Two of the most popular Premium Skylake Tablets currently available, the Cube i7 Book and the Cube i9 gets a thorough look. Which one will offer the best value, or better yet, which Skylake is better?
This article is an in-depth comparison of the performance offered of these tablets. It will focus more in terms of benchmark test results, gaming test and thermal.
Before starting, you should know a little bit more of the tablets mentioned.
The Cube i7 Book is actually a reboot and thus it is an old school tablet. The same look but better performance. It has a 10.6 inch Electromagnetic screen 1080p Screen with support for Wacom.
The Cube i9 is a Surface Pro 4 look alike, with premium looks and finish. It has its very own kickstand and has the same 3:2 Aspect ratio of the screen.
Specs Cube i7 Book Cube i9
Chipset Intel Core M3-Y630 Intel Core M3-Y630
GPU Intel HD515 Graphics Intel HD515 Graphics
RAM/Storage 4 GB LPDDR3
Foresee 64 GB SSD
4 GB LPDDR3
Foresee 128 GB
Display 10.6 inch IPS
1920 x 1080 pixels, Wacom Stylus
12.2 inch IPS
1920 x 1200 pixels
OS 64 bit Windows 10 Home 64 bit Windows 10 Home
IO USB Type C, USB 3.0 USB Type C, USB 3.0 (Standard)
Connectivity Intel Dual Band Wireless 3165 Realtek RTL8723 Wireless N
Starting with the specs, we already established that both of these tablets offer the same chipset. The tablet above is a brief comparison between the two.
The Cube i9 costs a bit more, and from the comparison above, you can see that it offers twice the storage capacity. Approximately 128 GB SSD. However, both tablets use the same Foresee Storage drive.
Perhaps the biggest plus for the Cube i7 Book is the native support for Dual Band WiFi. Which frankly is missing on the Cube i9.
Crystaldisk Cube i7 Book (Foresee 64 GB) Cube i9 (128 GB Foresee)
Seq Q32T1 Read: 501 Mb/s
Write: 166 Mb/s
Read: 503.7 Mb/s
Write: 202.4 Mb/s
4K Q32T1 Read: 128 Mb/s
Write: 100 Mb/s
Read: 142 Mb/s
Write: 140 Mb/s
Seq Read: 405.1 Mb/s
Write: 164.6 Mb/s
Read: 441.2 Mb/s
Write: 197.3 Mb/s
4K Read: 8.264 Mb/s
Write: 54.05 Mb/s
Read: 11.74 Mb/s
Write: 66.0 Mb/s
In terms of SSD performance, I used Crystaldisk to test the Foresee SSD Drive. And the performance was actually in favor of the Cube i9. However, the difference is just minimal, and thus more likely real world use will not be affected.
Benchmark Cube i7 Book Cube i9
Geekbench Single Core: 2651
Multi Core: 4651
Single Core: 2631
Multi Core: 4991
Geekbench API/GPU 15221 15103
Cinebench OpenGL: 29 fps
OpenGL: 28 fps
Clock Speed 1.99GHz (100% cpu usage)
Temps: 83 - 86C
1.77GHz (100% cpu usage)
Temps: 72-73 C
Gaming (Dota 2) 1920 x 1080p
50-70 average fps
1920 x 1080p
30-40 average fps
In terms of CPU and GPU Benchmarks, I used only two, Geekbench and Cinebench. However, I do find Cinebench is a bit more standard. I wasn’t really surprised with the Geekbench results. But when it came to Cinebench, I found out some irregularities. More in particular in the CPU area, the Cube i7 Book appears to perform a lot better compared to the Cube i9. (This test was done repeatedly to avoid false results.)
Digging deeper, I found out that the Cube i9 wasn’t really working at its maximum clock speed of 1.99GHz when all the Cores are 100%. It was only limited to 1.77GHz, in so doing, the temps are also a lot lower compared to the Cube i7 Book.
On the other hand, the Cube i7 Book ran through the test consistently, working at 1.99GHz but the temps reached its peak at 86C.
And thus, one would assume that the Cube i9 is doing it to prevent overheating or CPU Throttling. It is still far away from its current threshold. What the downclock does is caused the performance to dip. And this is also observed when it comes to gaming. Dota 2 for example, with the same settings, I found that the fps were way lower on the Cube i9.
Another test puzzled me, I wanted to know whether the Cube i9 can really work at 1.99GHz and using Aida64, I was able to determine that it does. Similar to the Cube i7 Book, both temps just stayed within 72-73C at 100% CPU Usage.
Temps Cube i7 Book Cube i9
Idle 35-40C 35-40C
Gaming 60-70C 60-70C
Benchmark (100% cpu)
Aida64 (100% CPU test) 72-73C 72-73C
When it comes to Thermals, both tablets have similar idle and usage temps. Worthy to mention, that there is no fan here, because both tablets are passively cooled. On heavy use more in particular benchmarks like Cinebench, the Cube i7 Book reaches its peak of 80C+.
More so, the Cube i9 was ran relatively cooler compared to the Cube i7 Book. A good 10C cooler.
Availability of the Tablets mentioned:
- Cube i7 Book retails at $305 – Buy here (Sale until November 14)
- Cube i9 retails at $380 – Buy here (Sale valid until November 14)
So, which is the better Skylake?
Personally there are several factors to consider:
If it was about looks, then the Cube i9 would be my best choice. I really like the 3:2 Aspect ratio of the screen, not to mention, the build quality and design is premium. The only gripe I had with this tablet is the lack of Dual Band WiFi and some weird performance issues. Mainly, what I have stated above.
But ultimately, when you are talking about performance and cost. The Cube i7 Book is your best bet, it performs as it should, has Dual Band WiFi, and offers Wacom Stylus support. But I do have to mention one inconvenience, it lacks Standard USB 3.0 Slot, you need an adapter to use the USB 3.0 slot of the Tablet. Other than that, this should also be on top of your list. So, which do you think is the better Skylake?