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CHUWI Hi13 review: A Surface Book alternative that costs only $369

Windows Central Recommended Award

The CHUWI brand is not yet a household name but the company's increasingly diverse, affordable, and at times impressive Windows 10 lineup is getting more popular. The company's Hi13 is a "new generation flagship 2 in 1 tablet" that closely resembles a Microsoft Surface Book.

Priced at just $369, the Hi13 is certainly cheaper than Microsoft's offerings, but is it any good? The answer may surprise you.

About this review

CHUWI supplied Windows Central with a review unit of the Hi13. There are no configuration options, and the unit is priced at $369 (and as low as $319 from various online retailers).

CHUWI Hi13 hardware and specifications

Although CHUWI cut some corners to keep the Hi13's cost below $400, it went all out on the display, which is a beautiful 13.5" 3000 x 2000 IPS and touch capacitive. The rest of the Hi13 matches up with the quality of the CHUWI 14. 1 LapBook.

CategoryCHUWI Hi13 2in1
Processor7th-Gen "Apollo Lake" Intel Celeron N3450 at 1.1GHz with burst to 2.2GHz
Internal storageSamsung 64GB eMMC 5.1
RAM4GB
LPDDR3 1600 MHz
Display13.5-inch IPS (3000 x 2000)
Touch, Capacitive (10-point)
GraphicsIntel 500
PortsTwo USB Type-A (2.0 and 3.0)
One USB Type-C
One micro USB
3.5mm jack
microSD Card
micro HDMI
Speakersfour AAC
WirelessIntel AC-3165 (2.4/5GHz)
802.11a/b/g/n
CameraFront-facing 2.0MP
Rear 5.0MP
Battery10,000 mAh/37 Whr
WeightTotal: 4.4 lbs (2.0 kg)
Tablet: 2.42 lbs (1.1 kg)
Keyboard: 1.96 lbs (0.89 kg)

Considering the price point and that display, the specifications are right in line with expectations.

CHUWI Hi13 design

The Hi13 is a solid, mostly metal alloy machine. Coming in at nearly 4.5 lbs, the Hi13 is not light for its size. Oddly, the display and tablet portion are significantly heavier than the keyboard base.

The design makes discerning between the top and bottom of the 2 in 1 a little odd, especially due to the labeling being on the back of the tablet (what is the display in laptop mode). Both halves of the 2 in 1 are relatively the same width, giving the desired symmetry, though the top half is slightly thicker.

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Due to most of the PC components and the battery being in the display section, it makes sense that would weigh more than the keyboard half, which itself has no battery capabilities. Still, it feels weird when you pick up the entire 2 in 1 by the base when the display is open. It almost feels like the screen will snap off the keyboard dock due to the weight difference.

To remove the tablet, you just pull the display off the base. Some exceptionally strong magnets hold the screen, and there is a keyboard connector to enable the full PC experience. It's a solid design, and the hinge feels sturdy. The bottom of the tablet is spotless, with two holders and a single connector.

Not only can the screen be removed for tablet mode, but you can reverse it as well on the keyboard dock. That presentation style keeps the keyboard in the back of the display. You can also lay the screen flat when reversed, creating a thicker tablet that's ideal for drawing. This setup is not quite as beneficial as the Surface Book's design, because there is no extra battery in the keyboard dock or a discrete GPU.

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The hinge is very well designed and minimal. It requires some force to open, but it feels like it will hold up over time.

The metallic power button and volume are on the top left of the display, just like on the Surface Book. A small white LED on the keyboard base above the keyboard lets you know the Hi13 is current powered.

CHUWI always surprises me with the quality of its hardware. There is no creaking, the edging of the Hi13 is machine cut (like what HP does with is Spectre line), and the overall feel of the device is not what you would expect from a sub-$400 PC.

Finally, the silver color is like a cross between an Apple MacBook Pro and Surface Book. It's smooth and smudge-free.

Hi13 display with perfect color accuracy

The heart of the Hi13 is its display. CHUWI apparently sunk most of the costs into the 3000 x 2000 IPS touch screen. That resolution may sound odd, but it is the same one found in the Surface Book. That means you also get the desired 3:2 aspect ratio, which many consumers seem to prefer over the wider and more traditional 16:9.

This is a really nice 3000 x 2000 display.

CHUWI claims that the display is 100 percent sRGB color accurate. That's a bold claim. Dell's XPS computers with UHD displays can hit such numbers, but even the Surface line (Pro and Book) struggle to hit 97 percent. But CHUWi is not fibbing. In tests using a Spyder 5 Elite colorimeter, the display hit 100 percent sRGB and 79 percent Adobe RGB, making it one of the most color accurate displays on any device I've recently tested.

