Alfawise T1 Intel N4100 Gemini Lake Quad Core Mini PC Review + Dual Boot Project
The Alfawise T1 Windows 10 mini PC opens up a whole new way we can use these mini computers. We have all used Windows computers for decades, and we know who that Intel is the best manufacturer of CPUs and graphics processors to date. When is comes to Android, an operating system that was originally designed to run on much smaller and less powerful micro chipsets, one would think that running Android on Windows hardware would be overkill and a waste of resources. But what if you could? With the demand for Android on run on TV boxes and to play Android games on your TV, the demand for larger internal storage and faster memory on TV boxes is on the rise. However, Android TV boxes have not been able break free of the 16GB/32GB/64GB limitation, and users who now a looking to install lots of apps, Kodi addons, 4K videos, and play large Android games are left without a viable option. Well a new era is here, and the Alfawise T1 has positioned itself to be the first to take on this new adventure. In this review, I installed Android 8.1 on a 500GB SATA III SSD, on an Intel CPU, and on 4GB of DDR4 RAM.
The Alfawise T1 is mini PC that runs on the Intel Celeron Gemini Lake quad core CPU with a max clock speed of 2.4GHz. This would be exciting to any hardware enthusiast but this is not actually how the Alfawise T1 is configured. The base speed is really 1.1GHz, and there what is called an on demand or boost speed. This may work under the Windows 10 OS, but under the Android 8.1 OS it remains at 1.1GHz. So sorry to burst your bubbles on that expectation.
The GPU which is listed as the Intel HD graphics 600, and it comes with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It has 802.11ac Dual Band WiFi support plus Bluetooth 4.0. It has LAN speed of 1000Mbps. The GPU performance is questionable, with the inability to play 4K videos and play 3D games as expected. However, the WiFi and LAN performance was the best I’ve seen in a long time.
The T1 comes with all the ports needed to suit your every need. It comes with:
- 2 HDMI ports for dual monitor display
- 1 SATA 2.5 hard drive expandable bay
- 2 USB 2.0 ports
- 2 USB 3.0 ports
- 1 USB type C port
- 1 Headphone JAck
- 1 RJ45 LAN port
- 1 Micro SD slot
Android 8.1 OS
Well this is where it gets interesting. There are various communities at this time that are experimenting on different ways to install different versions of Android in PC hardware. I joined some of these communities and attempted my first Android 8.1 OS on Intel PC hardware and was successful at doing so. However, previous mini PCs have struggled with this because they had to share the existing internal storage which lead to little room to install apps and games and it didn’t make much sense.
However, the Alfawise T1 comes with a unique feature, below the mini PC there is SATA 2.4 inch expandable hard drive bay with a max capacity of 2TB. This open up the flood gate, and solves the issue of lack of storage. Also, you can boot directly from the bios, allowing you to use 100% of the system’s hardware and not have to share with the Windows OS. This is pretty exciting stuff for Android users, just think of the possibilities you can achieve with that. It also takes away the question about legality of the device, because this is a mini PC and not a TV box. When you purchase, everything is DIY for that point, so what you are buying in a Windows mini PC.
- Antutu – 94264
- Geekbench 4 – 2039 single-core / 5971 multi-core
- Ice Storm Extreme – 785 (poor score)
- Ram Copy – 9309 MB/s
- Internal Storage – 484MB/s Read / 370 MB/s Write
- WiFi / LAN – Maximum peak speed
- Rooted – Yes
Well for my first attempt at this dual boot project, I was met with some very good results as well as some very bad ones also. That why there communities of developers working to perfect this OS. First the CPU, the RAM, WiFI, user interface performance was excellent. However, the GPU, sound, DRM support was pretty bad on this device. At this point I am not sure if the issues are with the hardware, or with the firmware, and I will have to test this on other mini PCs before I show my viewers how to install this. Because I don’t want my viewers to crash or damage their devices due to beta testing or incorrect settings. But rest assured, this is the future of TV box technology so stay tuned.