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Review Chuwi GBox Mini PC – $240 Fanless Intel Gemini Lake Windows PC


hey everybody get flan Seidman and we’re taking a look today at the chewy G box this is another Windows mini PC that looks really cool but as you’ll see you can’t judge a book by it’s cover and we’re going to be taking a closer look at this device here in just a second but I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this came in free of charge through gearbest.com however all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own nobody is paying for this review and no one has approved or reviewed what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get to it now and see what this thing is all about so let’s take a closer look now at the hardware it looks really cool it doesn’t look like those generic boxes we typically see with this kind of hardware configuration it’s got a nice metal band around it here with plastic in the middle and this has got a Gemini Lake n 4100 Intel Celeron processor inside that’s a quad core chip the new generation of Intel’s low-end devices 4 gigabytes of ddr4 ram but it is not upgradable but you can upgrade the storage so built-in is 64 gigabytes of storage and then there is a SATA slot underneath the device here we took it apart on the extras channel to see how upgradable it might be so you can slide in a two and a half inch notebook SSD hard drive for example we also saw on the motherboard when we took this apart that there’s an nvme slot for an m2 sized hard drive as well we didn’t test that but it looks like that’s on the motherboard so you do have some storage options here but you don’t have any options for RAM or processor upgrades it’s got a bunch of ports here on the front so you’ve got your type C port here this is data only and not video we tried the video unfortunately it did not work so you’re just going to get data out that port there USB 3.0 are going into these two slots here you have a micro SD card slot right there for plugging in your camera cards and whatnot on the back here we’ve got a reset button got your power that goes in here VGA out if you still got some old-school VGA monitors you can use that there it’s also got HDMI and we were able to get 4k at 60 Hertz out of the box here so that was good so it does support 4k at 60 frames per

second but there’s no other video output to get 4k going as we saw in some prior reviews these Gemini Lake chips can support multiple displays but that USB C port just did not seem to want to output display for us Gigabit Ethernet is here you’ve got two USB 2.0 ports here and a headphone microphone jack and that is it for the ports on the device now it costs two hundred and forty dollars as you see it at the time that I’m recording this video it also includes a remote control that we could not get working with the computer at all it apparently has some air mouse capabilities in addition to some media controls but it just doesn’t seem to work for us one bit we tried everything we could to get it working there was no mention in the documentation about the remote but if you get one of these things you’ll get the remote and maybe you’ll have better luck getting it working than we did but unfortunately it did not get started for us so let’s take a look now and see how it performs and I’ll talk about some of the things we discovered along the way so let’s take a look and see how it performs web browsing you can see nasa.gov loads up very quickly it feels about what we’ve come to now expect from some of these low end Gemini Lake chips it’s got Ethernet as we saw at the outset but it also has AC Wireless built in too so the Wi-Fi performance felt pretty decent YouTube also seemed to perform quite well we were getting no dropped frames really on my 1080p 60 frames per second video running in edge so all the usual things that we look for seemed to be working okay here and on the browser bench org speedometer test we got a score of 49 point 7 on the 1.

0 version of that test 2.0 came in at 33 point 9 this is pretty much right

where I would expect a Gemini Lake chip to perform but we’re seeing very different results based on the machines that we are testing so we had a lenovo in recently that’s got the N 4000 that one came in at forty point three we also had the jumper easy book x4 which was a laptop also with a Gemini Lake chip same general family here that one came in at 58 point four so performed a little better on that test than what we saw the chewy box here and I think it might have something to do with how they’re running the processor based on its thermals and we’re going to talk more about that when we get into our gaming tests in just a second but before we do I did want to load up Microsoft Word so you can see how well it handles all the basic kinds of tasks you might do want one of these mini PCs and it did them quite well as you can see here so let’s move on now to gaming and thermals so we’ll kick things off with Minecraft which didn’t do so well on this mini PC versus some of the others we’ve looked at 1080p with the Optifine performance enhancing plug-in installed only got us about 25 to 30 frames per second give or take probably playable but I think you might do better with an Intel nook that has more active cooling built into it we also ran half-life 2 which is an older game that one is doing pretty well actually as it does on other Gemini Lake based devices we’re seeing about 40 frames per second in some of the complex scenes and some of the less complex scenes got us to 60 rocket League however did not fare very well at 720p the best we could get out of it was about 12 to 15 frames per

second so again if you have one of those Intel nuts you might be able to do better in rocket League than what you’re seeing here on screen right now we also ran the 3dmark cloud gate test which we run on all of our pcs and there we got a score of 2226 and this puts it pretty much within the margin of error compared to some of the other Gemini Lake based machines we have tested here on the channel recently so all in it seems to be performing where I would expect it to just not spectacularly especially for gaming now I do want to move on to the thermal performance in other words how well does it do under load because this computer is fanless there’s no active cooling system on it and one of the concerns that I had when I took it apart is that it’s only means of cooling is a flat metal plate that is on top of the processor and some of the key components of the motherboard and the marketing materials lead you to think there’s a nice big radiator on top of that metal plate but when we took it apart all it was was just the plate so that heat doesn’t really have much place to go although it does have vents on it I don’t know if that’s going to be enough here to keep it cooled so we ran this Demark stress test which runs one of these benchmark tests over and over again and there we got a score of 90% which is actually a failing grade on that test passing is 97% so I think you will see a lot of throttling on this the more that you stress the computer out and I’m concerned over time

that you might have some heating issues just given it doesn’t really have a very good cooling system built in so I think if you’re looking for something to really tax the computer this may not be the right computer for you you might want to look at a mini PC that has a fan built-in again the Intel knucks have some active cooling to keep them operating more consistently under load and we also tested its prowess as a home theater PC with cody we’ve got the jelly-fish test file here running 4k 10 bit 140 megabits per second and it looks like it’s running okay after it gets started there’s a lot of dropped frames at the outset but after that it seems to play back those files just fine we have seen similar behavior on one or two other Gemini Lake machines that we’ve gotten in recently to test generally this should not drop that many frames at the outset but it does smooth out so it might be okay for that one of the things though with these Gemini Lake chips is that they don’t support HDR even the Intel nook the flagship of this low-end line doesn’t support HDR so it’s probably not well suited for a 4k home theater we also tested 1080p blu-ray MKV rips and those did play back just fine it was able to switch my TV into 24p mode which is what I always look for and it was also able to pass lossless audio DTS HD and Dolby true HD over to my audio receiver so it should do okay as a 1080p playback device but probably not something I would recommend as a 4k home theater and one last thing to check out and that is it’s linux support we booted up boom to 18.04 and everything worked as we hoped it would so we got audio Wi-Fi video worked properly everything seemed to be working as expected so you could easily get linux installed on this machine and run it that’s going

to do it for the chui gbox I really like the way it looks and feels on the outside but I was disappointed by what was inside namely the fact that we don’t seem to have a very good thermal strategy going on with this computer no heat sink as the marketing materials might suggest just a metal plate that relies on enough passive airflow hopefully to keep the computer cooled off they certainly could have done better there I was also disappointed that our USB type-c port does not output any kind of video which means that you can only get one 4k output going on this device at all many other Gemini Lake machines including those Intel nuts we looked at could actually due to 4k 60 Hertz outputs through dual HDMI here you don’t have the option for a second HDMI and the best you’re going to get is VGA out of it so that’s going to do it for the chui G box here and until next time this is a LAN Simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lon TV supporters including gold level supporters Chris alligretto Tom Albrecht bill Reiner and Kellyanne Kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month at over two lon TV slash support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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