True to its word CHUWI delivers a 100% sRGB color gamut, which is crazy.

The display is also dazzling, peaking at 480 nits and resulting in a comfortable average viewing brightness of just 30 percent for regular usage.

To be fair, the touch display and lamination is where you can see some cost-cutting compared to a Surface Book. There is clearly more of an air gap between the digitizer and display components. Also, blacks tend to be grayer and lack that real deep black experience you can find on higher-end laptops.

All of that, however, misses the point. The CHUWI Hi13 has arguably the best display for a sub $400 PC in 2017. It's stunning looking, and the color contrast is exceptional, especially after some minor calibration. It's insane to find such a display in this price range.

Inking and pen

True to its purpose, the Hi13 works with active digital pens. CHUWI does not include the HiPen H3 in the box, but at just $25 the active pen is a well-priced accessory.

The pen takes a single AAAA battery (included) and has 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity using the 2mm tip. There are two buttons as well, but it lacks the third programmable eraser button found on the Surface.

Made from a silver metal alloy it's one of my favorite pens to use. It's a near carbon copy of the Surface Pen, but that's not a terrible thing.

The pressure sensitivity is on the low side for 2017, where 2,048 levels and higher are found in high-end tablets, but it gets the job done. Palm rejection on the Hi13 is OK and for basic inking, drawing, note taking and more, the Hi13 and HiPen H3 are a great combo.

CHUWI put a Windows Start key on the right-hand side of the tablet, which can cause some accidental activations when inking.

It's not the best for pen and ink, but there is nothing comparable to it in this price range.

Finally, it's worth noting the pen has a magnet as well letting you attach it to the right side of the Hi13. The magnets are not super strong, but it's better than nothing and helps when in an area with little desk space.

A quality keyboard

I liked the keyboard on the LapBook 14.1, and luckily that same design carries over to the Hi13. The same large, black, chicklet keys with ample travel are on the bottom half of the Hi13, and they make typing fun.

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The keys are not backlit. Pressing the keys down feels firm, and there is a satisfying bounce feel and sound when you type, not unlike typing on the Surface Pro 4.

Trackpad woes

CHUWI gets almost everything right on its laptops and tablets, but the trackpad is still its weak point. The same complaints I had with the LapBook 14.1 carry over to the Hi13.

The trackpad is plastic, but it feels OK. In fact, I love the chrome accent that separates the trackpad from the keyboard base, which is something like what HP does. It looks classy. Movement of the cursor is also satisfactory, albeit less accurate than a Precision or Synaptics trackpad.

Clicking, however, is terrible. I sometimes must click multiple times for it to register, and the experience is not even across the trackpad. Tapping is an option, but it too can be finicky.

Finally, because the trackpad technically behaves like a mouse, the scrolling is reversed compared to standard PC trackpads, which can be disorientating for unaccustomed users. At least there are two USB ports to use an external mouse, which can alleviate some of the trackpad issues.

Four speakers almost get it right

The Hi13 puts all four of its speakers into the main tablet (laptop display). There are four of them made by AAC Technologies, a company I've never heard of.

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Sounds is decent, but it lacks bass and richness. The audio gets loud enough, and putting the speakers on the sides of the tablet is a smart design choice. You get a stereo experience, though it's not quite as satisfying as front-facing speakers.

While many PCs in this price point would grace the user with one or just two speakers, CHUWI is trying to be different here.

Ports galore

A significant departure between the Hi13 and Surface Book is the port selection, which is in favor of the Hi13.

CHUWI puts two USB Type-A ports into the keyboard base, which makes sense due to the size. One port is 3.0, and the other is 2.0. The ports are also not incorrectly reversed like on the larger CHUWI LapBook.

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On the tablet, there is a USB Type-C port, but it noticeably lacks Thunderbolt 3. You can use it to connect devices and even for fast recharging, which is great. But don't expect to add an external GPU.

Additionally, there is a micro HDMI, microSD card slot, and a micro USB port, plus the standard headphone jack. I've never seen a device with Type-A, Type-C, and micro USB in one chassis, so that makes the Hi13 unique.

The only downside to the ports is that you do not get a "legacy" Type-A in the tablet half.

Two good cameras

The Hi13 has a decent 2.0MP front-facing camera for use in Skype conference calls or for taking a quick selfie. The camera is better than expected.

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On the back of the display is a 5.0MP camera that tends to shift red for white colors. Still, it's not terrible. In fact, the cameras are better than the ones on most high-end laptops, which is surprising.

