Meet Pipo X8, the first Intel Z3736F Mini PC with a built-in screen
When Pipo announced that they are going to release a Windows 8.1 Mini PC with a built-in screen many commenters saw this as just a gimmick to avoid paying for the Windows license (as Windows 8.1 is free for devices with a screen but costs around $25 when bundled with other devices, like Mini PC's).
Others saw no use for this device as it looks too much like a tablet, and they thought that a tablet does everything Pipo X8 does, and it also has a built-in battery and it's much easier to carry.
But were they right?
Judging by the amount of attention Pipo X8 has there is really a demand for this type of device, and we'll be trying to find out why below.
Why would Pipo X8 be better than a tablet (with the same specs)?
- - Pipo X8 does not have a battery, but it does have a full HDMI port, RJ-45 ethernet and 4 USB 2.0 ports, so better connectivity and much better suited for living room use.
- - Pipo X8's chasis should do a much better job dissipating the heat when compared to a tablet.
- - Pipo X8 has an external wi-fi antenna, which (in theory) should provide better wi-fi reception (this remains to be tested)
Is the built-in LCD screen that Pipo X8 that useful?
There are some use-cases scenarios for which Pipo X8 is a good match:
- - there's a second screen at your disposal, you could watch a movie on the big screen while getting notifications updates on the small screen.
- - can be used to listen to music on your sound system with just the Pipo X8 Mini PC (and maybe a USB DAC)
- - can be used as a kitchen companion - show recipes, play some music
- - add VLC and Sopcast and you have a mini TV and radio player
- - can be used as a fancy alarm clock or weather station
- - home automation box
- - pair it with FLIRC and you can control ... anything
- - CCTV mini-monitor or video door bell
- - digital photo frame
Based on the initial popularity (even though the product hasn't reached the shelves yet!) I think Pipo X8 could be an interesting product that has it's niche.