Cube i9 Review – A Surface Pro 4 M3 Alternative For Less
So this is the successor to the quite popular cube i7 stylus, which was powered by the last generation core m 5y10. So what's changed in the new model. Well, they've gone with skylake processor now, which is the 6y 30 it's the coin 3, the same exact chipset, that is in the Microsoft Surface, pro 4 m3. It has 4 gigabytes of RAM and, as you can see, the design has changed quite a bit as we now have the inclusion of a kickstand and a type cover which is again similar to the Microsoft Surface series if you've ever used them. This is a very similar arrangement here, so this review is going to be broken down into various segments. If you don't want to watch the whole lot, I know it's a long review. Then you can click your head and go and skip to the parts interest you. The most also, what a two state does to be obvious. The obvious here is that this review is on the stock version. If you see my other reviews, I actually applied. A small upper heating ended a bit of a thermal mod and a power mod to tablets. This will not be covered in this video. This is the unit as you would buy it from China, okay. So to start off, we see on the side here we have a speaker USB 3 port and a micro SD card slot. Now this micro SD card slot has been giving me a few issues.
It would not read my 64 gigabyte cards. Any larger cards just would not even show up. I actually applied a BIOS update. If you see now the videos I ran into some problems, so I went into the BIOS menu and ended up breaking this tablet. As a result, the new buyers that I flashed fix the problem with a micro SD card slot, so I assume but I'm, not a 100 sure. The model shipping shouldn't have any problems with the SD card slot, but there's one user on the forum that does have problems, and here we have a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and this is a USB type c port, which is a first for a Chinese tablet to Have a proper USB type c 3.1 in there now opening it up. We did have a look when I say we me and other people on the forum checked out the actual chipset that was used, and it is in fact a proper. Usb 3.1 supports proper USB 3, so we can have display out on here and I've, been able to run my 1440p monitor at 16 Hertz and you should be able to run up to 4k 60 Hertz via this port here and at the top. There is a 3.5 minute headphone jack, sorry, this is the DC charging port and on the top we have a power on button volume up and down, and this little tiny dot. That is actually our little button for the reset and we have an auto focusing 5 megapixel camera along the top here.
This is plastic, that is, for the reception of the built in Wireless. The Wireless by the way is just Wireless in single band. Unfortunately, no wireless AC, yet so the back of it is made out of a magnesium, alloy and there's. Quite a good finish to it. It has the trademark cube, you could say marine dark, blue purplish blue paint job to it from experience. I know that this is actually quite easy to scratch. You do have to be careful with now on the right side of the tablet we have another speaker and on the front there's a 2 megapixel front facing camera and our Windows Home button there. So, to focus now on the keyboard, it's very similar to the Microsoft keyboards, and this one reminds me a lot of the surface type: kappa 3, so that's the last generation model that Microsoft used. So here is the type cover 4, which has a larger trackpad and very similar in weight and size as well to the Microsoft ones. So you have two positions of the keyboard itself. You can either use it flat or you can prop it up a little bit. A game like the surface Ceres the trackpad on it actually works quite well. I haven't had any problems with it. It does have a hardware left and right mouse buttons. We can disable the trackpad. It has everything you want on there. Print screen home, delete, insert keys and we can even use the function keys to control the screen brightness, which not all keyboards have.
I know it sounds something basic, but not all of them have that and overall I do find it really good to type on I've. Only actually been using it for a few hours but it's fine, because we have a larger, wider 12 inches on the screen on the tablet right here, then we've got more space to type on and it's good, so the back end of the material that they have Used is actually a felt like material, so it has a nice touch to it, and this is made out of like a fake leather. You could say, but not live. It'S it's a strange material to describe. I rubberized but it's, not plastic kind of like a suede synthetic fabric, really that is on the top there, but it actually even smells like the surface pro for cover that I have when I got it from you, I think they haven't used literally the same exact Materials so premium materials they have used in the keyboard and the keyboard is in fact premium quite a good one. It'S only lacking backlit keys and that's really about it. So the display of the tablet I'll run through some sample images here, it's, not a bad display. So we've now got a and 1920 by 1200 screen and if you look around currently on 100, brightness do have a lot of lighting on now 100 brightness is only 252 nits of brightness, so it's a little lower than what I'd ideally like at least 300.