Heat and no fan noise

Since the Hi13 uses an Intel Celeron processor, there is no fan to cool the CPU down, making it a silent system.

Heat never gets terrible either, with the temperatures peaking at 91 degrees F (33 degrees C) on the left middle portion of the display. The back of the screen is even cooler at just 84 degrees F (29 degrees C).

Since the keyboard base has no power or battery components, it never gets warm.

CHUWI Hi13 performance

The 7th Generation Intel Celeron processor is far from a Core model, but it certainly delivers more than Intel Atom.

The Hi13 has a monster 3000 x 2000 display versus the larger LapBook's ho-hum 1920 x 1080 one. That resolution change means you need much more graphics power to get all those pixels flowing, and you see some lag with the Hi13.

Geekbench 4.0 Benchmarks (Higher is better)

DeviceSingle coreDual core
CHUWI Hi131,3583,934
CHUWI 14.1 LapBook1,3653,818
Surface Book Core i73,9487,415
Kangaroo Notebook9242,357

Geekbench 4.0 Graphics OpenCL (Higher is better)

CategoryScore
CHUWI Hi138,155
XPS 13 (9360) HD62019,410
Surface Book HD52018,197
CHUWI 14.1 LapBook8,027

Trivial things like even launching the Start menu or even the login screen saw a noticeable lag. The experience is brief but you notice it. Likewise, for larger apps there can be a considerable delay between actions.

The Intel Celeron N3450 is not a high performing chip at 1.1GHz with a burst to 2.2GHz, but it gets the job done. Windows 10 has made great strides in optimizations on lower-end hardware, and that's reflected in my experience.

On the Futuremark PCMark 8 Home Conventional test, the CHUWI received a score of 1,315 making it better than 5 percent of all results.

Most apps work just fine. I watched TV on the new Sling app and loved the experience. The image was clean, crisp, and the Intel Wi-Fi card handled everything well. The same goes for loading most apps from the Window Store, which tend to be on the lighter side. But nothing is free, and the Intel Celeron is apparently pushing its limits with a 3K display.

For internal storage, CHUWI opts for a Samsung eMMC 5.1 flash option. Such technology is faster than a spinning hard drive, but not quite as fast a SATA3 solid state drive (SSD) and miles behind premium PCIe NVMe. The Samsung eMMC does well, though, even slightly outperforming the LapBook's SanDisk storage.

CrystalDiskMark (higher is better)

DeviceReadWrite
CHUWI Hi13295 MB/s141 MB/s
CHUWI 14.1 LapBook265 MB/s118 MB/s
Surface Book 512782 MB/s573 MB/s
Dell XPS Tower SE (HDD)133 MB/s150 MB/s
Kangaroo Notebook128 MB/s43 MB/s

Overall, I have no serious issues with the CHUWI Hi13's performance. Sure, the occasional lag is unwanted, but the company is making a 2 in 1 with a 3K display for under $400 as the tradeoff. It's worth it.

Battery life is adequate

The biggest draws on any battery for a laptop are the display and the processor. It shouldn't be surprising that a 3000 x 2000 screen that can get quite bright will result in less power on the road.

On average, I could get about six hours out of a single charge on 30 percent to 40 percent display brightness. That is below average right now for high-end 7th Generation Intel systems, but it's on par with the Surface Pro 4. You can extend that six hours if you keep the display brightness a bit lower, which should not be a problem.

I did not experience any significant power draw when the device was in lower power standby. However, I did on occasion have some odd experiences when powering the device back on from sleep, requiring some finessing with the power and volume keys.

Potential buyers should appreciate the USB Type C charging ability, however. Not only is it convenient, but it charges quite fast. Since the Celeron processor is not as demanding, you don't need a 65W charger and can make do with a smaller 24W version. (Of course, you can use more than 24W if you have one.)

CHUWI Hi13

CHUWI Hi13 review conclusion: Quality that's close to Surface Book — for about $350

If you want something like a Surface Book but cannot afford it, the CHUWI Hi13 should be on your short-list. The Hi13 by CHUWI is a very impressive device for its price point. The display is something you would expect in a laptop that costs twice as much.

There are sacrifices, such as performance, but the overall package is very well done. Corners were cut, especially when it comes to the trackpad, but CHUWI has a knack for making the right cuts to keep the price low. The Celeron processor is fine for most applications and even some light casual gaming. There is some occasional stutter with the 3K display, but it's still an awesome screen. Even the storage can be augmented through a microSD card.

For build quality, the Hi13 is a beastly, all-metal machine. It's solid throughout and while it's not light, it also doesn't feel cheap. The machined alloy and precision cut edges give it a very modern and elegant look.

