Chuwi LarkBox Pro mini PC Intel J4125 review – how to upgrade?

Chuwi LarkBox Pro mini PC Intel J4125 review
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Can you play games, watch Netflix or 4K content with Chuwi LarkBox Pro mini PC Intel J4125?  Equipped with Intel J4125 processor which has quad cores, 4 threads, 4M Cache, 14nm lithography technology. Burst Frequency 2.7GHz, combined with 700MHz Intel UHD Graphics 600, browse webs is none issue for itself, everythings load up really quick at all. 4K videos play back from Youtube and Netflix are always smooth and work well. It will definitely ideal for office, home-learning, entertainment and other affairs. Get more in Chuwi LarkBox Pro mini PC Intel J4125 review.

Pros & cons – Chuwi LarkBox Pro mini PC Intel J4125

Pros

  • Full PC with Windows. The CPU is quad core and plenty fast
  • Small and light
  • Type-C power connector
  • 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Has a microSD card for additional storage.
  • WiFi supports 5Ghz, and it can handle Stadia streaming without any issues.

Cons

  • The 2242 m.2 key is not very common, and SSDs in that format are slightly more expensive
  • The fan can ramp up and be pretty loud.

Specs – Chuwi LarkBox Pro mini PC Intel J4125

  • Size: 61 x 61 x 43mm (LxWxH)
  • Processor: Quad Core Celeron J4125 Processor
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • Processor Speed: 2.7 GHz
  • CPU: Intel Celeron J4115
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • RAM: 6GB LPDDR4
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Ports: 2x USB3.0, 1x USB-C, 1x HDMI, audio jack, MicroSD card reader
  • Connectivity: Intel Wireless-AC 9461, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Weight: 127g
  • Processor Brand: Intel
  • Package Dimensions: 0.81 x 0.69 x 0.27 inches
  • Operating System: Windows 10

Chuwi LarkBox Pro mini PC Intel J4125 review

Design

The LarkBox is incredibly small; with a diminutive size of 61x61x43mm (that’s 160cc), it reminded us of a flattened Rubik Cube and is made almost entirely of plastic. At about 2.4 inches square, the computer has a smaller profile than the Raspberry Pi 4, which is a 3.4 x 2.2 inch computer before you add a case.

VESA mount

Chuwi also includes a VESA mount kit in the box, so you can attach the LarkBox to the back of a monitor or TV with a couple of screws. But since the computer is so tiny, it only needs a half-sized VESA mount that comes with two screws instead of four.

Ports & Connectivity

Coming to ports this mini pc has 2 USB ports, a Type C Port for power, a headphone port, a slot, and an HDMI connector that also supports the 4 K resolution. Speaking of connectivity it can easily be connected over the Intel Wireless AC 9461, 802.11 AC, and also BlueTooth 5.0. This means that connectivity is no problem at any time. 

  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x USB Type-C port (power)
  • 2x USB 3.0 Type-A ports
  • 1x 3.5 mm headphone jack 1x Micro SD card reader

Processor

The LarkBox uses an Intel Celeron J4115, a quad-core processor that’s apparently part of the Gemini Lake refresh and clocked at 1.8GHz (2.4GHz in boost mode). Intel’s Ark doesn’t list this model and we first came across it earlier this year in another mini PC. This CPU comes with 4MB of cache and most importantly, has a TDP of only 10W. 

Storage

That chip is paired with 6GB of LPDDR4 in dual channel mode and 128GB eMMC 5.1 memory (S0j59X); not our preferred option but it helps keep the price of the LarkBox low. Video is handled by the UHD Graphics 600 onboard.

Upgrade

We opened it up and found that the components were arranged in three layers; there’s even a spare M2.2242 slot which allows you to add a SSD although you will be hard pressed to see anything above 256GB that fits this.

Chuwi LarkBox Pro mini PC Intel J4125 Performance review

The Celeron J4115 is the fastest Celeron we tested to date and excels in multi-core benchmarks. It does represent a healthy improvement on the usual N4100 models that we have encountered all too often (about 30%) which is surprising given that they are built using the same 14nm manufacturing process, have the same number of cores, the same amount of cache and number of threads.

  • Passmark: 1151
  • Passmark CPU: 2640
  • CPU-Z: 193 (single-thread); 708.5 (multi-thread)
  • Cinebench CPU: 585
  • CrystalDiskMark: 333 MBps (read); 109 MBps (write)
  • Novabench: 769
  • Atto: 325 MBps (read, 256mb); 108 MBps (write, 256mb)
  • Sisoft Sandra (KPT): 0.49
  • Windows Experience Index: 4.5

According to CrystalDiskMark, the LarkBox’s eMMC storage supports top sequential read speeds of 211MB/s and write speeds of 57.1MB/s, which makes it far slower than just about any other computer I’ve tested recently. The computer’s PassMark Disk Mark score tells a similar story, putting the LarkBox in the same league as the Chuwi MiniBook and GPD MicroPC, which have eMMC and SATA SSD storage, respectively.

While the compute performance of the Chuwi LarkBox was in line with expectations, we were disappointed by the storage subsystem; eMMC is simply not good enough nowadays. Fortunately, you should be able to add a second SSD and clone your existing system there. The device comes with a VESA plate that allows it to be mounted at the back of a monitor.

We found the LarkBox to be slightly loud because of the heatsink fan; in theory, the LarkBox could go fanless but that would mean carefully placing the processor in a way that helps with optimal dissipation of heat.

 if you are looking for a tiny HTPC, or a basic computer to check email and watch Youtube, the Larkbox is perfect. Add in a wireless keyboard/mouse combo, stash the Larkbox behind the TV, and you have a perfect HTPC. For this price you are getting a quad core CPU, 6 GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, with full Windows and Wifi/Bluetooth. This thing is tiny and you can take it wherever you want – perfect for travel.

Quick background, main purpose was to find a solution for watching Xfinity (Comcast) TV on a normal TV outside the home. ROKU is the only streaming device that has the Xfinity app, which only works inside the home network. The idea was to have a very affordable and small device that I can take on the road and also have one to set-up a family member TV stream using a free WiFi hotspot.

Small and quiet. Fan is audible when you stress it. I bought it to use as a remote surface for an ATEM switcher. I also installed OBS to see how it would handle it. Probably not the best for use on 1080 streams but may be able to do 720. Ramps the CPU usage to almost 100%.

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