The Cube Mix Plus is a very exciting Windows tablet from China. Its highlights are a 10.6-inch full HD screen and a seventh generation Intel Core m3 processor. We’re also getting 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. Despite its powerful hardware, it is quite inexpensive at around 350 US Dollars. As a comparison: The Samsung Galaxy Book 10 usually costs around 200 Dollars more. But how good is the Cube Mix Plus in real life use? That’s what you’ll find out in this review.
Design & Build Quality
Even though the back is actually made out of metal, the build quality is not as high end as a Surface Pro. But it is built well and won’t break easily. It just doesn’t feel very high end. The transition from the metal back to the plastic frame could be a bit nicer. It feels like a typical cheap Windows tablet – well, that’s what it is.
On the front are big white bezels and the back is grey. It’s not the thinnest at 9.6 millimeters but not too bad either. It weighs 700 grams.
Cameras, Ports, Speakers
Cube is giving us a 5-megapixel camera on the back which is alright but not the best. The same goes for the 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It is certainly usable for Skype, just don’t expect to get the best image quality. On the side of the display is a Windows button.
There are quite a lot of ports on the side. We’re getting a USB Type C port and a micro USB 3.0 port. Inside the box is an adapter to a normal sized USB 3.0 port. There are a microSD card slot, a 3.5-millimeter audio jack, and a power plug as well.
On the top are a power button and next to it the volume controls. Speaking of the volume, the two speakers on the right side are actually usable. Not great, but not too bad either. They are on one side only though so you won’t get any real stereo feeling.
Display: Full HD & Pen Support
The Cube Mix Plus has a 10.6-inch display which is pretty nice. It’s an IPS panel with a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080. While it is not the brightest screen, it is still usable outside as long as you’re not sitting in direct sunlight. The viewing angles are good and colors look nice.
Like with a lot of cheaper tablets, the display is not fully laminated. There is a 1-millimeter gap between the touchscreen and the IPS panel. It’s not bad at all if you’re using it with your fingers. But if you are planning to use a stylus it might look like you’re not hitting an icon correctly in certain angles. The pen is optional and supports 1024 pressure points.
It seems like there is no kind of gorilla glass either. Instead, there’s a pre-applied screen protector sitting on the touchscreen.
Hardware & Performance
As I mentioned earlier, the build quality is similar to those of cheaper tablets. That is not the case when it comes to the internal hardware though. In fact, it is quite powerful and similar to the cheapest version of a Surface Pro 4 or Samsung Galaxy Book.
Usually, at this price, we are getting a pretty weak Intel Atom x5 chipset. But inside the Cube Mix Plus runs an Intel Core m3 of the seventh Kaby Lake generation. There are 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. If you want, you can even replace the SSD by yourself. There’s a tutorial on YouTube.
Thanks to the Core m3 the Cube Mix Plus is more powerful than most tablets at this price point. That’s noticeable during real-life use as well. Surfing the web in Chrome or Edge with a lot of tabs and YouTube open in the background works much smoother and faster than with a typical Atom x5 device.
Cube Mix Plus As Notebook Replacement
I used the tablet as my notebook replacement for a while. That worked surprisingly well. I even installed Photoshop and was able to work with it quite nicely. If you are handling big files with a lot of layers you might appreciate a bit more RAM though.
Editing videos with PowerDirector was possible too, I didn’t notice any major issues. It even renders videos at a nice speed. It took the Mix Plus just over 5 minutes to render a 16 minute full HD video in PowerDirector with activated Quick Sync. As a comparison: The more expensive Acer Switch 3 (review) with the Intel N4200 needed just under 8 minutes.
I don’t think you’ll get the Cube Mix Plus as a gaming tablet, it’s not really meant for that. But you can play some games occasionally. I tried Asphalt Xtreme and Modern Combat 5 out of the Windows Store. Both games ran very smoothly and graphics look great. I had to turn down the anti-aliasing on Modern Combat 5 though.
Do you like the new game Cuphead? You can play it on this tablet as well. The performance is very good at this price.
There is one downside though. When rendering videos or playing games the back can get quite hot. Even a bit too hot to hold it comfortably.
If you like, you can get an optional keyboard dock for the Cube Mix Plus which offers a keyboard, a trackpad, and full-size USB ports. I wasn’t able to review it though but according to others, it seems fine.
Obviously, you can connect any keyboard to the tablet. Either via USB or using Bluetooth. I used the Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard and it did work without any problems.
Windows 10 On Tablets
On the Cube Mix Plus runs normal Windows 10 that works exactly as it does on your desktop PC or laptop. So I don’t have to say too much about it.
There are a couple of special features for touchscreen devices though. You can activate the tablet mode to make it easier to navigate with your fingers. For example, the start menu transforms into a start screen. Apps are usually opened full screen but you can still open two apps side by side using gestures.
As we are kind of used to from all Windows tablets, the battery life is not great. Inside sits a battery with a capacity of 4300mAh. In my battery test that lasted for a runtime of 5 hours and 50 minutes. My battery tests are always identical: I’m looping an HD video at 50 percent brightness and activated WiFi until the device shuts itself off.
In my everyday use, the battery wasn’t any better. I wrote down a kind of battery diary and the one day I got a runtime of 10 hours and 40 minutes. Out of those, I used the Mix Plus actively for 6 hours and 10 minutes. During that time I mostly worked in Microsoft Word and watched some YouTube. WiFi and Bluetooth were activated.
Cube Mix Plus Review Verdict
So, what’s my final verdict of my Cube Mix Plus review? Well, I actually really liked it. Considering the price, the performance is excellent and the screen is good as well. The build quality is not the best but similar to other cheaper tablets.
I don’t think I can recommend it as a Surface Pro replacement. It is so much cheaper and also smaller. But I think it is a great alternative to most other cheap Windows tablets like the Lenovo MIIX 320 or ASUS Transformer Book Mini. With those, we get an Atom x5 only at roughly the same price.
The performance of the Cube Mix Plus is much better thanks to the Intel Core m3. You can even work in Photoshop, render videos and do some decent multitasking. All that is not possible with most cheap Windows tablet.
- Good 10.6-inch full HD screen
- Powerful Intel Core m3 processor
- Very inexpensive
- Bad battery life
- Available through China shops only
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