Chuwi Hi10 Pro mini review: An affordable Windows 10 2-in-1

Established in 2004, Chuwi is a Chinese OEM based in Shenzhen, with a pretty neat lineup of Windows tablets and 2-in-1s since a while. Very popular on online retailers in China, the company is now trying to gain ground in other markets. Chuwi is also a global partner for Intel and Microsoft, which inspires a little confidence in this relatively unknown brand.

From their diverse lineup of devices in different form factors, I ordered the Chuwi Hi10 Pro, a Windows 10 2-in-1 with detachable keyboard. At less than $250, it's an affordable laptop for casual users as well as a great tablet for just about anyone who's looking for a Windows tablet.

The Good

  • Good build quality
  • Beautiful WUXGA display
  • Great price
  • Type-C charging

The Bad

  • Average camera
  • Wonky touchpad
  • Slightly heavy

Chuwi Hi10 Pro Design

The Hi10 Pro sports a full metal unibody design featuring an exquisite aluminum alloy chassis. The metallic finish gives it a premium look one would not expect from a budget device. It looks solid and the texture feels great in the hand — especially the curved edges which aid the grip — and can take casual everyday handling.

The bezel on the top is quite thick, and while on one side it is put to use with the Windows button, I didn't really mind it since it offered me a little extra room to hold the tablet easily without my thumb or palm covering the display.

The Hi10 Pro offers a generous heaping of connectivity options, all lined up on one edge of the tablet There's the TF card slot, USB Type-C for charging, Micro USB, Micro HDMI, and the 3.5mm headphone jack. The keyboard too includes a USB port. Chuwi has done well to pack all of these in its sleek form factor.

For the price, the Hi 10 Pro impresses in aesthetics. At 562 grams, it's not very heavy – about 100 grams heavier than the much more expensive iPad Air 2. I carried it around casually through the day, without it getting overbearing on my arm or wrist anytime.

Chuwi Hi10 Pro Display

The Hi10 Pro's 10.1-inch IPS display offers a 1920 x 1200 resolution, which is quite good for the price. The colors are vivid and text Windows looks crisp all around. The 16:10 aspect ratio makes it quite usable in the portrait mode as well, though it's not as ideal as something that's not quite so tall.

The 350-nits display is relatively bright, and you can tweak Intel's graphics options to crank it up even further. The sunlight legibility is not so great, and the screen is quite reflective even when the brightness is set to its maximum.

The glass tablet surface is smooth, and does not feel cheap in any way. The capacitive touchscreen worked quite well, correctly identifying taps and multi-touch gestures.

Chuwi Hi10 Pro Keyboard

Like Microsoft's Surface range, a keyboard is not bundled with the HiPro, but is available as a separate purchase. I think that's fair enough, helping Chuwi sell really cheap tablets for those who are interested just that.

At a little over half a kilogram, the keyboard is a tad heavy, and surprises you on first impression. Together with the tablet, it makes the package about 1,100 grams – not really light as one would've hoped. It's heavier than my Surface 3, for example. That said, the heavy keyboard makes sure it is a solid dock and doesn't wobble with the tablet inclined on it.

The detachable magnetic docking keyboard for Hi 10 Pro connects easily, is easy to remove, and doesn't wobble or come off unintended. Essentially, it's solid in build and construction. The keys are easy to press and you can type on them for extended periods of time without getting annoyed. If you're coming from a 14- or 15-inch laptop or a desktop keyboard, of course the tiny space between the keys would be annoying at first. If you've been using a smaller laptop or 2-in-1, it isn't a difficult transition.

The touchpad on the Hi10 Pro, though, could be better. Frequently, it would act jumpy and even adjusting the sensitivity wasn't enough to stop the cursor from randomly moving. A firmware or driver update could well take care of it, but I'm not sure if Chuwi is game for that.

Chuwi Hi10 Pro Software

I've kept this unsaid till now because I was least interested in this pitch. The Chuwi Hi 10 Pro is a dual-boot device and includes Windows 10 Home as well as Android 5.1. I really don't care about the latter, and only logged in once to set it up and check if all works fine (yes, it does). Also, it's two-year-old Android Lollipop and not likely to get an update to 6.0 or the just-released Android 7.0 Nougat, so unless you really need it, you can just ignore it.

