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Pipo KB2 is a travel-size folding keyboard and Cherry Trail PC

by Mark Tyson on 20 April 2016, 10:01

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qac2by

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Chinese device maker Pipo is fond of pushing out PCs in unusual form factors. Last year we saw the interesting wedge shaped Pipo X9, intended to be a Windows tablet for your work surface. Perhaps one day it will hit a gold seam, and for a while it will be able to enjoy first mover advantage with some compelling design – or might it already have found such a device – the Pipo KBX range?

Pipo KB2

As spotted by Notebook Italia, at a Hong Kong trade fair, the Pipo KB2 looks like a compact wireless keyboard that folds in two like an oversized Nintendo Gameboy SP. However, as you will be aware from the headline, this folding device is a self-contained PC. The specs are pretty standard for an entry level modern 'cloudbook' style machine and include;

  • Intel Atom Z8300-X5 (Cherry Trail processor) up to 1.84GHz
  • 2GB or 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB of storage
  • 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, 1x micro USB, a power connector, audio jack and microSD card slot
  • On board 802.11ac WiFi module, Bluetooth and WiDi which will transmit full HD audio and video files on a TV
  • 2,500mAh battery for a couple of hours unplugged usage
  • Windows 10

As mentioned in the intro, the Pipo KB2 won't be available until May and we don't have details of pricing or distribution at this time.

Pipo KB1

The Pipo KB1 is already on sale, says Notebook Italia, and is also a 'keyboard computer'. Pipo's KB1 isn't foldable, so appears to be about three times bigger than a folded up KB2. However the KB1 has some advantages; the keyboard looks better to type on, the keyboard is flanked by a touch pad, and there appears to be a greater amount/selection of I/O ports.

Pipo make two tiers of KB1 PCs, the first is based upon the same innards as the KB2 above and there is a cheaper model with Intel Atom Z3736F or Z3735F (Bay Trail) SoCs with 2GB of RAM. The I/O on the back panel includes; 1x VGA, 1x HDMI, 2x USB ports, an RJ-45 Ethernet port, a slot for microSD, audio jacks, plus an on/off button. The Pipo KB1 includes 802.11ac WiFi and stereo speakers on the sides and includes a 6,000mAh battery.

Growing up with Sinclair, Atari and Commodore computers I am fond of the keyboard PC form factor but am not convinced the Pipo KBX range offer any advantage over using an TV connected Windows tablet or Stick-PC and wireless keyboard combo.

HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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I think this form factor is really cool. Few things I would suggest but otherwise it has a lot of applications that I could see myself using it for. I would like to see the price.
I prefer the look of the KB1 (the track pad and bigger battery are the big sellers). and if it folded similarly to the KB2, with some USB 3 ports, then have the model upgraded with the newer Cherry Trail processor and 4GB RAM, this would be quite a reasonable set up. May even get one of the low power 15w “i” series processors into it for a great little portable system for work and play.
Considering if you do go away and want to take a PC with you, the Stick PC's and such all still need a keyboard and cursor controller. Having widi means you could get away with only having just the keyboard to take.
Maybe they should also make a hub with retractable cables for HDMI and USB.
When Thunderbolt 3 becomes more widely used and added to TV's, that would be the only cable required.
I can think of a very good use for this form-factor - some of the old barristers I work with are struggling to use iPads etc in Court, because the screen timeout is short, but if extended, it chews through the battery in less than a day. There's also the lack of a keyboard should they need to take notes quickly. One of these plugged in to the monitors provided at Court would be magnificent. Anyone know where I can lay my hands on the KB1 in the UK? Google has turned up nothing.
Unless it is significantly cheaper than a “cloudbook” model including a screen I'm not sure why you'd use it as a travelling PC and lose out on actually being able to use it whilst moving. I can however see how it is potentially handy as a kiosk PC, sitting next to the TV or as a way of setting up a quick console or display screen.
Unless it is significantly cheaper than a “cloudbook” model including a screen /QUOTE]
That is the problem at the moment, I had a look around on the web but there is no price mentioned for either - unless I am blind, just in case, can any sighted person find it? :-)
Pricing would have a impact on who would buy it.