First Look

CuBox-i4Pro: A whole lotta Linux or Android for not a whole lotta cash

If you thought SolidRun's Hummingboard was cool, check out their new product!

cubox tv 900px 021
Credit: SolidRun

I recently reviewed the Hummingboard, an excellent, low-priced single board computer that competes in the same market as the the Raspberry Pi. Recently the manufacturer of the Hummingboard, SolidRun, sent me one of their new products to check out: The CuBox-i4Pro.

Unlike the Hummingboard the CuBox-i4Pro isn’t a bare board, it’s enclosed in a very neat black case that makes it a sleek 2.17” (w) by 2.17” (d) by1.65” (h) cube:

cubox i001 SolidRun

CuBox front

The front face sports a flush infrared remote control port (providing both receive and transmit ability) while the adjacent face (going counterclockwise) has a optical audio out (1). The rear face provides the (2) power connector, (3) 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet port (note that the 1000Mbps interface speed is limited to 470Mbps because of system constraints), (4) 1080p HDMI 1.4 port with CEC and 3D support, (5) micro SD card slot, (6) the upper powered USB port, (7) the lower powered USB port, (8) eSATA II port, and (9) micro USB to RS232 port.

cubox i ports SolidRun

CuBox back

The CuBox-i4Pro is built around a Freescale i.MX6 Quad core System on a Chip (SoC) with 2GB of 64 bit, 1066Mbps RAM, a Vivante GC2000 graphics processor, real time clock with backup battery, and Bluetooth and WiFi 11n support. The system comes with Android pre-loaded on a 4GB micro SD card and can also run Debian Linux.

cubox i block diagram SolidRun

CuBox block diagram

You can use the CuBox-i4Pro as an Android machine, a general purpose Linux host with or without external storage, or run the open source media player XBMC. As a platform for OEM projects the CuBox-i4Pro is a clean, elegant, and cost-effective solution.

All of this is priced … brace yourselves … at an incredibly reasonable end-user price of $139.99 … what a bargain!

I ran the CuBox-i4Pro with both Android and Debian and it is fast, responsive, and remarkably easy to use. If you’re looking for a system to drive your next project or drive your home entertainment system the CuBox-i4Pro should be on your evaluation list. The CuBox-i4Pro gets Gearhead rating of 5 out of 5. 

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