Chinese PC maker Chuwi has a history of offering small, affordable computers including laptops, tablets, and compact desktop PCs. Some keep the price low by tapping entry-level processors like Intel’s Atom-based Celeron and Pentium Silver chips. Others tap processors that are a few generations old instead.
The Chuwi LarkBox X takes the latter approach. It’s a 5″ x 5″ x 1.9″ desktop computer with an AMD Ryzen 7 3000 series processor. The LarkBox X is available from Amazon for $399.
For that price you get a small desktop computer with 8GB of DDR4-2400 memory and a 256GB M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe SSD, both of which are user upgradeable. When Chuwi first launched the Larkbox X in February, the company shipped it with an AMD Ryzen 7 3700U 15-watt processor, but at the end of April, 2022 the company updated the processor to a 35-watt Ryzen 7 3750H chip.
Both are 4-core, 8-thread processors with AMD Zen+ CPU cores and Radeon Vega 10 graphics. But the H-series chip should offer better sustained performance under heavy load.
One thing to keep in mind though, is that while Chuwi sent me a press release indicating that the LarkBox X now ships with a Ryzen 7 3750H processor, the Amazon product page still shows a Ryzen 7 3700U processor, so either the page needs updating, or Chuwi may still have some old models to clear out… so it’s a little unclear which model you’d get if you placed an order today.
Chuwi has also updated the mini PC’s wireless card from an Intel AC7265 card to an AMD RZ608 module, which means that new models should support WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 (an improvement from WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2.
The LarkBox X has a selection of ports that includes include:
- 4 x USB 3.0 Type-A
- 1 x USB Type-C (w/[email protected] video output)
- 2 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 1 x HDMI 2.0 ([email protected])
- 1 x DisplayPort ([email protected])
- 1 x 3.5mm audio
- 1 x DC power input
Chuwi says the system can support up to three displays at once and the system also comes with a wireless card that supports WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2.
While the Ryzen 7 3750H processor is a few years old at this point, having been released in early 2019, it’s faster than a cheaper Intel Atom-based chip like the current-gen Intel Pentium Silver N6005 and offers better multi-core performance than an Intel Core i3-1115G4 Tiger Lake processor (although Intel’s Core i3 chip comes out on top in single-core tests. So there are probably worse options for folks looking for a small, cheap laptop that can function as a 4K media streamer or home media server, among other things.
Chuwi’s marketing materials brand the LarkBox X as a gaming PC, which seems a little ambitious though. With a laptop-class 14nm processor featuring Zen+ CPU cores Radeon Vega 10 integrated graphics, and no option for a discrete GPU, the computer is probably only suited for game streaming or for playing older or less graphically-intense PC games.
This article was first published February 6, 2022 and most recently updated April 26, 2022.