Chuwi Hi10 Pro Hardware

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Operating SystemAndroid 5.1 and Windows 10 Home
ProcessorIntel Z8300 Quad Core, 1.44GHz
Internal Storage64GB; expandable up to 128GB via TF card
Display10.1-inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200) 10-Point capacitive IPS display
PortsTF card slot, USB Type-C, Micro USB, Micro HDMI, 3.5mm Headphone Jack
Camera2MP front camera | 2MP rear camera
Dimensions26.18 x 16.73 x 0.85 cm
Weight562 grams (without keyboard)

Powered by Intel's 14nm X5 Series Cherry Trail CPU (up to 1.84GHz) with a generous 4GB RAM, the Hi10 Pro is able to offer enough grunt for most apps and basic games. You shouldn't really stretch this hardware for graphic-intensive games or anything extraordinary, because then it shows its weakness.

The Hi10 Pro packs in 64GB of internal storage, which can be extended up to 128GB. It's eMMC, not SSD, mind you. Even though it's flash storage, eMMC typically is slower than SSD and boot times and large file operations are slower.

For a basic professional or student with a light workload – typically multi-tabbed browsing, Office apps, and some multimedia – the Hi10 Pro works quite well, and suffices without breaking a sweat. Anything more, is not what it is meant for, and that shows.

Both the front and rear cameras on the Hi 10 Pro are pretty average. There's always a little blur, and the front camera shots are usually dark. For those Skype calls, you might want to pick a well-lit spot, lest your face disappear into the darkness.

The battery life on the Hi10 Pro is pretty good. The 6500mAh battery allows for about 6 to 7 hours of normal usage. While Chuwi advertises quick charging, it's not quick enough. Using the supplied 5V/3A charger, it takes 3 to 4 hours to charge the Hi10 Pro to 100%.

It's quite nifty that the device uses USB 3.0 Type-C for charging — if you carry one of the latest smartphones you won't need to carry a separate chargers. Also, it also charges using any of the newer power banks.

The Bottom Line

The Chuwi Hi10 Pro has a lot going for it. There's the beautiful display and the stylish aluminum chassis. At $179 for the tablet, and another $40 for the keyboard, it's a terrific deal, really. More value, than money.

Apart from the wonky touchpad, I struggled to find a showstopper. The performance, while only average, is what one expects at this price and with the internals it packs. That said, the Intel Cherry Trail processor and 4GB of RAM do keep it going for an average user.

