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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.