The Chuwi LarkBox is a desktop computer stuffed into a tiny box that measures just 2.4″ x 2.4″ x 1.7″. Chuwi will begin taking pre-orders through an Indiegogo campaign set to begin on June 23rd for $169 and up, but the company sent me a demo unit to try out ahead of launch and it arrived yesterday.

So after doing a quick unboxing, naturally I decided to set it up and use it as my work machine for the day. It’s exceeded my expectations so far.

I’ll have a more detailed review soon, but for now I can say that while the LarkBox certainly isn’t a speed demon. I’ve spent about 8 hours researching and writing blog posts, cropping and resizing images, chatting in Slack, and streaming music via Spotify. The LarkBox has been able to keep up, even if it starts to get a little sluggish when I ask it to open too many browser tabs at once.

While I suspect most people would be more likely to use a tiny PC like this as a media streamer, file server, or other niche applications, it’s nice to know that you can use it for work if that’s what you really want to do. It’s probably not the best choice for serious gaming or graphics work though.

The LarkBox is also reasonably quiet. The fan is audible if you get close enough, but in a room with a small amount of ambient noise, it’s not all that noticeable.

One issue I did run into is that the LarkBox only has a single USB-C port that’s used for charging, and the system doesn’t seem to be able to draw power from my USB-C hub. So I wasn’t able to use that hub and instead quickly filled up all the little PC’s ports with a keyboard, mouse monitor, and speakers.

Update 6/20/2020: Liliputing’s Chuwi LarkBox review is now available:

Chuwi LarkBox 2.4 inch mini PC review

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11 replies on “Lilbits 6-16-2020: First look at the Chuwi LarkBox mini PC”

  1. Can it do hdmi over its USB-C port? I am looking for a small PC/SBC/PC Stick that can do the trifecta of power, data and display over the USB-C port, so that it can be plugged in with a single cord. Does such a thing exist?

    1. When I connect the power adapter to my USB-C hub and then connect the hub you the LarkBox, it will not power on. So I haven’t been able to determine if it supports video out over USB-C, since I have to use the only USB-C port for power.

      1. Does the USB Type-C port support anything besides power input without going through a hub? I wonder if it’s a power only port or if you got a defective device.

        1. Again, there’s no way for me to check this because the only way I can turn on the computer is by plugging the power cable/USB cable into the USB-C port. Once I’ve done that, I cannot connect anything else. It’s possible that a different USB hub would work — but while my USB-C hub *does* support pass-through power and allows me to, for example, charge my laptop while also delivering video output to an HDMI monitor, I cannot get the Chuwi LarkBox to turn on at all when I’ve connected the hub to the USB-C port.

          1. Haha, oops. I even missed that part when reading the comments.

            I guess you only have 1 USB-C hub for testing. Otherwise, you would have said that. Have you contacted Chuwi if this is expected?

          2. Even if it is down to the compatibility of Brad’s specific hub, I would still call that a no-go in my books. If things have spotty compatibility between devices, I’d rather not count on it.

  2. What’s the max power output of the LarkBox’s power brick? Is it a USB Type-C PD device? Wondering if a smaller PD charger can be used.

      1. Brad, are you planning on trying Linux on it for your review? I’m curious to know if everything works on an average distro. Even testing a live distro would be helpful.

        I’m also curious if it actually has a VESA mount on it. Chuwi’s announcement suggested it could be mounted on a monitor, but they didn’t explicitly say if the mounting interface was separate hardware, or built in.

        1. Yep, it comes with a VESA mount, a set of screws, and has two screw holes on the bottom.

          I do plan to try a live distro, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I ran some benchmarks today, and plan to do a little more performance monitoring with Windows tomorrow before trying out Linux and then writing up something resembling a review.

          1. Thanks for the details, Brad. That mount hardware is interesting, in that it only uses half of the mount. I wonder if you could mount two of these devices on a single VESA mount. Looking forward to the review 🙂

            I hope you and your family are staying safe! Best regards.

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