Earlier this year, Chinese producer Pipo tested the waters with the release of a rather unusual looking device, a mash-up between a mini-desktop and a tablet. Named Pipo 8, it had a 7-inch touchscreen, limited capability hardware expected in cheap tablets, a few USB ports and it completely lacked its own battery.
The producer is aiming higher now, with the improved TV Box model Pipo X9 having a series of improvements over its predecessor. The retro shaped gadget includes an 8.9-inch touchscreen and more ports than the average tablet. This is to its advantage, although the lack of an autonomous battery transforms the wedged machine into a stationary tool.
Two operating systems are available, and both are preinstalled: Windows 10 and Google Android 4.4 KitKat suit the different needs of various users.
Technical specs show a touchscreen resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of space storage. The processor, Intel Atom Z3736F Bay Trail, is a Quad Core with a maximum speed of 2.16GHz. Multiple connectivity options are available: Bluetooth 4.0, wireless signal via 802.11b/g/n provided by the external antenna or, if you prefer cable, there's and Ethernet jack.
In spite of the touchscreen's functionality, users are able to install a keyboard and mouse. The full USB ports, four in total, leave room for annexing peripherals, such a printers, scanners or external HDDs. The built-in speaker and headset jack might appeal to multimedia users that can plug in a sound system or headphones.
Somewhat reminding of the mini PCs Compute Stick from Intel and Vivo Stick from Asus, Pipo 9 can work well with a TV screen as display thanks to the HDMI entrance.
The retrofuturistic-looking mini PC might be useful as a point of sale terminal or as a coffee table dashboard for a home-cinema setup, as long as the power adapter stays plugged in. Until Chinese designers decide to also bring colors from the 70's in the design, Pipo X9 only comes in black.
Users who want to enjoy Pipo X9 have to wait until October, but preorders can be made at Pipo-Store for a fair price of $126.99.