Exclusive: This PC uses an Xbox One S motherboard and CPU, but you can’t buy it now

(Image credit: Chuwi)

Earlier this year, prolific Chinese PC manufacturer Chuwi unveiled a product containing an AMD APU (Application Processor Unit) that is yet to be announced, the A9-9820.

The workstation - called the AeroBox - was positioned as a high performance office mini PC that, from afar, looks a lot like a game console.

Now, we’ve got official confirmation the device is indeed based on a console: the Xbox One S. A Chuwi spokesperson told TechRadar Pro the Aerobox uses the console's motherboard, and described the A9-9820 as a “new 7th-generation chip" that runs on Windows 10.

With eight cores, eight threads, and a 2.35GHz maximum frequency, the AeroBox posted solid numbers on benchmarks based on leaks in March 2020 (and on Chuwi’s own internal testing). Paired with a Radeon R7 350 (GCN 3.0) GPU running at up to 985 MHz, it promises to deliver strong graphics performance too.

What is it exactly?

The A9-9820 processors are likely to be remaining parts - based on the Jaguar microarchitecture - that were built for the Xbox One S, which supports DDR3 memory and has a similar specification list (albeit with a higher clock rate). The GPU is likely to have been disabled and replaced with a discrete GPU.

We also noticed a few anomalies in the specification. For example, the motherboard has four memory slots, which is extremely rare for what looks like a microATX board. The device uses a SATA SSD, but the picture in the marketing literature shows an HP SSD EX900 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe drive. Oh and HP doesn’t make 256GB SSDs, only 250GB versions.

Last but not least, there are two PS2 connectors at the back - legacy ports popular at the beginning of the millennium but made obsolete by the USB. These, coupled with the presence of a DVI port, make this product an interesting oddity indeed.

Chuwi is yet to announce a price for the AeroBox and has confirmed it won’t be available outside of Japan at launch, but stay tuned for more.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.