The folks at AndroidPC.es have received a preliminary sample of CloudnetGo CR9 HDMI TV dongle powered by Rockchrip RK3188 quad core processor with 2GB RAM and 8GB flash, and posted an unboxing video and a review of the device. That’s the first review of a RK3188 mini PC I’ve ever seen. It’s in Spanish, so let’s provide a summary of their findings in English. Please note that it’s an early sample, so minor hardware changes may occur, and Android 4.1 will be upgraded to 4.2 once it ships later this month.
The package contains the device itself, a 5V/2Apower supply, an extra short HDMI cable, a micro USB to USB cable, a micro USB to USB adapter and a user manual.
Let’s connect the device to the TV HDMI connector, and plug in the power. The boot is reported to be faster than with RK3066 mini PCs, and you’ll get a standard Android Home Screen, but with a Status Bar customized for mini PCs with volume buttons, a power off button, and an icon to hide the Status Bar. All good! There’s also a button to take a screenshot, which I find pretty convenient when doing reviews…
A look at the settings menu shows the device is currently running Android 4.1.1 with kernel 3.0.36, and the model number if cluodnetgoCR9. As mentioned above, the device will be shipped with Android 4.2 once it’s available for retail. The device is not rooted, but they could root CR9 using RK3188 root method.
CloudnetGO CR9 features a Wi-Fi modules based on Mediatek MT5931. Diverse tests showed Wi-Fi to be pretty stable, and with a decent, but not exceptional, performance. They could get 1.2 MB/s transfer with tTorrent by using several sources.
They used the free app Bluetooth File Transfer to test Bluebooth, as well as connected several BT devices without issues.
They ran Antutu, Nenamark 2, Vellamo and Epic Citadel benchmarks on the device.
Antutu score is 15233, Nenamark 2 59.9 fps (the maximum achievable), Vellamo 1611 (HTML5) / 536 (Metal), and Epic Citadel renders at 43.2 FPS on high quality settings. All tests were done with 1280×672 resolution. All are better than Rockchip RK3066, but sometimes not by a large margin. See Minix Geo G4 for comparison.
Tests based on videos from samplemedia.linaro.org show a perfect score
- H.264 codec / MP4 container (Big Buck Bunny), 720p/1080p – Audio/Video OK
- MPEG2 codec / MPG container, 720p/1080p – Audio/Video OK
- MPEG4 codec, AVI container 720p/1080p – Audio/Video OK
- VC1 codec (WMV), 720p/1080p – Audio/Video OK
- Real Media (RMVB) 720p RV8/RV9/RV10 – Video OK (No audio in test files)
- WebM 480p/720p/1080p – Audio/Video OK.
The Android browser rendered pages very fast, flash content was supported (it remained to be seen if it will still be the case with Android 4.2). They installed several applications from the Play Store, and it worked just fine.
A 13GB mkv could play smoothly from a USB flash drive connected to the USB OTG port of CloudnetGo RC9 with no issue during 3 hours of playback. The same test was performed on a micro SD card, and no problems were encountered. There’s no mention of the video bitrate, not the micro SD card class.
Finally the play some games such as Angry Birds, and Dead Trigger with a PS3 controller clone, and all controls seemed to work.
- The beta firmware is stable, and the device operation is smooth and stable. They did not experience random reboots and crashes.
- The 2GB RAM improve the performance noticeably when opening many apps.
- You can feel the performance of the device, as everything is very fluid.
- This is not the final firmware, so we’ll have to wait until the end of the month.
- The beta firmware had some issues (not mentioned in the review…), and the GPU performance may be improved further.
- 3DMark benchmark could not run.
Overall, they has a very positive opinion of the device, even though there may be a bit more work to do.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.