Ockel Sirius A review and comparison with Viotek Pipo 7 inch mini PC

Ockel Sirius A review

I have one of those Chinese devices (7" VIOTEK, AKA PIPO), and it is poorly made, though I really like the device, and I even use it to run Android plus Windows 10, at the same time, using AMIDuOS having it really makes clear that the app gap is really a non-issue for Windows phones in the future, since AMIDuOS even runs 3D games without much performance loss.

I really like the VIOTEK considering the piece of $90 junk that it is, especially since it came with a free year of Office 365 that mostly paid for the device, though the Sirius A looks FAR better and worth the money for those interested in that style device.

Ockel Sirius A review (2)

- The Ockel Sirius A has a battery (the VIOTEK doesn’t).

- The Ockel Sirius A has a microphone (the VIOTEK doesn’t), and that (along with the battery) makes it usable as a mobile phone.

- The Ockel Sirius A has a web cam (the VIOTEK doesn’t), and that makes it a mobile video conference device.

- This Ockel Sirius A has USB 3 (VIOTEK only has USB 2 and the ports are badly made\fitting).

- This Sirius A has 4GB RAM with a 4K capable 14nm Atom released in Jan 2016 (while the VIOTEK processor is a nearly 3 year old .22nm Atom with only 2GB RAM).

- A major issue with the VIOTEK is that the disk partitions are not laid out in a way that makes backup easily possible (the disk isn’t seen by disk imaging software to allow backups, at least AOMEI didn’t), and I’d expect the Sirius A may have a more normal disk layout that supports backups better, plus it is likely faster storage and the Sirius A has twice the disk space, plus it is much more usable space. Only 16GB is really usable with Windows on the VIOTEK without some way to repartition it, that I worry about risking due to the VIOTEK’s terrible BIOS and ability to boot recovery tools that could be needed if I try to remove the over dozen unnecessary partitions it has. The other partitions were from it coming with a dual boot install of Android (that I can no longer access after updating Windows, and really don’t want to anyway, since AMIDuOS Android runs well enough in Windows 10).

Ockel Sirius A review (1)

- Yet another major difference is the Sirius A has a 1080P screen rather than 1280×800, and possibly the Sirius A supports wireless display casting (?) that the VIOTEK does not. A 1080P res makes it optimal to clone the display, whereas the 1280×800 VIOTEK is so awkward with a display plugged into it that it is practically unusable with a second screen. You may not think so, though if you used the VIOTEK you’d realize why it is definitely a good idea to never get this type of device unless it can display 1080P cloned to the second display, or else it is really awkward to manage.

- Possibly the biggest difference in usability (besides the massive performance difference) is the Sirius A has a battery and fits in your pocket easily with its 6" size… if the VIOTEK was flat and not angled like the Sirius A, I’d be more than OK with its 7" size as a phone, as long as it came with a belt clip, though the Sirius A will more easily fit in pockets (they should really consider a belt clip for it). Weeks ago, I described similar about what I think a future Surface Phone should be, with a similar form factor enabled by a Surface kickstand that supports the same low profile position and that is maybe a snap on cover, similar to the Lumia 640’s back, that allows easily replacing it, if the kickstand breaks, though this device provides that form factor while being much more reliable, without a kickstand to break and still possible to pocket. I think it may be very usable, though I’d still prefer a flatter phone with a replaceable low profile kickstand option.

I really like what the VIOTEK shows as far as what future mobile Windows devices will be like, such as how it can run AMIDuOS Android acceptably virtualized with its old processor and only 2GB of RAM that it has to share between Windows 10 and AMIDuOS Android (it really works well considering) and such as how full Windows 10 on a 7" touchscreen is just small enough to be possible to belt clip while the UWP app GUI elements are around the same size in landscape as my 640 in portrait, yet the 7" VIOTEK has much more screen real estate and I love having the full Windows taskbar, especially with all the taskbar apps it runs, such as Networx for monitoring bandwidth. I think the Sirius A may be a good compromise as far as screen size, though I imagine non-UWP win32 apps will require a stylus (legacy win32 apps are actually usable on the 7" Windows device, without a stylus, though probably not at the smaller 6" size).

The Sirius A is definitely worth the price for those interested in that form factor; however, it is expensive due to there isn’t anything else like it available yet, though I expect we’ll see many more for half that cost in the next 2-3 years, plus they’ll be cell phones also. I bought the VIOTEK to use as a smart home controller interface, and I definitely see the Sirius A doing well in that market, plus it will be a much more interesting device for Windows fans, since its battery, performance, and virtualization support will really give people a good idea of what to expect once MS adds cellular dialer support to full x86 Windows.


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