This is the world’s cheapest Core i5 PC, but we’re not sure it's a good deal

(Image credit: Chuwi)

Necessity, they say, is the mother of all invention. Perhaps the need to get rid of excess stock was the reason Chuwi, one of the most innovative Chinese PC vendors out there, has decided to merge the designs of two of its existing mini PCs (the GT Box and the HiGame) into a brand new workstation, the Corebox.

At the heart of this new product is an Intel Core i5-5257U from 2016, which has been used as a base for a number of products, along with the Core i3-5005U (also a Broadwell-based processor).

It's just like Intel’s current 14nm processors, but doesn’t feature the sort of refinements found in 10th generation Core CPUs.

At $349 (roughly £285/AU$530), the Corebox will be the most affordable Core i5 CPU on the market when it launches on Amazon later this month. The device will come with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, two HDMI ports, four USB 3.0 connectors, a Gigabit Ethernet port and two audio connectors.

All this is crammed into an all-metal chassis that’s just under 2000cc, providing just enough space for an extra hard disk drive and cooling. Add in handles on either side and you've got a rather attractive and versatile workstation.

However, while the Chuwi Corebox looks an exciting machine, there could well be better alternatives on the market at a similar price point.

Dell’s Inspiron 3471, for example, is an equally small PC priced at $330. It might only have 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard disk drive, but its Core i3-9100 CPU is twice as fast as the Core i5-5257U. It also comes with a mouse, DVD writer, keyboard, card reader and even a VGA port.

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.