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Chumu Larkbox PC mini review - worlds tiniest Windows 10 PC

Aggrajag

Active Member
I bought one of these from the Indiegogo campaign and it arrived yesterday. It's 6x6x4cm in size roughly. It's got 6GB RAM and a 120GB M3 SSD.

Indiegogo Link

I bought it with the intention of creating a HTPC to replace my Raspberry Pi 4. I love the Pi 4 but the biggest issue is it doesn't support Dolby Atmos, it simply cannot pass it through, it's a documented fact.

The Larkbox supports 4k at 60fps and passes through Dolby Atmos perfectly. I've installed VideoLan VLC and also KODI and have both working with all 8 of my speakers tested independently and correctly (5.1.2) via HDMI. It doesn't appear to pass through DolbyVision (which the Pi 4 can) but that isn't something I've yet looked into properly. (I can live without this because I've got a Philips TV which doesn't work with DolbyVision over HDMI correctly anyway!)

I'm not going to get into the debate about Win10 over LibreElec as they're different beasts and outside the scope of this mini review.

The speed of the PC is quite surprising, it has built in 5G WiFI and Bluetooth, so with a remote keyboard and mouse you're quickly up and running, surfing the internet or whatever you desire. There's 2xUSB3 connections so I plugged in an external unpowered hard drive and that also works perfectly and is fast enough to stream a downloaded 4k movie.

Regarding playing 4k movies I've not encountered a blip, it runs perfectly. I'm exceedingly happy with the device EXCEPT the fan - every 30 seconds or so it goes from silent to a high-pitched whine to cool down and this really is, for me, a deal breaker; until I find a way of stopping this then I can't use it in the living room. It's at a pitch that grates me and whenever the scene is quiet or half-quiet then you can hear it. Not so bad for an all-action movie but not great for anything else.

Summary: fabulous device but need to solve the noise to be usable.
 

Aggrajag

Active Member
I ought to add I paid £126 delivered, which included for some reason an entirely unrelated high-speed 4-way USB charger. This price included an early-bird discount.
 

mikej

Well-known Member
It's amazing what they can fit in such a small package.

Reminded me of this ! :D
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
Interesting to see how well it holds up to heat dissipation streaming a 4k HDR movie for over 2 hours. That processor will be running close to its max - it is a 3 year old graphics chipset. I think you are lucky that fan isn’t wailing like a banshee continually. With a fan that small, to move any air, it’s going to have to run at high speed, which will make it whine, even a Noctua. Agreed it’s only 10w thermal dissipation but in a box that small it’s still plenty.
Still it looks like a cool little unit and I can think of plenty of uses as a HA Server.
 

Aggrajag

Active Member
I'm really surprised how it performs, watching 4k movies gets it nowhere near capacity, perhaps 35-40%. I've stressed tested it with HeavyLoad app and with all 4 cores at 100% it still only gets to about 85 degrees, 90 occasionally. The top rated temperature is 105 degrees. And this is with a cardboard box over the top which cuts out the sound completely! Not ideal I know but I'm looking at my options.
 

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