With the CHUWI HeroBox Pro mini-PC; Chuwi has got most things right. It is a superb example of how to put together an affordable desktop PC that punches well above its weight. We don’t know how they did it but it represents incredible value for money.
- Nice design and sturdily built
- Excellent performance for the price
- USB Type-C
- More memory than expected
- Low-powered processor
- Single channel configuration
Since most of us are getting used to working from home, budget systems like the CHUWI HeroBox Pro satisfy the demand for capable but affordable PCs. The HeroBox Pro is a souped-up version of last year’s model with some exciting features, including a snappy 256GB SSD and 8GB memory, both defacto features for any worthy workstation PC.
The CHUWI HeroBox Pro also features the “Jasper Lake” processor, one of the four platforms launched by Intel in 2021. They are processors designed for the low-end computer niche, while Intel’s Pentium Silver and Celeron N series are intended for the entry-level laptop market or mini-PCs.
Chuwi HeroBox Pro Specs
- Here are the full specs of the Chuwi HeroBox Pro:
- CPU: Intel Jasper LakeN4500
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM
- Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe
- Weight: 3.1 pounds
- Size: 7.36 x 5.43 x 1.46 inches
Design: Small and very efficient
The Chuwi HeroBox Pro is designed to look good, non-obtrusive, but efficient out of the box. Since it includes low-power hardware and components, this mini-PC can run Windows 10 operating system while keeping overall power consumption below 10 watts.
Measuring 7.36 x 5.43 x 1.46 inches and weighing only 3.1 pounds, this gadget can be used as a standalone next to your screen or can be propped on the VESA mounts of a monitor. The entire chassis is set in carbon black color, and since most displays have the same color on the rear, it will blend in very well.
Even with the compact design, Chuwi cleverly managed to squeeze an active cooling system here, and that’s more reason this mini-PC can run full Windows programs without slowing down. It can run basic productivity tasks or be used as a home entertainment system in the living room.
As mentioned above, it can be placed horizontally or vertically, and since it’s VESA compliant, you might easily use it for business as a digital signage computer.
Port selection is excellent. We are used to scanty connectivity options for a miniature PC, but here you have almost all the ports you’d require for daily productivity – of course, Thunderbolt 4 isn’t available. It comes with two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a Type-C port, a microSD slot, and HDMI and VGA ports.
Performance: A new chip and decent memory
Chuwi mounts a new Intel Jasper LakeN4500 chip on the HeroBox Pro, then pairs it with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for storage. This is the essential platform for this category, but we’re glad that the memory has been doubled from the usual 4GB to 8GB, and the choice of SSD storage will make things faster than traditional spinning hard drives. There’s also space for a SATA hard drive in the chassis, meaning you can upgrade both the storage and memory, should the need arise.
Bearing in mind this is a sub-$200 computer, the performance benchmarks should not be compared to the level of power you’d find in the likes of the Apple Mac Mini or the Intel Core i5-powered CHUWI CoreBox. Instead, we’re looking at a mini-PC suited for essential productivity and media streaming in the living room.
If that describes your PC needs, then the HeroBox Pro is a great choice, and an even better alternative over Chromeboxes, like the Acer Chromebox CXI3, that are tied to Google’s Chrome OS. Gaming is also out of question here, as the UHD graphics card can’t sustain any meaningful frame rates, but you can still get away with basic browser games on the side.
Should you buy the CHUWI HeroBox Pro?
It’s hard to find any significant fault on the Chuwi HeroBox Pro. If you can live with the usual shortcomings of a budget PC, then it is a pretty straightforward decision. This tiny desktop has all the hallmarks of a traditional workstation but without the bulk of the hefty price tag.
Still, bearing in mind its sub-$200 status, we’re surprised to find a new Intel chip paired with a generous portion of RAM, SSD storage, and a Type-C port. Also, the CHUWI HeroBox Pro has some space for upgrading the internal components in the future, but it still gets the job done out of the box.