CHUWI GBox review: compact Mini PC with Windows 10 for $180.33
No desire to always connect the laptop to the television? The CHUWI GBox is a small living room PC or a workstation, which you can quickly let disappear in your pocket. It is also equipped with the newer Intel Celeron 4100 processor. Find out what else makes the CHUWI GBox stand out!
|Processor||Intel Celeron N4100, Quad Core 1.1GHz (2.4 GHz Boost)|
|Main memory||4 GB DDR4 RAM|
|Internal memory||64 GB eMMC (expandable via Micro-SD, SATA3-HDD 2,5″ or M.2 SSD)|
|Dimensions||18,76 x 13,83 x 3,73 cm|
|Connectors||2x USB 3.0; 2x USB 2.0; USB-C 3.1; 1x HDMI; Micro-SD Slot; VGA; LAN; 3.5mm Jack|
|Operating system||Windows 10|
Scope of delivery
The simple packaging of the CHUWI GBox includes the Mini-PC and a booklet with hardware information. In addition, there is the power supply unit with C7 small device cable. There is also a remote control that requires two AAA batteries and a holder with three pairs of screws.
Processing and Design
With the dimensions of 18.76 x 13.83 x 3.73 cm and a weight of almost 600 grams, the GBox is versatile and can even be attached directly to the back of the monitor. CHUWI makes use of the existing threads, which are actually intended for a wall bracket. If this is not used, the CHUWI GBox is very easy to build a compact all-in-one PC.
All around there is a kind of bumper made of metal to protect the hardware from transport damage. Also the back side with the hook for the display/wall mount is made of robust metal. The case cover underneath is (just like the top) made of plastic.
All in all, I like the workmanship of the speaker quite well, the connections are milled out to fit perfectly and I couldn’t find any material or workmanship defects.
With small details CHUWI gives the GBox a chic appearance, on the one hand the edges of the metal bumper were polished so that they shine silver and on the other hand small, striking colour accents were used. These can be found on the CHUWI GBox in a dark red on the top and on the on/off button.
I like the overall design quite well, the red details give the box a playful touch, which reminds me a bit of a gaming laptop. Unfortunately only optically, the hardware of the CHUWI GBox doesn’t come with it.
Hardware in the CHUWI GBox
The CHUWI GBox is equipped with the relatively new Intel Celeron N4100 processor. This currently replaces the Intel Celeron N3450 in the budget range and is used in most inexpensive notebooks and PCs. The quad-core processor clocks with 1.1-2.4 GHz in multi-core burst and with a maximum of 2.3 GHz in single-core burst. Although it would be possible to actively cool the system in terms of space, CHUWI unfortunately opted for passive cooling.
Unfortunately, no additional graphics chip was installed, as is the case with the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 2018, for example. So the on-board graphics chip, Intel UHD Graphics 600, of the processor has to be used. It differs only slightly from its predecessor by slightly improved display connections.
In addition there is 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM, which is unfortunately not expandable and soldered firmly to the mainboard. For today’s requirements, this is unfortunately almost a bit thin and a second 4 GB RAM module would have stood the system, in my opinion, well. Especially since the Intel UHD Graphics 600 chip doesn’t have its own VRAM and therefore uses the already scarce system RAM. LPDDR4 RAM (LP = Low Power) is an energy-efficient memory, which is mostly used in mobile devices thanks to its compact design. The CHUWI GBox, which is permanently supplied with power, benefits only slightly from these properties.
Internal memory and expansion options
With 64GB eMMC memory, the pre-installed internal memory is sufficient only for the Windows operating system and possibly for some small programs. To store games, videos, movies and pictures on the CHUWI GBox, the internal memory probably needs to be extended. Fortunately the GBox offers several possibilities. On the one hand there is a SATA3 connection for a 2,5″ hard disk, on the other hand there is also an M.2 slot for fast SSD memory.
All in all, the built-in hardware is sufficient for office applications, 4K/Full HD video streaming, multitasking tasks and older or simple gaming applications. Although CHUWI suggests on advertising photos that Blockbuster can be zocken with the compact living room PC also, this is practically impossible.
The benchmark tests with the CHUWI GBox have turned out to be in line with the low-cost hardware. Thus in the 3D Mark Time Spy test only a score of 99 points could be achieved.
A single-core score of 1756 points was achieved in the Geekbench 4 CPU benchmark test and 5157 points in the multi-core score.
In the GPU test, also in the Geekbench 4 benchmark test, a score of 11398 points was achieved.
At least in the area of the connections, the CHUWI GBox leaves nothing to be desired. On the front are a USB-C 3.1, two USB-A 3.0 ports and a Micro-SD card reader.
In addition, there is a VGA port, an HDMI 2.0 socket, a LAN port, two USB-A 2.0 ports and a 3.5 mm jack connector on the back.
With this variety no wishes should remain open and if nevertheless, a further connection adapter can be used by USB-C port. Of course, the CHUWI GBox also has a WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac module and Bluetooth 4.0.
The remote control – the highlight of the CHUWI GBox
While unpacking the Mini-PC, I paid only little attention to the included remote control. I thought: “okay, there’s a data management program again, similar to Codi, pre-installed and this can be controlled via remote control – cool”.
But wrong thought. The inconspicuous side dish has it thick as a fist behind the ears. The remote control works in a similar way to the Nintendo Wii controller. The mouse pointer can be moved by swinging in the air! This works incredibly accurately, the pointer can be placed very precisely, much better than on Nintendo’s game console. There is not even a visual contact between the CHUWI GBox and the remote control necessary. This operation also works if you mount the GBox behind the screen.
Of course, this is not the only function that is carried out with the remote control. It is also possible:
- press the right “mouse button
- switch the GBox on and off
- return to the desktop
- open the tab overview
- go back
- change the volume
Almost all functions that are needed on the couch, for example to start the next movie or open the next picture gallery, can be executed easily via remote control. An incredibly practical operating aid that makes the use of mouse and keyboard in everyday life almost completely superfluous.
Only typing via the on-screen keyboard is a bit tedious for longer search terms, but due to the good precision of the mouse guidance via remote control, this is also quite feasible.
The CHUWI GBox Mini-PC is a living room computer for streaming movies/videos, listening to music, playing small games and surfing a solid figure. Also as mobile Workstation are various application possibilities, for example for presentations, Office applications and Multitasking. Fortunately, thanks to SATA 3 and M.2 SSD slots, the internal memory can be expanded at will. Thus the CHUWI GBox is suitable also as storage location for large formats.
Who looks for a compact solution for these simple tasks, is well advised with the CHUWI GBox and will have much joy with it. The pre-installed Windows 10, makes setting up much easier. With computer systems from China this is almost a rarity.
Especially the remote control offers an unbeatable advantage over other Mini-PC systems and surprised me positively in the test. With this the Windows PC, the gesture control and some additional buttons can be operated almost completely. The amazing thing about it is that, apart from entering text, it is almost as fast as using a mouse and keyboard. If you’re lying on the couch and don’t want to write anything great anyway, the remote control can replace mouse and keyboard.
If you’re looking for a compact system with which you can seriously play, you’d better look for another computer, such as the Xiaomi Mi Gaming Notebook. The hardware installed in the CHUWI GBox is unfortunately in the low-end range and much more than the mentioned application possibilities are unfortunately not feasible. In times when even flagship smartphones are equipped with 6-8 GB RAM, the GBox 8 GB RAM would have been good to improve the multitasking performance. 4 GB are actually quite small and, in my opinion, no longer up to date.To the gadget