- Nov 25, 2012
It has already been a few months since the first Remix OS tablet – the Jide Remix Ultra was released. But there aren’t any decent written or video reviews to show people what the Remix OS is all about. Also, the tablet is priced a little too high for an Android slate from a brand that no one has heard of before, it fails to establish the fan base for their system and software.
The Cube i7 Remix which we’re reviewing here is the second tablet to run this new heavily customized version of Android OS, with a more refined design, a better-known brand and a much lower price, it is set out to be the real tablet to introduce the Remix OS to the public.
Cube i7 Remix Specs
• OS: Remix OS (on top of Android 4.4.4)
• Display: 11.6-inch IPS, 10-point multi-touch, IGZO
• Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
• CPU: Intel Atom Baytrail-T Z3735F Quad-core Processor
• CPU Frequency: 1.33GHz – 1.8GHZ
• GPU: Intel HD Graphic Gen7
• RAM / Storage: 2GB / 32GB
• Function: WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, OTG
• WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n
• Camera: 5MP back camera, 2MP front camera
• Battery: 8,400mAh
• Extend Port: TF Card Slot, 2*Micro USB Port, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, Micro HDMI port
• Weight & Size: 720g / 297*180*8.5mm
Cube clearly spent a lot of time and effort on the packaging to make the i7 Remix feel like a premium tablet. The white box that contains the i7 Remix looked sharp and precisely constructed.
Inside, I found a tablet, a keyboard base, and a black box which contains a charger, a DC/data cable, an OTG adapter, a warranty card and a user manual. As a reviewer, my package also contains a very well-built keyboard stand, which is not included in the retail package and is sold separately for $64.
Design and build
The i7 Remix looks identical, if not exactly the same, to the more business-focused Cube i7. I cannot tell the one from the other while the screen is off, but there are some differences.
The original i7 measures 9.1mm thick, but the i7 Remix is a little bit slimmer at 8.5mm. Also, the i7 Remix weighs 720g, a lot lighter than the Cube i7 (840g). With that said, the Cube i7 Remix is still quite big and heavy for an Android tablet, although it is quite thin.
Like the i7, the i7 Remix has an 11.6-inch display on the front, with relatively big bezels to rest your fingers on. There is also a “Windows” key below the display. As the i7 Remix is not really a Windows tablet, the key functions as an Android Home Button. Other hardware keys – a power/standby button and a volume rocker are hosted on the top side (in landscape).
The ports and slots on the i7 Remix are also different from those on the Cube i7. The i7 Remix doesn’t have a Micro USB 3.0 port and Micro SIM card slot found on the i7, instead it has two Micro USB 2.0 ports, one can be used to host storage and input devices through an OTG adapter, the one can is mainly designed for charging the tablet and connecting to the PC, but it is also able to host USB devices. A 3.5mm audio jack, a Micro SD card slot and a Micro HDMI port can be found on both the i7 Remix and the original i7.
The magnetic docking on the bottom side of the i7 Remix can be used to connect to the keyboard base. The i7 Remix shares the same keyboard base initially designed for the i7, if you have already owned an i7, you don’t need to buy another keyboard for the i7 Remix.
The Keyboard for the i7 and the i7 Remix is one of the best tablet keyboard we have ever seen, it is very comfortable to type on, and it won’t take you much time to reach your top typing speed.
The keyboard also offers two full USB 2.0 ports, making it easier for the i7 Remix to host storage and other devices.
The build quality of the i7 Remix is extremely solid, as good as any high-end Android tablets available. The blue powered coated metal chassis gives the slate an amazingly premium feel, but unfortunately it isn’t all that resistant to scratches.
Display and sound
Just like the Cube i7, the i7 Remix sports a full HD 1080p 11.6-inch screen. That’s tangibly larger than the screen on your average tablet. That’s bad news for pixel density, but good news if you plan to get some work done, as that little extra bit of screen real estate makes it easier to see what you’re doing if you’re working on Office documents, browsing complex web pages or running several applications on the foreground in phone mode.
Quality of the i7’s display, meanwhile, is extremely good. Text still looks smooth and crisp, and while the display isn’t the brightest we’ve seen – particularly when you compared it to the ultra-bright panel on the Acer ICONIA W700 – it does have wide viewing angles and an impressive richness and depth of color to compensate.
There is also a light sensor on the front panel to support auto-brightness, and if that’s not enough, Cube and Remix made it easy to enter the quick setting panel and adjust the brightness with your finger.
Here comes the million dollar question – why does an Android tablet need such a big screen? We know that there are bigger tablets out there, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and the Tab Pro 12.2. The reason that the i7 Remix needs such screen real estate is well related to the customized Remix skin and its special features, we will talk about that in details in the software review.
The speaker grills found on the right side of the tablet pack a fairly decent punch, and sound even better when the tablet is laid on a flat surface or when you cup your hands behind the speakers. The sound bounces off these surfaces and back in your direction, enhancing your listening pleasure. Although it must be pointed out that the quality of the audio is not all that great from the device, and I would recommend using an external audio system to enhance your experience.
Hardware and Performance
The Cube i7 Remix is powered by an Intel Atom Bay-trail Z3735F quad-core processor and 2GB RAM, a hardware set-up normally seen on entry-level Windows 8 and dual boot tablets. Although the Atom CPU fails to deliver powerhouse performance for Windows desktop applications, it generates enough power to smash any Android applications, including the most graphic-intense 3D games.
For readers who are still not familiar with what kind of Android performance the Z3735F processor and 2GB RAM could deliver, you can read our reviews of the Cube i6 and some other dual boot tablets on cngadget. However, we still ran some popular benchmark tests on the i7 Remix and got some predictable scores.
According to the Benchmark scores, the i7 Remix may not be the most powerful Android tablets out there, but in the real day-to-day use, I found it much more capable of handling big applications or multi-tasking than my Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro and LG G3.