Part two of our HiGOLE Gole1 Plus review - the UMPC comeback
Gole Gole1 Plus
I have bee playing with the Higole Gole1 Plus Mini PC for 10 days and it's time to write down my thoughts on the device.
This is the third article about the device, you can start reading first about the specs and, if you are still onboard, about the unboxing and teardown.
Setup and first boot
Gole1 Plus is easy to setup, just press the power button and you are ready to go!
Of course, you might want to add an HDMI monitor if the 8'' screen is not exactly what you need, connect an Ethernet cable or maybe some external speakers, but that's up to you.
The device boots rather fast, you get to the Windows 10 tiles in just 20 seconds, which is not bad.
Since my testing unit was a pre-production unit which got tested by folks at Gole first, I got straight into Windows (account "F1S"), but new users usually go through the Windows 10 setup on first boot (select the language, configure networking, etc).
My Computer shows around 40GB free out of 57.5 GB available to the user, so there's enough room left on the eMMC card to install the software you might need on the device. Of course, the space can be extended with a micro-SD card or an USB HDD.
System and Security => System reveals that Gole1 Plus has a licensed version of Windows 10 Home (64 bit), an Intel Atom X5-Z8350 CPU and 4GB of RAM installed (so basically nothing we didn't already knew).
Windows update works as expected, I took the time to update Windows before starting the tests.
A few more details we get from HWiNFO64, which shows that the Atom X5-Z8350 CPU can run at 166, 500,1500 and 2000 MHz (in turbo mode). The Intel HD Graphics Gen8-LP GPU can use 128-1024 MB from the 4GB Single Channel RAM installed.
You can get into BIOS by pressing Esc during boot (you have to move fast, though).
Running one of the videos from our Youtube channel, in 1080P with Firefox keeps the CPU busy at ~40% (32% consumed by Firefox) and the temperature at around 60 degrees Celsius.
Let's stress the device a bit more, by running an 1080P video wirelessly from a NAS, from VLC this time - the CPU goes up to 76% (52 % used by VLC) and the temperature doesn't go up much, even after 30 minutes of running.
The maximum temperature spike I've seen with HWMonitor is 79 degrees, with around 55-60 being the reguar one during stress tests. Haven't noticed any thermal throttling, so the cooling works - the device was barily warm after 6 hours of intense use (benchmarking).
Gole1 Plus day to day use
Devices of this type are often advertised with a scenario in mind - start working on an Excel file at home, continue while you commute to work and have it ready for the 08:00 AM staff meeting (or something along this lines).
So I've tried it, installed LibreOffice, which works OK, and followed the scenario. The verdict : yes, you can do all that, but it might take a while to adjust to the size of the device while on the go, especially if you used a tablet before.
I won't go into the advantages of using a device like Gole1 Plus instead of a tablet or a dedicated Mini Pc again, but I often felt that you can do things much easier with Gole1 Plus when compared to the 5'' Gole1 device...but Gole1 is better suited for using while on the move.
Using it around the house and moving it around (from room to room, when needed) works just fine and might be a good selling point for the device.
To make things faster I've attached an HDMI monitor, a wired mouse and keyboard during the tests and the device can indeed be used as a normal desktop for browsing, internet videos and Office, just as the ad says. Quite comfortably, actually, although if you're a heavy Windows user and have a powerful PC you might forget sometimes that Gole1 Plus's CPU is not as powerful as the i5/i7 you might have on the home orwork PC.
You can also take it outside, if you really want to, but I found that the screen does not do well on direct sunlight (not that I expected otherwise). But it's usable, and you might have a mobile 3G/4G modem that works well on Windows and you could use the Gole1 Plus to connect to the internet.
After 10 days of use, almost daily I can honestly say that the device could become very neat to have around - I started to use it to watch videos online, to catch up with the latest news, but also as an alarm clock - it's currently sitting in Sleep during the night and at 06:30 I have it turn itself on, and a tab in Firefox is used for 181.fm - works perfectly!
During the day it sits on my desk and I used it to monitor some IP cameras or to keep track of the latest scores, it's a perfect match for any dashboard app/setup you might have.
There's another use case that I found myself using more and more: I am using my Zidoo X9S to broadcast in the local network the signal received via HDMI-In from a set-top-box and the Gole1 Plus as a mobile wireless receiver (using VLC), now I can keep up with whatever show I'm interested in without sitting in front of the TV.
Thanks to the VESA standard MIS-D 75x75 mm Mounting Interface you can easily mount this device on the wall, and I plan to do so in few months.
The battery lasts several hours, enough so you don't have to worry that it will shut down unexpectedly.
Gole1 Plus benchmarks
Everybody loves benchmarks, right?
Let's see how the Gole1 Plus Mini PC performed on the usual tests for Windows devices.
|PassMark 9.0||649.3 points|
|PCMark 8 Home Accelerated||1333 points|
|PCMark 8 Creative Conventional||907 points|
|PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated||1471 points|
|3DMark FireStrike||116 points|
|3DMark SkyDiver||792 points|
|CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1||146, 94|
|CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1 (Shizuku)||144, 94|
|Ice Storm||7274 points|
|Ice Storm Extreme||~6500 points|
|SpeedTest.net (wi-fi)||43 Mbps download, 27 Mbps upload|
In CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1 the results were slightly better than the ones I've got with Minix Z83-4 in a previous review, this could be due to the fact that a 64GB eMMC card gets better results than the 32GB counterpart.
Interesting enough, both PCMark and 3DMark failed to recognize the processor- don't know why or if that affected the results in any way.
Gole1 Plus audio/video playback
For video playback I used a NAS on the local network, having the Gole1 Plus connect to the network wirelessly for the most part.
For normal files (the kind you might actually use, not super-duper formats used just for tests, or in conjuction with hardware that costs way more than this device), Gole1 Plus performed just as expected.
Rendering 1080P files through wi-fi from a NAS in another room worked with both Kodi and VLC (my preferred player on Windows). 4K test files did not - at all.
Using a 32GB USB 3.0 stick the results were a bit better.
Don't expect hardware decoding for 10bit HEVC, only 8bit HEVC is supported by the Atom x5-Z8350 SoC.
Gole1 Plus review conclusions
Gole1 Plus might be a device you don't really need, but it's surely nice to have around the house - an extra monitor, easy to carry from room to room, and that sits well on the table with the provided poles.
Would I recommend it? If you can spare the $200, why not? There might be a place for it on your home and an use case you might not have thought of ...yet.
Many thanks again to Gole for providing a review sample.
You could get an Gole1 Plus device right now from GearBest: we have coupons coupon codes! $175.99 with GBGOLEPE for the 4GB/64 GB version and 194.99$ with GBGOLEP2E for the 4GB/128GB version.
Meet Gole1 Plus, the mini PC with an 8 inch touch screen and an 6000 mAh built-in battery
HiGOLE Gole1 Plus - unboxing and teardown