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Abhishek Baxi
  • Definitely a step up for the high-school student with an HP Stream. Nice.
  • I got my 128GB Surface 3 & keyboard/pen for £160 second hand. Absolutely worth looking out for such a deal rather than buying this Chuwi. The better processor, backlit keyboard and sub 1kg weight make it an absolute dream for travel.
  • Sounds like a nice one. Thanks for the review.
  • Chuwi like chewing gum.My surface book is better.
  • Really? Are you honestly saying that a device 4 or 5 times the price is better? I love insightful, two sentence reviews. ;-)
  • Wonky touchpad,Slightly heavy more like carrying a brick
  • I love the Surface Book, but guess you're forgetting that the $2000 device had a lot of driver issues till several months after the launch.
  • It's so sad the "hate" occurs because it's a Chinese product
  • You sir are an idiot!
  • This definitely makes a better and more valuable display companion for Continuum computing.
  • I have this device as a coffee table tablet for anybody to pick up. Setup W10 with accounts for whole family and also guest account for everybody else. It works good, certainly great for the price. Due to quick hibernation it lasts a long time on single battery charge for my use (after 4 hours it goes to full sleep, no notifications - obviously can be disabled). I wouldn't recommend it as personal, daily device - better get one of cheaper iPads for that, but if you have kids or often have people over it's a good pick up in my opinion.
  • Abhishek,
    U got it delivered to india or bought from somewhere else? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Got it delivered to India.
  • Thanks! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Can you update the Windows software on it? Because once while searching for such a dual os tablet it said that if updated the software then warranty void or some problem will occur. Is that true? ? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • There are a million such tabs. Whats so special with Chuwi ? Try products from Cube, Onda, Ramos, and many other such Chinese brands.
  • An informative review of a device that the 'non' tech spec sector consumer would more than likely buy. The thing is though, as good as these type of devices are for the price bracket, people are still put off by the Made in China label. There still seems to be some sort of stigma in the eyes of many when it comes to quality, and they will buy, somewhat ironically, an iPad etc, without even thinking about the fact they are made in China. The worst aspect of Chinese goods, in the main, are that the branding doesn't translate well in the west, thus appearing to be unpronounceable or just comical. It's a shame because most of the stuff we buy is made there, but has a 'Westernised' branding, and we like to be 'comfortable' with our branding. I guess if this had something like Acer, Lenovo or Toshiba on it, it would sell like hot cakes and leave the HP stream in its dust.
  • Yes Surface is made in China, Xbox is made in China, Dell is made in China, HP is made in China etc. etc.
  • Whatever dude it's not worth it.Never heard of Chuwi anyway what does it mean?
  • "people are still put off by the Made in China label. There still seems to be some sort of stigma in the eyes of many when it comes to quality" Chinese produced, designed in the west; this is usually acceptable, as the branding company will make sure certain minimum requirements are met. Chinese produced, Chinese desiged; this is where the stigma appears, as there's no real guarantee the Chinese designers are up to the task. Or indeed have designed it themselves, as opposed to having stolen it. What's more, lots of us are opposed to supporting the world's largest despotic regime if we have an alternative. Most tech is produced in China, so hard to get around this, but we can certainly avoid the pure Chinese products; Huawei etc. are not an option in my book.
  • Not incorrect. When Xiaomi had to go global, they rebranded the company as 'Mi' so that it could be acceptable, and pronounceable.
  • Hey, everything is made in China. Except babies - they're made in vachina.
  • Greetings from China.  You are correct.  Chinese brands don't translate well to Western markets.  But the same is also true going the other direction.  Almost all Western companies doing business in the world's biggest market change their name to a Chinese brand.  Apple is Pingguo. HP is Huipu. Microsoft is WeiRuan.  Google is HuDat.  Only Dell kept its Western name which is a pity since the Chinese pronounce it Duuuh!
  • Can you erase the waste of space that is Android?
  • So delete the crappy android part and now more memory
  • Incredible price. You can buy three of these for the price of one flagship phone. 
  • Why is it okay to make dual OS tablets but it's a big no no to make a dual OS phone? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • @remedy378; Because it can be a serious hit on performance on ARM chips for one, this is on an Intel chip and 4gigs of ram. 
  • I had the 12" vesion if this, a TOTAL POS.  Finally gave up and tossed it.  You can find out about all of their problems on Chuwi's forum...many, many unhappy campers.  My advice spend more get more.
  • I bought one and it was delievered last week to me. There are certainly positives and negatives about this tablet. But in all honesty for 250 shipped to my door with a stylus (bought that extra), it is a great extra device to have lying around. The build quality is quite nice, but yes it felt surprisingly heavy. Everything seems to work well, but there are some bugs which I can see, i.e. when I charge the device in Win10 mode the screen flashes on bright and dim -- wierd. Since I have only had it for a week I will reserve my opinion for a later date, but for 250, shipped it is still a deal as long as it doesn't crap out on me. (BTW, the screen is excellent.) 
  • I have the Chuwi Hi8 and I really like it. I actually use the android more at this point for gaming, but it's nice to have Windows available for when I need to have access since i have a Windows phone and computer. It's well made and was only $105. I plan to get the HiPro for my business if this tablet hold up. The dual functionality is a huge selling point in my opinion for those who have android access but don't want an android phone.
  • I think this is an enticing product especially if your looking for something inexpensive an give a way to get those apps that Windows don't yet commonly use. Weight complaining something the birds don't complain about, I think is silly. They complained the Lumia 920 was heavy...
  • How does it compare to the Hi10 Plus, is the "type cover" like keyboard any good? And is there a stylus with the Hi10 Pro, hows it? 
  • Abhishek are you able to install Zwift on the device and see if it runs on low settings?
  • Chewi is pretty awesome. I reviewed a tablet in the forums about a year ago.  Just stay far away from anyting called IRULU. Absolute garbage.
  • Can it power an external hdd? I heard that tbook 16 can't.
  • Looks sweet, at Geekbuying they have it on sale for $169. I might go for it.
  • I own a Chuwi Hi10 - the version without USB-C. Really a nice little tablet. I use it on the go for surfing the web, reviewing documents and slide decks, Twitter, and email. If you are doing just that, then performance is fine. But keep in mind: the internal eMMC is really slow. Windows updates take a very long time. I was also able to get rid of Android. In fact, I reinstalled my tablet with Win10. Works like a charm :) If you are looking for a cheap tablet that is able to do basic stuff, I can recommend the Chuwi Hi10 series. Build quality is really good! One drawback: some devices seem to have a problem with "deep sleep". Some users reported that their tablet won't wake up after they put it into sleep mode for some hours. Looks like it's a BIOS problem and hopefully Chuwi will release an update.
  • Many OneNote fanatics will consider this over a Surface 3.  NOTE:  This has an "active capacitive" stylus (no digitizer), which is slower and less accurate.  If you're doing art or math notes, I highly recommend the Surface 3.
  • I think I'll get it from Geekbuying for $230 with the magnetic keyboard.
  • GPS? Could be a decent Pokémon machine.