Pipo’s been selling a line of weird mini-desktop computers featuring built-in touchscreen displays. They’re kind of like thick tablets with lousy battery life and full-sized ports. But there are a few good reasons for the design: they qualify for the free Windows licenses Microsoft offers for small touchscreen devices (which are usually tablets), and you can use them with or without an external display.

This year Pipo is showing off two new models at the Hong Kong Global Sources Fair, and Notebook Italia has details about a new Pipo X10 featuring support for an optional digital pen, and a Pipo X11 which is a slight upgrade to an older model called the X9.

Both systems feature Intel Atom x5-Z8350 Cherry Trail processors and support 2GB to 4GB of RAM and 32GB to 64GB of eMMC storage, and both can run Windows 10 and/or Google Android 5.1 software.

But the Pipo X11 features an 8.9 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display and a rectangular, while the new X10 sports a 10.8 inch 1920 x 1200 pixel screen and a more triangle-like design the back of the PC is higher than the front, giving the screen a slight angle.

The reason I keep calling this the new Pipo X10 is because it’s an upgraded version of an older device with the same name. What’s new? The active digitizer which allows you to purchase an optional pen (sold separately) for writing or drawing on the display.

You can use your fingers to interact with the touchscreen whether or not you opt for the pen. It supports 5-point multitouch input.

The Pipo X10 and Pipo X11 both have a single USB 3.0 port, four USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, Ethernet, and audio jacks and supports 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth.

These are unusual little gadgets that aren’t necessarily going to appeal to everyone… especially given their aging Intel Atom processors (a spec bump to new Apollo Lake chips would have been nice). But they aren’t expect to cost much more than a screenless mini-PC, with prices likely to run between $199 and $249. So if you’re in the market for a cheap, low-power, compact PC, I guess it’s nice to have the option of grabbing one with a built-in display.

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13 replies on “Pipo launches X11 touchscreen mini PC and X10 with pen support”

  1. I’m surprised people keep comparing these with tablets. Of course it’s not a better tablet. It’s better specifically when you want a device to be tied down. For example, what if you wanted a tablet form factor, but wanted it to stay on 24/7? And wanted it to be hooked up to wired Ethernet? You could add a whole bunch of accessories to a tablet to enable that (and that’s assuming you could even find a tablet with enough USB ports, find the USB to ethernet driver, etc.), but it would add cost and complexity and look very messy.

    So my particular use is as a touchscreen controller for custom device control. Somewhat like a DIY Crestron. Other use cases I could imagine would be an information kiosk, a self-service ordering station, a tablet-based cash register, etc. Why keep comparing to an iPad?

  2. What use cases would make this better than getting a notebook or tablet with similar configurations? Also, what’s the expected battery life?

  3. wow I might actually buy one of these would be nice to have to use as a top for a cash register or for just basic sketching

  4. Those Cherry Trail chips persist like a zombie horde. They just won’t seem to die and go away.
    I imagine those free Windows licenses for some devices will be just the target of Microsoft’s upcoming version of Win10 which only allows app store software installations. You know – for customer convenience or some such BS.

    1. I don’t think MS will switch a full windows license to a cloud license unless they want a major class action lawsuit. Remember, most people upgraded from windows 7 and 8 with the free license, a big chunk of these are windows pro licenses.

    2. Those cherry trail chips persist because they are the last version which supports Android,Windows dual boot which is a selling point in developing countries were Android is preferred. Intel terminated it’s Android division so there are no more recent Android OS versions coming from Intel only Google or other third parties.

      Win10 cloud is not BS it is intended for education market were control by admins and IT support is the number 1 priority, the freedom to install anything is a liability which is why Windows was dying in edu market and Google Chromebooks were kicking their ass.

        1. Tablets also may have full sized usb ports. Look at the Surface Pro 4 or even the Chuwi Hi12.

          1. Does the Surface Pro 4 have 4 USB ports plus HDMI, VGA and LAN connections? Does the SP4 cost only $200-$250?

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