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CarlinKit Tbox Max Android 13 Carplay AI Box Review

January 22, 2024 5 min read

CarlinKit Tbox Max is a great box, useful for bringing Android 13 to cars, but also for making both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay wireless.

CarlinKit Tbox Max, also known by the name Carlinkit TBox Led, is a multimedia box that can be connected directly to your car, to be able to access CarPlay and Android Auto, completely wirelessly and without the manufacturer's limitations, in addition to that it offers the user the possibility to enjoy Android Auto directly on their car, with the downloading of applications, streaming of content, or more simply the creation of a mobile hotspot, given the presence of the SIM slot on the product itself. Let's take a closer look at it with our full review.

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Carlinkit Tbox Max Review: Table of Contents

1. Aesthetics and Design
2. Hardware and Specifications
3. User Experience
4. CarlinKit Tbox Max - Conclusions

Aesthetics and Design

The product comes in a simple box with everything necessary for proper operation inside, specifically two USB-A to USB-Cand USB-C to USB-C cables of 30 centimeters in length, thus suitable for most cars on the market, in addition to clearly the CarlinKit Tbox Max itself. The latter is made of black-colored plastic, with a mesh weave that embraces almost the entire top, in the center stands out in fact a shiny circle with the brand's logo to break the monotony of the design, and at the same to give it an excellent overall elegance.

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Dimensionally it could perhaps have been smaller, basically it does not reach too large measures (it can fit easily in the palm of one hand), as it is 79.8 x 79.8 x 14.7 millimeters, but at the same time it is to be considered that its use is in a car, in which the spaces are definitely smaller than, for example, the desk at home. To make the placement more difficult, we obviously find the need for a physical connection with the car, this depends on the correct arrangement of the ports of the model you have, despite this it may be difficult to be able to find the right slot.

The construction materials are good, they are mostly plastic, with a glossy band on the frame, the product appears to be durable and reliable, still able to withstand shocks or bumps of various kinds. At the rear we find the only physical port for connection to the car (which we recall is a USB Type-C), which will serve both to provide the power suitable for operation, but also for data transfer. Two very interesting slots then stand out beside it: microSD and Nano SIM. The former to be used for system updates and to add content/files/documents to be accessed from the car's infotainment; in the latter case, on the other hand, subject to the use of an enabled SIM, the CarlinKit Tbox Max is offered the possibility of connecting to the Internet, expanding by no small amount the functionality accessible by the end user.

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Hardware and Specifications

The product was created to be used exclusively in cars, its purpose being to provide wireless access to CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as to enjoy a range of Android apps and functions, all wirelessly of course. Based on this assumption, it is good to know that it is not compatible with any car, but exclusively with models that already integrate Android Auto and CarPlay with physical connection. In other words, its goal is to 'transform' this physical connection to wireless, facilitating access to all functions and extending everyday usability.

All you have to do to use it is to take a single action: connect the device to the car with the supplied cable (with USB-A or USB-C port depending on your need). One of its strengths is definitely the presence of the SIM slot, which means that in addition to allowing access to the network via the car's infotainment system, it will also be able to act as a hotspot, consequently going to create a dual-band 802.11 ac WiFi network (at 2.4 and 5GHz), giving any device the opportunity to connect to be able to surf the net.

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The presence of the integrated GPS chip inside CarlinKit Tbox Max, opens the door to multiple uses, even simply concerning the monitoring of the car's position at any given time, provided it is turned on (otherwise the product does not work, given the absence of a built-in battery). Finally, the Bluetooth connection should not be underestimated, it can really come in very handy especially in case you do not want to use the SIM, as it is the only way to connect to the box, and thus "project" your own Android Auto or Apple CarPlay settings on the display.

Under the hood is a Qualcomm QCM6225 octa-core processor, with four 2GHz cores and four 1.8GHz cores and 11-nanometer manufacturing process, coupled with the Adreno 610 GPU. Two variants are available on the market: 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB of internal storage, or 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 128GB of internal storage; the differences, other than the aforementioned combo, are nonexistent (except, of course, in the final selling price).

User experience

As you might have guessed, CarlinKit Tbox Max not only facilitates wireless access to Android Auto and Apple's CarPlay, but is able to turn the car's display into a tablet for all intents and purposes. At its base, in fact, Android 13 is available, which means that the user can access, directly from the aforementioned infotainment system, some of the most classic applications of the green robot, such as TikTok, Google Chrome, Instagram, YouTube, Messages, ApkInstaller (through which to go and install many more) and more. The speed of connection, downloading, or streaming will depend directly on the area you are going through, thus on the mobile connection you are actually subjected to at the exact moment of testing. The versatility in daily use is extreme, so much so that it greatly enhances infotainment, and thus proving to be a highly recommended product for all those who are not satisfied with what is actually preinstalled on the car they own.

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Switching between the various systems is quick and very intuitive, with full support for split-screen, or splitting the screen into multiple parts, thus being able to start two apps at the same time. It will then be possible to play directly from the car's display with the many games available (but not while you are driving), completely revolutionizing the experience on long journeys, and beyond. Updates are downloaded for free via OTA, so you'll never miss any new features. Virtually all smartphones on the market are compatible with CarlinKit Tbox Max, technically we're talking about models from iPhone 6 onward (or with at least iOS 10) or with at least Android 11 installed.

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CarlinKit Tbox Max - Conclusions

The product presents a sufficiently powerful and responsive configuration, we did not notice any slowdowns such as to report difficulties in use, moreover, the presence of the SIM slot makes it even more versatile than we would have ever imagined (without, however, forgetting the presence of the microSD slot for internal memory extension). The aesthetics, and the perfect compatibility with most smartphones on the market, complete the positive aspects of a product that makes versatility its strong point, pushing on the accelerator for users who want to stay up-to-date with technology, not only at home, but also in the car.

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Thanks: Guest written by D'Orazi Dario

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