CHUWI RZBOX Internal Hardware Overview
Once those screws are removed, we get two SODIMM slots and two M.2 slots.
If this looks at all familiar, perhaps it should. There are a lot of similarities between this layout and the Lenovo ThinkCentre M75q Tiny Gen2 in terms of placement. We can see even down to the right SODIMM being slightly higher in the chassis and the M.2 slots being offset sitting around the middle of the SODIMM 2 slot.
The SODIMMs are Netac 8GB units for 16GB total.
The SSD is a 512GB PCIe Gen3 SSD also from Netac. This is not the fastest SSD as we will discuss later. Still, these slots support NVMe or SATA SSDs and there are two. Lenovo only puts one on the M75q Tiny, but has two here in other models.
Something we noticed immediately with the unit was how much less serviceable it was than the TinyMiniMicro nodes. While TMM PCs take one screw and then the system is usually open to service, this was eight. Once inside, while Lenovo has been using plastic tab hold-downs for M.2 SSDs for years, CHUWI is still using screws. Also, we have several 1L PCs with the ability to house two M.2 and one 2.5″ SSD, yet this system at twice the volume does not have a 2.5″ bay.
One other small note, we found that this unit was actually using an Intel AX210 not an AX200 WiFi NIC so it is a WiFi 6E capable device instead of just being WiFi 6 like the specs say. That was a nice surprise.
From a hardware perspective, if you have never used the big OEM 1L PCs, this would not seem out of place. If you have used big OEM 1L PCs, then the CHUWI hardware probably feels like a step back in time yet with some nice features like dual M.2 slots and dual 1GbE NICs.
CHUWI RZBOX BIOS
The BIOS of the CHUWI RZBOX is fairly straightforward. Here we get American Megatrends BIOS:
Although the overall BIOS felt a bit rougher than on some consumer platforms, we will note that you can activate a TPM here. As a result, we were able to install both Windows 10 and Windows 11, including an upgrade to Windows 11.
The BIOS was functional, so that was at least a positive sign. Still, CHUWI has said they are not updating the BIOS which is worrying.
Next, we are going to get to the performance.