There are some other oddities. The top-heavy nature of the device is awkward, the speakers lack richness, and the trackpad is abysmal for clicking, for example. However, CHUWI is the only company right now with a sub-$400 Windows 10 PC that doesn't make me want to cringe.

CHUWI LapBook Review

If you are looking for a device that lets you leverage all the new abilities of the Windows 10 Creators Update for less than $400, the CHUWI Hi13 could be for you. And if you've never heard of CHUWI, you should keep the company on your radar, because I think it's one of the most exciting companies around.

Chuwi Hi13 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

You can purchase the CHUWI Hi13 from Aliexpress, Gearbest, Giztop, and I expect that Amazon will carry it shortly, as well.

Finally, for those who want a smaller 2 in 1, CHUWI makes the Hi10 (see our full review, which features a 10.1 IPS Full HD display (1920 x 1080).

Pros:

  • Excellent value.
  • Outstanding display.
  • Fanless design.
  • Exceptional typing experience.
  • Very good port options.
  • CPU is much better than Intel ATOM.

Cons:

  • Trackpad clicking function is poor.
  • Top heavy.
  • Occasional lags due to processor and display combination.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

80 Comments
  • Yes, Intel Celeron == Surface Book... lol And another thing is, having owned Chuwi products myself, can attest their reliability is low and the customer support is non-existant.
  • Yeah, totally agreed.  It's hilarious seeing all these blogs comparing it to the Surface Book.  Celeron and eMMC?  Where's the GPU option?  The logic seems like any 2-in-1 is a SB rival if it has a similar screen, size and resolution wise.
  • You people are seriously missing the point. If you want a Surface Book-like device i.e. a 2-in-1 with a pen and 3K screen name me one for $369. Stop acting like the world can afford a device with a discrete GPU or that dropping $1K is an option. Not everyone is privileged and your condescension is unwarranted.
  • We all understand that not everyone can afford the SB and some might be looking for very specific things like "a 2-in-1 with a pen and 3K screen for $369".  But that doesn't make the $369 device a Surface Book rival.  People don't look for the SB because of only the form factor, pen, and screen.  The performance is an essential part of it.  And the optional GPU dock, a defining option.   But I guess this probably gets more clicks than saying it's a Surface 3/SP 4 rival with a better and larger screen.
  • "But that doesn't make the $369 device a Surface Book rival."
    I disagree. Perhaps "low-cost alternative" is better and I have changed it to that (I didn't title this review, btw).
  • "low-cost alternative", "rival".  That's splitting hairs to me.  This is absolutely a rival in my book.  My number-one criterion personally is 13+-inch screen suitable for reading sheet music.  I've come really close to spring for the Surface Book.  And yeah, the extra performance would be nice, but for me not essential.
  • "Low cost, low performance with stutter and lag because of a high resolution screen and not enough power to run it" alternative would also work
  • stop being a doucebag!
  • Fortunately, I've always wanted to be a doucebag.  Achievement unlocked!!
  • I like this guy (aleunge the ******)
  • Don't be a buzz kill, Rohan.  Douchebags are the most entertaining people posting ;-)
  • Honestly, I don't get it.  I'm not trying to be a dbag here, really, but are douces that are seriously looking at an SB going to have to wreck their brains deciding between the Chuwi and the SB?  Thinking about their needs to want/need an SB to begin with, it doesn't make any sense at all.  The SB is all about top of the line hardware/specs in a tight 2-in-1 form factor, not just a good screen and pen support.  The Chuwi is as far off to the SB as is the run of the mill same form factor Atom equipped 2-in-1 is to the Chuwi.  If you're looking at a Surface 3 or SP4, I can understand people having a serious look at the Chuwi though.  This just seems too much of clickbait (before the title change) because everyone wants an SB and here's a "rival" for $369.  It's really like saying a $369 Acer Aspire is a rival to the MacBook Pro...
  • Also understand that if you are buying a Surface Book because of it's performance, you are vastly overpaying for the performance. You can get better performing laptops for much less than what the Surface Book runs for. Most people literally do make the decision to go with the Surface Book because it's a 2-in-1 with a pen and brilliant screen.
