 3A power adapter, manual and the stylus that is encased in its compartment.

Product Details

The PIPO X12 hybrid has exactly the same design as the previous model X10 and the size of the box is still spectacular (8.66 x 5.91 x 2.44 inches). At the top we have the 10.8-inch screen with the shortcut icon at the beginning of Windows and under it we have the rest of the hardware.

 

On the sides of this box we have two speakers that give this device autonomy in this section and as it is logical we can not expect a wonderful sound quality.

On the opposite side to the other we find the power button, volume, status LED, audio jack only output, a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 connector.

In the back we find the other connectors and the external Wifi antenna, we have microSD card reader, two USB 2.0 connectors, HDMI 1.4 video output, 10/100 Ethernet port, round power connector and as a COM port. We also have a series of slots to allow air to escape from the fan.

In the lower area we have an aluminum cover with ventilation grilles and in the corners we have four flat rubber legs that hide the closing screws. We recommend adding a supplement to these legs to elevate the device and improve ventilation.

If we remove the lid of the PIPO X12 we can see the base plate that is almost identical to the X10 model, just changes with the insertion of the COM port, we also have a module for the side connectors and the touch screen module. In the lower area we have the battery encased in the plastic mold and a button battery for the BIOS. Taking out the main board we found an aluminum sink in the CPU with a small 3×3 cm fan that goes at fixed speed, it seems that the quality of the fan has improved somewhat because it is less noisy and it cools the system a bit more.

Screen and speakers

The screen we find in this device is 10.8 inches with IPS technology which has a resolution of 1920×1280 and allows touch control. In general the quality is good and we have a clean image, the only problem is to use this screen outdoors which loses a lot of visibility. The two speakers that this model assembles fulfill the basic function of listening to something but the quality is quite regular.

Stylus

De serie con el PIPO X12 tenemos un lápiz óptico que nos sirve para escribir o dibujar directamente sobre la pantalla superior, un dispositivo que integra una pequeña batería interna que podemos cargar por medio del conector microUSB en la zona media. Tenemos un led de estado y dos botones una tanto complicados de pulsar, el de al lado del led hace un undo y el de su lado click en windows.

 

CONNECTING THE DEVICE

Startup

We turn on the PIPO X12 and check we have Windows 10 Home installed as standard. Although the system does not comply with Microsoft regulations, it seems to have a fully legal license and is activated correctly.

  • Startup time: 22 seconds

If we look at the version we check that we are with the 1607 version, so we will not have to update to some big versions in order to use the system quickly.

BIOS

We can boot the system BIOS by repeatedly pressing the ESC or SUP key while restarting the miniPC, the system BIOS is the classic AMI with the text mode menus by which we can navigate using the keyboard, the advanced settings give us few options of control.

Brand Support

The PIPO brand does not stand out for the support towards its products on the brand’s website as we see we do not even have this model among its catalog. For any problem we recommend installing the Intel driver update application that allows us to have updated drivers for the network adapters and the integrated GPU.

Remote control

To remotely control the PIPO X12 we can install Intel Remote Keyboard Host on the the mini PC, and then we can use our mobile or tablet to control it installing the Android or iOS app. We can use tactile gestures, virtual mouse or remote keyboard, we just have to have both devices on the same Wi-Fi network.

Linux

For those who want to try this system we can boot Ubuntu x64 using the ISO of this system, an operating system that we can use with the PIPO X12 but that has several limitations since the wifi does not go and we do not have sound in the internal speakers. We also have limitations in the section of hardware acceleration by GPU, in the reproduction of video by the compatibility of the VPU and with some elements of different controllers such as the sound by HDMI. If we do not have the necessary knowledge, it is better try to keep Windows, which is what this hardware is designed for.

Hardware specifications

Processor

The PIPO X12 hybrid integrates the extended SoC Intel Atom x5-Z8350 Quad Core. The processors of this model operate at a normal speed of 1.4 GHz and a turbo mode can reach up to 1.92 GHz according to specifications, this model integrates an Intel HD Graphics Gen8 GPU with 12 Units of execution and that includes partial support for hardware decoding of the H.265 codec and has 4K resolution support at 30fps. The normal working speed of the GPU is 200Mhz although it can arrive punctually up to 500MHz when more power is required, as we will see a GPU superior to that of the previous generation, this is the most obvious change compared to the previous Intel models.

