Cube Thinker i35

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Cube Thinker i35 Surface Pen & Thermal Mod

Cube Thinker i35 Surface Pen & Thermal Mod

Thanks for a tip, I learned the Cube Thinker i35 has the same screen digitizer and pen as the Surface Book, so it’s not just the 13.5″ 3000 x 2000 Surface Book IPS but even the N-Trig stylus tech used. Below I ran a very quick test of the Surface Pen I got in just to confirm this. And it seems to work exactly how I remember on my old Surface Pro 4 I own for about 6 months.

But it’s not all positive, the Thinker i35 so far as one flaw. Thermals, it reached 82 degrees C taxing the CPU, which isn’t an issue. But if you Game or intend to push but the Intel HD 615 graphics and 7Y30 CPU temperatures will hit 92 degrees, however not triggering thermal throttling which is at something. I did my usual mod, new thermal paste, 15mm x 15mm x 1mm copper shim and then on top, a thermal pad to transfer heat to the rear plate. As a result, it dropped max temps by 25 degrees C.  A huge improvement! The Thinker i35 is still on sale for $616.

Video tech reviewer and tech blogger. I have a huge interest in the latest tech, tablets, laptops, mobiles, drones, and even e-scooters. Active in the tech community since 2008 days of the Omnia i900 Windows phone., founder from way back.


  1. Pretty impressive speed that Core M3-7Y30 has for only a 4.5 watt processor. Only 5% slower CPU-Mark score than the 15 watt 7th generation Core i3-7100U. Whereas the Core m3-6Y30 in that Mi notebook is 20% slower than the i3-7100U on the CPU-Mark score.

  2. This has me torn 🙂
    I was just gearing up to buy a Xiaomi 13 but this looks new and shiny – and is about 60gbp cheaper right now. How would you say it compares? I know you’ve done a bit of a comparison with the Xiaomi 12 which looks a good deal now but I really need 8gb ram. As far as I can see the big pro is the screen – but the Xiaomi appears to have a faster ssd, ram and cpu.. anything else I’ve missed?

    • Faster, more RAM, double the SSD size, much better screen. But the Mi notebook has a PCIe slot for adding a faster SSD and the keyboard is backlit and better touchpad. If you need the 8GB of RAM then it’s the one to go for.

      • Hi Chris,

        first of all thank you for this wonderful website!

        I am also trying to choose between the Xiaomi Air 13 and the Cube thinker i35. I just got an E-Mail from gearbest where they sell the Xiaomi Air 13 for just 635 Euros, which makes this choice so hard. On the other hand a touchpad would be nice, but I am a bit worried about the lack 180 degree mechanism, because it does not seem to go fully flat on a table. Is it possible to make some quick notes on it or do you need two hands for it every time?

        Thanks in advance and keep up the excellent work!

        • you do have to consider, that the air 13 has an i5 cpu and a nvidia 940 mx card. Therefore its not passive but has fans, which i read can be loud…

          • yeah, I know, dont really need that much power, but want to buy the best specs I can get for the heck of it.

            Thanks for ponting out the fan issue, I googled it and apparently there are quit a lot of people who have big issues regarding the fan noise after a couple of month, even in light use of the notebook (no gaming). they could not find a solution to the problem and especially no replacement for the fan, so this is bad.

          • In my review I commented its hot and loud, I also hate fan noise 🙂

        • Better with two hands.

          • Thanks, I will go for the cube i35, I think. But not before I have watched your as usual excellent review!

    • To follow up.. I flirted briefly with an XPS then realised I could buy 3 of these for the same price. Bought a thinker, very happy. No keyboard issues, no serious performance issues for general web dev work, (heavy disk use was the one bottleneck I hit) and the memory is a vast improvement on my old cube i7, speeding everything up vastly.
      And the screen really does make a huge difference to productivity. Very happy !

  3. Is the screen readable in direct sunlight? Or is it too glossy? Thank you.

  4. The windows shortcut is CTRL+ALT+arrow 😉

  5. If I should use the stylus, I would rotate the screen (using windows shortcut CTRL+ALT+) and write on the screen vertically with the keyboard on the left (I am right handed).

    I have ordered my thinker last week and I am looking forward to receive it.

  6. Chris G., thanks for an all-time great thermal mod video, with attention to thermal paste types and pad and copper shim dimensions.

  7. Chris, do you by any chance have a Surface Dial to check whether Thinker is compatible with it?
    If on-screen menu for Dial would activate that would be something that puts it apart from competition, only Surface Studio, Book and Pro 4 can do it as far as I know.

    • Sorry I don’t have the dial and not buying it like I bought the Stylus just to test.

  8. that’s great
    let’s hope to see a tablet+dock with the very same quality hitting the market soon
    For god sake the thermal issue is something Chris taught us that can be fixed quite easily
    It’s not the same about poor touchpad or keyboard quality….

  9. nice mod and video. But i think you could surely add the big copper plate 😀 woudl jsut have to use a thinner 1,5×1,5 shim between.
    Btw could you unlock the tdp to 20 or 22W and than run OCCT and see how long it takes to reach critical temperatures (85/87 degrees)?

  10. 25C, that’s a massive improvement.
    How do these companies not realise they’re spoiling their products for just a few tens of cents, if that, of heatsink?

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