  • Well that's why my point isn't to get the SB just for the performance.  Doing so would be overpaying like you said, but that would be in the same way if someone only wanted a nice screen with a pen and gets an SB.  The essence of the SB is high performance/specs in a nice 2-in-1 device.  The minority might want it for different things but that's not MS's target market or the actual product price tier.  That's why they only have it with i5/i7 and a minimum of 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, Intel HD graphics 520 using dual channel system RAM, etc.  And knowing this, that's also why a rival or alternative has to be at least a little similar in all aspects including performance.  Or else the Asus Transformer Book is also a rival?  A Galaxy S8+'s rival is a ZTE ZMax Pro because similar screen sizes (just imagine the comments on a phone blog if they said a snapdragon 2xx device is a rival to an 8xx device becasue of a screen size or whatever else, regardles what you might personally want to do on the phone)? A Celeron and eMMC with probably single channel RAM (also accessed by the iGPU) really puts it into another distant class.  Do people really not know it goes Atom < Celeron < Pentium < Core?  Some generations of the Celeron/Pentium lines, including this one Apollo Lake, actually use the same architecture as Atoms.  It is basically an enhanced Atom with similar TDP and performance.  Comparing a top of the line core series device with an Atom equipped device??  I'm surprised everyone's got their panties in a bunch by just pointing out the completely mismatched product classes.  I get that some might have considered the SB but ends up digging the Chuwi, but most won't buy one when you really considered the other here.
  • Exactly, Dan! I know I couldn't afford a Surface product. Luckily I found a Dell 2 in 1 with an Intel Core m3 Skylake processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB SSD for only $320. That's a steal! But it doesn't have the build quality and screen resolution as this. Seems like a better bargain.
  • @Daniel  I wasn't being condescending.  Their products are complete junk.  I know for experience.  Thanks for the assumption though that I must be an elitist of some sort.
  • And I've used two CHUWI products and don't think they're junk at all. Low cost, sure. Are there downsides and trade offs, absolutely. Do I think they're some of the best 'budget' devices to come out of China? I do. I stand by my review and assessment. Even Anandtech and I are on the same page.
  • I think this is a great article. Apparently it's only cool to troll the heck out of everything now, but as someone who doesn't want to spend SB money it's a great business option that doesn't need a dedicated GPU and large dock, etc whatever. It's way better than most inexperienced 2 in 1s with a good size screen!
  • We are not missing the point, we are laughing at the one you are trying to make. You are billing this as a Surface Book alternative, except that hybrid computers with a pen and solid keyboards have already existed for a long time. But this one is "special" because it has a the same screen resolution as the Surface Book?? That's laughable. Great! It's cheap! Nothing wrong with that. Does everyone need a Surface Book, an i7 or a dGPU? No. But that doesn't make this a Surface Book alternative, nor does it make your decision to write it as such correct.   The issue here isn't the computer, or peoples choices, or even comparing it to a Surface. The issue is how you chose to write this article. 
  • It seems that if you define the Surface Book as a performance laptop, primarily, then this comparison seems silly. However, if you define the Surface Book primarily by its form factor, than this comparison is an obvious one. I'm in the latter camp -- If I wanted a performance laptop, I most certainly would not be focused on the Surface Book. There are many far better performers for less money. For me, the defining attributes all stem from the form factor. I'll grant that perhaps it's the combination of form factor in a decent performance machine and the included extra battery and external GPU. So I can understand the argument. However, going back to the question: Why would someone buy the Surface Book over, say a Dell XPS or other high-performance system or even low-performance system? Why pay the high price -- it's all because it's a 2-in-1 that's mostly a laptop, but has the proper tablet 3:2 aspect ratio and pen support, and maybe even the reversible screen. The Surface Book has set the gold standard, and any other computer following that specific form factor should absolutely be compared with the Surface Book. That's why MS built it and priced it high -- they're defininng a category, leaving lots of room for OEM's to profit by undercutting them, and hoping OEMs will come in with the cheap versions. There are still not many other systems out there like that, this is one. In the world of PC buying, unless price is your primary category defining factor, then you're probably thinking about computers based on form. You want a desktop, or a tablet, or a laptop, or a convertible, or some combination. From a form-factor perspective, this Chumi clearly is in the same general category as the Surface Book. Therefore, the comparison is on-point. Further, Daniel makes it clear where the cost cutting makes a difference and what this is missing. Perfect review. Thanks, Daniel.