But I find using it indoors, it's, okay outdoors game over you're, going to struggle. You can't hardly make out the screen at all. Now do it have a screen protector on at the moment, because it doesn't have Gorilla Glass. 3. We don't get that premium glass protection that you get on premium tablets, because this is a cheaper Chinese tablet. So the colors look good. The viewing angles are good, no complaints around. If you look close enough, you will see pixels and scaling is actually set by default. At a hundred and twenty five percent, but because of the size of the panel, I think you can even get away with just using 100 scaling so old applications like Adobe Photoshop, you shouldn't have any problems when there is scaling there, like you, do with the high Resolution displays and overall I'm very pleased with the display. I would like to see perhaps the display from the Chui hecho 12 in this kind of package, but I think at the moment 16 by 10 ratio is my second favorite to 3 by 2 ratio and I'm. Just using the internal mic on my camera here, just to give you an idea of how the speakers sound compared to the surface pro 4 here I know this is not a fair test. This is like comparing a Volkswagen Polo against a Ferrari f50 but it's nice to hear how they sound compared to a premium device right, that's, hunter percent volume and now the surface profile here and once again, the cube i9 all right.
So you can see there that, of course, the surface absolutely kills the cube I 9, but the cube by 9 speakers for a Chinese tablet and this price range they're actually not too bad. They have a better bottom to them. They do have a tiny hint of bass there. I don't know if you can pick that up in the mic, but it's. Definitely there now apologies for the soundtrack. If that's, not your kind of music, I can't play any mainstream music because YouTube copyright, where absolutely just slam me and kill this video. So what about the performance of the cube I 9? Well, I find that it actually, despite being slightly slower in synthetic benchmarks than the corium 3 surface, pro 4 it's actually very quickly machine very fast, getting around within Windows. Now this is edge, of course, but I do have chrome as well. You can open up a huge amount of tabs and do a lot of multitasking. There was relative ease. The only limit being, of course, is the RAM you have because we're going to got 4 gigabytes of RAM in this model. But personally I find that is still just enough, at least for a tablet tablet in needs. But if you're going to be running things like Photoshop, AutoCAD or other demanding programs that require more RAM, perhaps even video editing and things there's, probably when you run into a few limits here of what the tablet can actually do at the moment with, I think I've Got about 7 tabs open here in edge I've got 65 percent memory used up, chrome is open and I do have a few other things running in the background, but in generally just moving around this tablet.
It'S very quick internet works really well and I'm, finding it to be very fast, and it just makes things so much easier. When I move from the typical atom x50 8300 that I'm normally reviewing those atom tablets jumping to the faster khorium 3. You definitely notice the difference. Just everything just opens up super quick super snappy and is absolutely no problems with the speed of it whatsoever. So the tablet is running Windows, home windows, 10, home it's, fully activated. There are no problems with activation. There is no cracks or anything applied to that that I can see I've I have done a malware scan on the original install everything was a fine there in terms of the hard drive, so we have a 4c brand drive. I will show you the speeds of that in a just a second and so point out that the network adapter is the all too common way to comment. I should say our real tech, which is single band 2.4 gigahertz. Of course, Wireless ends up to 150 Nick that's fit second now, moving over to the benchmarks that I have run on this tablet, I'll show you first, the internal storage, so it's the internal storage speed we get, though nothing wonderful there you can see, especially those write Speeds they're a little slow, 4k right isn't that bad, but it is definitely better than the likes of EMC drives. We find in atom tablets. You'Ve got a proper SSD, so full read speeds at least there.
Now this is the micro SD card slot testing it out with my 64 gigabytes, Samsung Evo, now long story short. I brick to the tablet I had to flash another BIOS, which I think was a new bias that has actually seemed to have fix the problem with reading the cards, but even so those speeds are a little slow and should actually a little bit faster for this Particular card it's, a 64 gigabyte and Evo, and they normally get a bit higher than that. It should be getting reads of about double that so I'm still think there are definitely some problems going on there with a micro SD card slot. These here are some of the benchmarks that I do like to run on tablets. I know there's a whole range of other benchmarks. I could run like Cinebench various others, but for now these are these are the ones I will show you. This is the Geekbench 3 score which comes in quite well. You can see that's, definitely performing a lot better than the likes of last generations. Corium five way 10, but it is a little slower than the Microsoft Surface, pro 4 m3, and I will get to that later on as to why now all of these schools I'm showing you here, if you have seen the channel, you will have seen that I Applied a small thermal mod and a power limit adjustment to the tablet. These scores here, you're, seeing and not affected by that this was done before my mod and I only review the tablets as they come out of the factory so unmodified.