RAM

In the tests made with the memory of the PIPO X12 are correct within the products based on similar hardware, as we see the performance is similar to other models with DDR3 memory working only to 1066 MHz, something that we should not change in the BIOS if we do not want to have a big brick.

As we can see the values of the mini PC PIPO X12 are somewhat lower because they work at only 1066 MHz speed in Single Channel mode, a pity not having opted for 1600 MHz memory

Storage and ports

After updating the PIPO X12 and pass Windows update until there are no patches to install we have about 44 GB free, enough space to install Office and some heavy apps, the size of 64GB is appreciated.

Regarding the speed of the eMMC memory we see that we have correct results, within the range of these devices with similar hardware we have similar values.

In general, the system shows up fast and it does not seem that we have appreciable bottlenecks that we will notice with the use of its storage.

Temperatures and noise levels

As we can see the temperatures on the PIPO X12 are correct, the temperatures as we can see are somewhat better than the X10 model, possibly the chosen fan is somewhat better since we notice less noise, a point that improves slightly.

We perform our extreme performance tests with the CPU and the GPU at 100% and the system rises temperatures very slowly, the hardware reaches a maximum of 64º C, although as we can see, the speed does not exceed 1.66 GHz without activating the turbo mode. 1.8 GHz. A quite unreal scenario but that gives us an idea of what can end up supporting theoretically.

Power consumption and battery

The model PIPO X12 has consumption values in the line of the products that assemble this SoC, a system that in its maximum point only reaches 17 W of consumption, a value that increases something since it has to feed the screen. The 10000 mAh battery lasts about 4 hours in a mixed use and we can reach 6 hours if we only play video, it also depends if we use the integrated screen or not.

Power consumption

As we see in the test of consumption the PIPO X12 we have quite low values in the line of similar models, in a normal use the systems are kept very contained and only we reach a maximum of 15.2 W when we put the GPU to work to the maximum, values that also depend on the connected components.

Wi-Fi, Ethernet and Bluetooth

We ran our tests to check the network performance on the PIPO X12 mini PC, we found that for the wireless connection we have an Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 chip that also integrates the 4.0 Bluetooth adapter. With this Wi-Fi chip we get a speed of 41 Mbps in the 2,4 GHz band. The Realtek Gigabit Ethernet connector gives us results of 91 Mbps, the Wi-Fi coverage is correct thanks to the external antennas assembled in this model. This device also have Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity with which we have no major problems when it comes to detecting other devices in general.

We also ran tests on the network adapters for streaming using the iPerf measurement tool with which we have the maximum connection speed in each type of network. With this figure we have how far we can reach using the available connections, the final performance will depend on our internet provider, the contracted speed, the distance of our Wi-Fi network and other factors. The results are good for this kind of hardware.

PERFORMANCE TEST

The PIPO X12 model mounts the Intel Atom SoC x5-Z8350 processor to which 4GB of RAM has been added, a point with which working in Windows becomes more fluid since they do not have to pull the disk cache with the consequent loss of performance on load. In general, the system behaves correctly for this type of hardware and we can use it to navigate, casual games and multimedia playback without problems both on the screen and through the HMDI output.

Benchmarks

PCMark 8

With this test we can see the performance of the device in an office environment and common desktop use.

3DMark

Graphic performance test where we can see the gross performance capabilities in this environment and compare the performance of GPU’s historically.

Geekbench 4

This benchmark in SoC offers a fairly reliable numbers of CPU’s working in a single core or multiple cores ate the same time, it also has a section of GPU computing that gives us an overall result of the processing capacity.

Cinebench

A brute force tests on both CPU and GPU, this benchmark always help us to see a very clear reference of power.

Games

In our tests on the PIPO X12 the results are the usual in this type of products, we can use the miniPC for titles with simple 3D effects like those we have in Android or several previous generations of PC, although it is possible that some modern games surprise us as a rule we can not use titles that require modern 3D effects.

Test environment

  • GTA V, Low settings, 720p resolution
  • Overwatch, Low settings, 720p resolution
  • DOTA 2, Low settings, 1080p resolution
  • Minecraft, Medium settings, 1080p resolution
  • World of Tanks, Medium settings, 1080p resolution

As we see, with this hardware it is advisable to play simple titles such as those found on Android phones by downloading them from the Microsoft Store. Also indie 2D titles or have a basic load in 3D, emulators are also feasible but at most we are in some simple Wii titles.

VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST

Video format test

In the section of video playback the PIPO X12 has a SoC with partial hardware support for the decoding of the h.265 codec, but behaves very well with the h.264 videos that are mostly used, this model also has support for video output in 4K resolution at 30hz. As a player works correctly with any 1080p video, where we are limited is with the very high bitrate files compressed in h.265 with 10bit color or other similar.

Test results

H.264 formatDefault playerKODI
BBB – H.264 8bit – 1080p@25fps – 7 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Birds – H.264 8bit – 1080p@24fps – 40 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Samsung Oceanic Life – H.264  8bit– 1080p@30fps – 40 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Anime – H.264 10bit – 1080p@24fps – 10 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Skyfall – H.264  8 bit – 4K@24fps – 10 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Timelapse – H.264 8bit – 4K@24fps – 43 MbpsCorrectCorrect
H.265 format
Tears of steel – HVEC 8bit – 1080p@24fps – 17 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Beauty – HVEC 8bit – 4K@120fps – 12 MbpsFrame skipFrame skip
Anime – HVEC 10bit – 1080p@24fps – 21 MbpsFrame skipFrame skip
Samsung UHD Dubai – HVEC 10bit – 4K@24fps – 51 MbpsFrame skipFrame skip
HDR format
Life of Pi HDR –  HVEC – 4K@24fps – 45 MbpsFrame skipFrame skip
TravelXP HDR HLG – HVEC – 4K@24fps – 20 MbpsFrame skipFrame skip
Planet Earth II – HDR HLG – HVEC 10L5 – 4K@25fps – 31 MbpsFrame skipFrame skip
  • The MKV, Blu-ray ISO and BDRemux formats are only containers, inside we can have different codecs, resolutions, audio channels, chapters or subtitles. To play the Blu-ray format menus we need KODI or a compatible program.

Audio format test

We test the audio adapter built into the PIPO X12 using a Yamaha RXV-577 AV receiver and we checked that this mini PC supports 5.1 DD and DTS pass through sound. We recommend as always update to the latest all drivers with Windows Update before connecting the device to our AV receiver.

Test results

Formato audioHDMISalida óptica
Dolby Digital 5.1OK
Dolby Digital Plus 7.1Core
Dolby True HD 7.1OK
Dolby Atmos 7.1OK*
DTS 5.1OK
DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1OK
DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1OK
DTS-X 7.1OK*
  • PCM – Stereo downmix from DD or DTS
  • Core – Only the core of the format Dolby / DTS is played
  • * Our AV receiver does not support these native formats but we check that it does downmix fine

STREAMING

Youtube

In our test we play streaming content on the PIPO X12 in the usual channels like YouTube or other sources and we verified that we have no problems when playing videos. In YouTube we can play content with the VP9 codec quite correctly up to 4K with a 50% CPU usage, although if we look for better performance it is best to use another codec.

Streaming services with subscription

We check the most common streaming services playback various contents and we verified that all work properly, the power of this device is more than enough to see any kind of content with them. In Netflix we get to FullHD quality without complications, in the rest of services we get the maximum resolution possible.

ServiceVideoAudio
NetflixFullHD (1080p)5.1
HBOFullHD (1080p)Stereo
Amazon Prime VideoHD (720p)Stereo

CONCLUSIONS

PIPO X12

6

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

7.0/10

HARDWARE

6.0/10

SOFTWARE

6.5/10

SUPPORT

4.0/10

PRICE/QUALITY

6.5/10

Pros

  • 10.8 touch screen and Stylus
  • 10000 mAh battery
  • Less noisy than X10
  • Correct network performance
  • COM port

Cons

  • RAM memory only at 1066MHz
  • Basic speakers

Opinion

After reviewing the PIPO X12 model we can say that it is a very similar model to the previous X10, we have some improvement in thermal and noise, we have COM port and a Stylus is added that can be useful in certain work scenarios. The screen mounted is quite correct and the behavior of the HDMI output seems to have also improved, a device that can be useful as a point of sale or for applications that need touch control.

On the other hand in the PIPO X12 we can found the same speakers with a basic quality and a hardware in general simple. It should be noted as a positive point the 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage that allow us to install programs without problems. In general, the PIPO X12 as we say is only a model oriented to a specific use, a device that by its unique design does not have many rivals but that could be quite better.

Where to buy

  • PIPO X12 can be bought at Gearbest.com only for $227 with shipping cost included
  • You can compare this device with others models in our shopping guide

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