  • I disagree with you. The Surface Book is a differenty type of form factor because of it's performance. Otherwise, based on your denfinition the Surface Book is no more new or innovative than the Samsung 700-T series. Just a natural progression of CPUs and displays to improve.    You don't pay the price for a Surface Book because of a 3:2 aspect ratio. Thats nuts. You do so because of a high quality screen, high performance SSDs, 8-16GB of RAM and advanced tech in the screen that improves the pen even in the base models. But more so, the  innovation and difference of a Surface Book compared to other designs is the battery and components in the Base that let the screen be lighter and incline more without tipping back (thanks to the hinge).   THis computer is simply a larger screen version of an Acer Switch, or a lower powered but larger version of the Samsung 700T. A poorly ballanced tablet with a clam shell keyboard with little range of motion. And all the battery and computer components, save a USB-2 port in the tablet.    This is in no way related to the SB except it has the same screen aspect ratio and size.  
  • @Erik Pelligrini, "form factor" literally means the physical form of the device. It has nothing to do with the internal technology or price. From a form factor persective, this is absolutely in the same category as the Surface Book. You can dispute the validity of form factor in determining similarity, and I'd agree there are some critical differences when you get past the form factor, but that's a whole separate case to make.
  • "A great business option" - with only 4GB of RAM, I don't think so!
  • It's the form factor. Where the Surface and Surface Pro are tablets that can function as laptops, and the Surface Book is the other way around.
  • Lack of AC wifi is a deal breaker. I've tried Chinese tablets before and they are cheap and built decently they ALWAYS cheap out on the wifi chips used which ends up being a deal breaker. Bad Wifi = a useless PC
  • What's wrong with Intel AC-3165 - that's what this has. Connected to my 5Ghz router just fine and had zero issues.
  • It has AC Wi-Fi @swanlee you should have read the article before commenting!
  • My experience with 10" Chuwi was quite different.  Nothing about it to recommend.  Poor keyboard, horrible drivers, crash prone, terrible customer support. Reset procedure for my model is non-typical...for experts only.  Had to reset MANY times. Their forum is rift with complaints.  Mine now resides at the local dump.  You usually get what you pay for.
  • It's a good thing they are not a stagnant company. Many companies will take many things into consideration and improve vastly based on feedback. Much like Hisense in the television department. Used to be very low end with many issues, now are considered by many to be moving into the top 3 television manufacturers.
  • Mine sucked too, but people downvote me for saying it.  Oh well, it's not like it's all over Amazon how bad they are, etc. 
  • Man - I would have killed for a device like this in college. It's amazing how far computers have come in both price and features. It's also interesting to me that no one else is really playing in this market space. I've been trying to find good USB-C charging 2-in-1 laptops that a) have a stylus, b) aren't atom, and c) don't break the bank, and it's been a chore.  
  • Celeron, no dGPU and all the test score results are like half the Surface Book. I usually like your stuff, Dan, but this is click bait bullsh!t. I only clicked on it because I was interested in something comparable to a SB, not this garbage.
  • then you must be rich cause not everyone has $2000 to spend on the Surface Book
  • Surface Books start below $1500. For that price you get 128GB NVE SSD 8 GB of RAM and 2x the battery life with an i5. Not everyone has $2000. This computer is an option for those who don't. A Surface Book is an expensive alternative if you have the money. But if you have $1500 and want a Surface Book, this is not an alternative.
  • It's not about being rich. This is NOT comparable to a Surface Book. It's a cheap low-end tablet in essence, with only 4GB of RAM and only 1.1GGz Processor - its' really not capable of much. Definitely not comparable in any way to a Surface Book. They could have just reviewed it as a low end low spec 2-in-1 and no-one would have been complaining about it's lack of comparability to a Surface Book.
  • Relax. I didn't title the article, our managing editor did. Second, it's been changed.
  • It seems Gearbest doesn't include the keyboard or the pen. You need to buy them, grand total is 395.52$ during the ongoing promo. Add shipping and duty on top of this, with no real support or warranty. Not sure I want to try.
  • Daniel, thanks for describing that USB-C port thoroughly. The lack of Thunderbolt USB 3.1 Gen 2 is a deal-breaker for me. I want all my mobile devices to have it eventually!
  • Sure thing. TB3 is still (a) costly (b) tough on hardware restraints for OEMs, not quite as easy as just USB (even Dell struggles with the PCIe piping); we'll see more of it come but it'll be awhile before Mobile/phones.
  • Agreed. Makes sense a phone might lack Gen2, but I need host devices like a laptop/tablet to sport it and not be the limiting factor! Fun fact, the Microsoft Display Dock actually supports Gen2! I just bought one and was quite impressed to see that level of hardware design.
  • Surface Book shouldn't be mentioned in the title, this is just a basic 2 in 1 which have been around for 5 years. I was expecting a dGPU. Click bait warning.
  • You're wrong. 3K display, active pen, 3:2 aspect, detachable tablet, solid keyboard dock and a laptop that's also a tablet and you don't think that's a cheaper, low cost Surface Book clone? You haven't been paying attention. (Also, "clickbait warning"? You're posting that in comments of the article in question making it a very, very weak warning).