These are completely as you would get stock scores here, and here is the the wireless. This is on the same floor as my wireless router, very good speeds, considering my desktop gets 50 megabits per second download and about 25 upload. For some reason, the upload comes out faster, and here is the ice storm extreme score. Now this one is really actually quite low. Now I didn't know what happened there. I think it was getting a little too warm when it came to thermals there later retest. Well, you'll see that it actually does increase quite somewhat. This is Cloud Gate a little slower again, then, what we've seen on the Microsoft Surface pro 4 with the same chipset, it has better thermals. Microsoft have a different power level as well, so that's. Why it's called a little higher – and here is the sky diver score and PC mark now one side cool down a little you'll, see that this is the scores that you will get normally from ice storm. Now this to put this into context, would be Microsoft. Okay, that gets about forty thousand, which is about five thousand points high, and now there was a reason to that. What I discovered that, when I did the thermal mod, that the power limits also have been tweaked down a little. So this is why this doesn't perform as expected compared to other quorum, three tablets. So what cube have done? They'Ve limited it to 7 watts using the my intel xt you.
I had a look on that and I think Microsoft use about nine, so there's a difference. There of two watts, so this machine is being restricted here by two watts now for thermals. The stock on modified version of the tablet that you would get just out of the factory of course runs up to 88 degrees, but doesn't seem to exceed that, and it does get quite warm and the upper left and corner so just around here. There actually is a thermal pad that is transferring some of the heat away from the aluminium heat sink onto the backing. Alloy casing and it gets warm. So does the screen, whatever could look here, so it gets up to around 38 degrees, so warm to the touch. But it's not actually going to get to the point. I think at least that it's going to feel uncomfortable if you're holding it, which you probably wouldn't, actually be holding it with the kickstand. Now I know I still have the plastics on here, which is going to act as a little bit of a insulator there they'll just give you a rough idea, so you can see it's getting up to ' around 40 maximum. That you see. No, I tell a lie: I've seen actually about 41 degrees, so it does start to get a little toasty there, but the cube i7 stylus. The predecessor of this model also does get very warm around then again, due to that thermal pad that's they're, transferring heat away from the chipset and dispersing it on the rear, metal, housing yeah.
So what about battery life? Okay, so at the moment I've had the tablet on 100 brightness and I've been running benchmarks and whatnot it's been running for two hours and I'm now at fifty six percent, so 100 brightness yearning at about four hours now ignore the full runtime here. What battery bar Pro is doing here is it's, detecting only one of the battery cells, because this actually has 10000 milliamp hour battery total and it's only detecting, just five thousand so half of that total. So you need to double those estimates that it shows you in the taskbar, if you're using it. Of course, Windows estimate is actually accurate. It'S telling me I've got now three hours and 32 minutes remaining okay. I wouldn't call that completely accurate, but if you're going to be using web browsing Chrome, which is what I've been doing it's safe to say, you can get five and a half hours five hours at 50, rightness lower brightness to 25 and you could possibly add a Stretch get around six hours now my surface pro core m3. When I had that model, I now have the i5. I used to get around six hours of use, six and a half seven at max with a lower brightness setting. So all in all, when you look at it that way to the more premium twice as expensive model, it's, okay, but still for me five hours, six hours is too low. But you have to also remember that this has a lot more power than an atom tablet.
So you do need to take that into account there. I think this is a really good tablet, but it's not perfect, like all butts, yes, it's, half the cost of the same configuration from Microsoft. That is brilliant. What you're getting for the price, but bear in mind that this is coming from China? It doesn't have Microsoft support and you also have to consider the fact that it doesn't have the premium screen. It'S not a fully laminated screen or the laminated big gap in it is quite minimal, no way near the quality that you expect, but you are getting for the price. I think a very decent tablet, I'm really enjoying this tablet. I do like the type cover I think, it's, really good, it's, a very practical machine, USB type c on. There is also another bonus there and if you're someone like me not afraid to open up a tablet, apply a few mods, then you can make this perform. Just like the surface pro 4 and you can even make it perform better in terms of GPU performance with a few tweaks that you'll see in some other information that I have in a link in the description there all right. So that is the review there. Now, if you want to see more on this, there will be a full written review up on tech tablets comm that will go into a lot more detail. This is a just a summary of everything in a small video just to get this out for everyone that I know that wants a little bit more information now.
Is it better than the i7 stylus is another question that I've had yes and no? I think if you want a larger tablet, with a more of a surface pro 3 for style about it, then yes, let me pick stand, but when it comes to stylus support, no value for money. The cube i7 stylist now is offering incredible value for money, because that tablets now around 285 us this was selling for around 400 on sale, now it's about 500 us. So when you, when you think of it that way, the i7 stylus is offering phenomenal value for money, but it's a smaller ten point. Six inch tablet that has a fixed keyboard dock that's, not this kind of style, so not for everyone. So there's lots to think about there, but all in all, I am definitely liking this model.