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Jide Remix Mini First Look

Benchmarks And Conclusion

Benchmarking the Jide Remix Mini required a unique approach. The hardware is powered by Remix OS 2.0, a custom operating system based on Android 5.1 Lollipop, so the synthetic metrics at our disposal are mobile benchmarks found on the Google Play Store. We went with AnTuTu, a familiar suite.

The Remix Mini is also a barebones mini-PC, and user experience is paramount, regardless of how well the system performs in a synthetic test. Normally, I use my personal machine as a media and entertainment center for streaming movies, playing music and browsing the Web. I wanted to see if the Remix Mini could satisfy that role, so for about one week I used it as my daily driver.

Synthetic Benchmark - AnTuTu

AnTuTu is one of the more popular mobile benchmarking applications that tests several facets of performance, including 3D, UX and CPU capabilities.

The Remix Mini scores 25,966 in AnTuTu. That's not an impressive result. It falls behind flagship phones released within the past couple of years. For comparison, Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge and Apple's iPhone 6s score 134,599 and 133,781 in AnTuTu respectively.

Video Playback

And yet, you don't necessarily need a big AnTuTu score to enjoy your mini-PC. Using Netflix, I streamed a couple of movies and hour-long episodes from various TV shows with ease. YouTube videos similarly played back smoothly. Paying $70 isn't bad for a home theater solution that performs as-promised.

Music Playback

To test audio playback, I used Google Play Music, available on the Play Store. The Remix Mini ran through several hours of music streaming. Though I encountered the occasional hiccup from buffering, the experience was polished overall.

Web Browsing

To test web browsing, I used Google's Chrome browser, also found on the Play Store. Of course, this isn't a sophisticated use case, so browsing on the Remix Mini is much like perusing the Internet in a browser on Windows. You retain functionality like tab-dragging thanks to Remix OS 2.0. But the experience does feel cheapened somewhat due to the app's Android foundation. Websites like Facebook and YouTube automatically want to go to their mobile versions. Right-clicking doesn't work as you'd expect either; the OS supports long clicking the left mouse button instead.

Word Processing

I used Google Docs during my time with the Remix Mini. I try to make it a point to write each hands-on story I publish with the system I'm testing. Word processing on the Remix Mini is especially important since it's indicative of how well the custom Android 5.1 Lollipop-based distribution functions as a desktop operating system. Jide excels at creating desktop experiences featuring frequently-used keyboard macros like Copy, Cut and Paste.

Jide Remix MiniView Deal

Conclusion

The Jide Remix Mini is an ambitious little machine that achieves everything we expected of it. It can handle simple tasks like web browsing and word processing, which is about all you could hope for from a $70 platform. But it also proves to be a capable multimedia streaming device.

The Remix Mini isn't without faults, though. The biggest issue I had concerned browser functionality. Jide touts the Remix Mini's desktop experience, but my time with the system constantly reminded me that Remix OS 2.0 is still an Android-based operating system. I'm not trying to pick on Remix OS 2.0 here. Rather, the software is simply subject to the limitations of Android, an admittedly mobile-focused environment. Despite this, the Jide team delivers an OS that looks and feels like something we could get used to. And in time, we're confident that improvements to Remix OS 2.0 will make the Remix Mini shine even more brightly as a diminutive desktop platform.

Alexander Quejado is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. Follow Alexander Quejado on Twitter. 

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  • harrkev
    If you don't need Netflix, you can get similar performance from a current Raspberry PI 3b. for about $50 (Pi + case + sd card). Linux OS instead of Android, but web browsing works OK, and can even handle light YouTube usage.

    Plus, with many millions of Raspberry Pi devices out there, community support is pretty much guaranteed. If the company that make the Remix Mini goes under, there goes any chance of software updates.
    Reply
  • problematiq
    I'm waiting for a Pi that has dual Nic's on it. sure I could use usb nics but thats no fun.
    Reply
  • ammaross
    If you don't need Netflix, you can get similar performance from a current Raspberry PI 3b. for about $50 (Pi + case + sd card). Linux OS instead of Android, but web browsing works OK, and can even handle light YouTube usage.

    Plus, with many millions of Raspberry Pi devices out there, community support is pretty much guaranteed. If the company that make the Remix Mini goes under, there goes any chance of software updates.

    The idea was to get a device that can handle streaming 1080p, uses hardware H.264/5 decoding, and can drive a 4K display. It's a really good media streamer, and is somewhat a useful desktop replacement for grandma/kids/school.
    Reply
  • BoredSysAdmin
    For only $70 - that's decent value, BUT for only $30 more - Kangaroo Mobile Desktop is IMO much better option.
    Reply
  • Brandon_29
    I have had a Remix Mini for a long time. I was one of the early backers on Kickstarter. What I can tell that is annoying is that sound does not work through a receiver. I have tried this on my Denon and my Yamaha I have the same problem with both. No sound output. If I wire the HDMI directly to the TV it works fine. For me this killed it as a streaming option as all of my TVs have sound systems with receivers. So now this thing sits on the floor doing nothing. Besides it is insanely slow. Like Roku 1 slow.
    Reply
  • wkwilley2
    I was also an early backer of the 2G version. It's a great little unit and works well for streaming video and the like. I couldn't really find a use for it so I ended up giving it to my sister for Christmas last year. She couldn't be happier with it.
    Reply
  • Brandon_29
    17888192 said:
    I was also an early backer of the 2G version. It's a great little unit and works well for streaming video and the like. I couldn't really find a use for it so I ended up giving it to my sister for Christmas last year. She couldn't be happier with it.

    Ya I really should just give mine to someone as well. I have other devices that do the same things only way better (like Roku for streaming). Browsing on it is fine for general stuff, but using it to watch videos that don't have apps is very buggy thanks to the crappy browser in Android. There are a lot of anime streaming sites that don't have official apps. It was 50/50 if I could get them to work at all on the Remix. Add these things to the sound problem with receivers and it just doesn't work for me. I am sure a user with less needs could use this and be perfectly happy with it.
    Reply
  • LordConrad
    Increase CPU speed to 2GHz and include ChromeOS instead of Remix, and I'd by a few for clients and relatives.
    Reply
  • joshyboy82
    Seems like a pretty decent mother's day present.
    Reply
  • Ya3___
    can i installed opera 30 browser? HEVC x265 format video supported? external HDD supported?
    Reply