  • Existing 2-in-1 computers with active pens, detatchable tablet, solid keyboard. Samsung Ative Pro (expensive) to Acer Switch (cheap). This adds a 3k display. That's it, and removes RAM and the SSD to compete. I have not had you respond to my comments yet, but as I see it this is labeled a "Surface Book alternative" simply based on the screen.   And I think the review, as it stands alone is a great review.   
  • I'd like to see the build quality of the Chuwi with a Core-M (still fanless) and 8GB RAM for $4-500.
  • Small note: Core M is actually now "Y-series". To the other point, Y-Series chips would still be half the cost of a $500 device, which would mean a 3K display would be difficult to have.
  • Daniel, you should really give the Cube Mix Plus 2in1 a chance. Kaby lake y-series chip, 128 gb ssd, fhd, Wacom support and good build quality. I would prefer the performance over this (beautiful) display. All for around 250€ on sale at gearbest!
  • Cube, teclast and chuwi are all pretty competitive in this space. Honestly it's refreshing to have WC talk about hybrids regular folk can afford. Think we'll be seeing a lot more this year
  • Impressive, thanks for the review!
  • Thanks for this great review. The two main things that attract me is the price and the USB-C charging capability. But what I really want to know is if you can charge the Chuwi Hi13 with a USB-C powerbank such as the Anker PowerCore+ 20100 If that works, then this could be my ultimate power outage work machine. Thanks!
  • The included charger is 24W, which is pretty low for a Type C (normal Core i laptops use 65W for fast charging); My Samsung Type C phone charger is enough for it.
  • Minor typo: "it makes sense that would way more than the keyboard half..."  I believe you meant "weigh."  That threw my brain off for a while, trying to understand. Overall, I think this looks like a decent system.  The screen sure sounds brilliant.  The 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage is a decent entry level, instead of 32GB storage.  At that price, and with keyboard and pen, it's less than half the price of an iPad Pro, but still will run more than it.  I wonder how it compares there?
  • Fixed, thanks!
  • Better wait for the ARM based devices.
  • Hi Daniel, i believe you made a mistake by using "way" instead of "weigh" in the following passage; {it makes sense that would way more than the keyboard half, which itself has no battery capabilities}. Cheers
  • Oh my apologies, i notice DragonPoo had already pointed out the typo already
  • Unlike several commenters I actually love this review. I am looking for surface pro/ surface book style computers but dont have even $700 to spend on one. These have caught my eye over the last few years and its good to know that you like it Dan. Thank you!  Im glad to see it has a great screen, good wifi, a pen, a decent drive, and best of all, a non atom processor. Atom processors just have always sucked for me... I may snatch this up at some point. 
  • Thanks, glad you liked it! Good luck with whatever you decide to get.
  • This looks really good. Availability in the UK?  
  • Gearbest has it on a flash sale right now for $319.99!
  • I would seriously consider buying this and I am glad for such a product at this price point getting a review. However, I have tried several devices and always come to the same conclusion... ANYTHING less than a Pentium is junk and the issues just aren't worth it. I would happily pay £100 more to have a decent Pentium or i3 option.
  • Depends on expectations for sure. I've been okay with the new Celerons.
  • No offence but I take comments like that with a huge pinch of salt these days as I have heard it all before with almost every generation of processor. In my experience even fairly 'basic' things like Youtube and a decent amount of browsing causes these processors to dramatically slow down, freeze or just totally crash. Even video playback can cause graphic anomalies and errors... So, with that all in mind, any hints that there may be a Pentium or i3 version on the way? Like some others have asked, any news on UK availability?
  • Daniel can't you easily reverse the touchpad scrolling direction in such laptops? You have windows 10 touchpad settings, if that is not available you can do registry changes: https://superuser.com/questions/310681/inverting-direction-of-mouse-scro... And if you need a simple program to do it, check out flipwheel: https://github.com/jamie-pate/flipflop-windows-wheel/blob/master/bin/Deb...
  • It's not in touchpad settings, but sure you can always do a reg hack.
  • Apollo Lake Celerons are the new Atoms. With that screen resolution, I wouldn't expect any performance wonders. eMMC means no storage upgrades, and compared to todays SSD:s thats slow.   I've had few Cube tablets, i7 stylus and i7 book, while they have been "ok" as new, they had quite few annoying issues - Battery life dropped drastically after 1,5 years (stylus)
    - Charger seems to "leak" voltage to metallic frame, gives small "zaps" if touching some other metallic object
    - Keyboard connector wears, starts having contact issues
    - Touch screen has weird touch issues if I'm NOT touching frame same time with another hand
    - Touchpad has "ghost touch issues"
    - Charging is superslow, specially when using tablet same time While chinese tablets are getting better, wouldn't buy any of those for any serious use. Poor can't afford cheap. 
  • At Gearbest right now with the coupon code CHUWI25%OFF it is $306. I think I might pull the trigger as this is exactly what I've been looking for. I just don't know if it will come in time for my trip in May.
  • Isn't the surface book 4500x3000?! Not 3000x2000.
  • No, 4500x3000 or 4K+ (almost 5K) is the Surface STUDIO, not Book. Book is 3000x2000
  • I'd advice everyone to stay away from their products. I can barely type on mine since I bought it cause of their cheap ( yet gorgeous looking ) screen / digitizer. First tablets I've seen with screen lag whole just scrolling through apps in windows. Also it freaks out and you see lines all across the screen from time to time. You get what you pay for and I rather pay extra for something better than a cheapo device that I never use tbh. Even 100$ for a tablet that you don't feel like using is a waste. Let's be honest.
  • My teclast with 4gb and just a plain old cherry trail is fluid, even plays games. If I had apollo lake, I'd be looking for the performance advantages over cherry, so with a tablet like this, I'd probably turn the resolution down to get it snappy.
    Generally pleased your doing articles like this. MS became popular in the ninities not because of high end, high priced machines, but because it was an accesible home device. Chromebook, and even amazon tablets are doing well because of price. MS can't afford to neglect budget devices.
    Teclast and Chuwi are about on par here with value/quality ratio propositions. Very competitive. I think we'll hear a lot more from them as time goes on.
  • Glad a cool device like this exists! However I want something more powerful. I wish I could find something in the SurfaceBook form factor with at least an i5 for around 600-700.
  • 1.1 GHz and only 4GB - and yet you think it's comparable to a Surface Book - seriously? That is just laughable.
  • "That means you also get the desired 3:2 aspect ratio" This is why I usually dont read reviews, that is certainly not desired by me. What happened to just staing what's there and how well it performs?
  • From a techincal standpoint - how does this match up with the Surface Pro 4 m3? 
  • Since the laptop uses a USB Typc C connector, does that mean you can connect it to an external GPU to get a performance boost?
  • Here are my questions that I did not find answered in the article: 1)  Noted this has 64 GB of Storage.  How much is left after the OS loads ? 2)  Noted the RAM is 4GB.   How much is left once the OS loads ? 3)  Can this machine actually run a full Windows executable program or just apps ? 4)  It notes it takes an SD card.  What size will it actually handle ?  ( Many devices only can match their installed storage which would max the SD at 64GB if that is the case here ). Can this machine actually run an executable program from the SD card or can it only be used for storing static files, ie. photos and documents. If the reviewer could address these, it would be appreciated.
  • I was considering a new tablet for use as a field computer - this may be a great option. No, it's no SurfaceBook (although it does offer a surprising number of the SB's features at an unheard-of price point), but it looks like a "good enough" computer for many uses (including my field rig), and offers far more than most mid-size (> 10") tablet/keyboard dock combos out there now. Just getting a decent digitizer pen and a display that's better than many computers three times the price is an impressive feat. If they can overcome the "cheap Chinese crap" image that has been well-earned, this computer couls really be something. I'd be a lot more interested if it was packing the new Snapdragon ARM that runs Win10 than the crappy Intel Celeron. I'm sure we'll see that soon enough...
  • I Think the arm only runs like a mobile version or core...  i dont think its the regular desktop compatible...  an if it is, i highly doubt you would be able to run photoshop an other demanding software as you could with celeron...  celeron is a low qualoty desktop cpu,  but arm an atom is more a mobile cpu
  • I would be perfectly happy with this if I could get a 128gb (256gb even better) model.  My 2in1 is a Dell Latitude 13 7350 which is a 4/128 with a Core M and it works great and I really appreciate the fact it is fanless so would like something that was the same.
  • I've been using this thing, with keyboard and pen, for about a month. Added 128 gig sd card and have ended up with a perfectly usable laptop with a fabulous display. Not enough under the hood for serious users and very top-heavy - don't try to balance it on your lap!! But for your day to day surfing, emails, skype and light office applications it's great value for money. Sorry, almost forgot, you'll need a mouse as the trackpad is a little sucky. Update: 9 months in and I'm happily using music production software as well as a little light gaming (Asphalt plays without lag). Office 365 installed and this has now proven itself to be great for my productivity needs as well as my killing a bit of spare time needs. Nothing has fallen off or stopped working, so build quality is standing up so far.