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Chuwi LapBook 12.3 video review: A $300 laptop with Surface Pro-like display

Last week, I gave the LapBook 12.3 a thorough review including benchmarks, comparisons and more. Due to the popularity of the device and those wanting to see it in action here are the matching video review and quick recap for those who missed it.

Chuwi LapBook 12.3 revisited

Chuwi is a new but growing brand out of China specializing in affordable but more quality laptops. Previous releases include the Chuwi Hi13, which brings a smart pen, touch screen, and 2-in-1 features. The LapBook 12.3 is the smaller cousin of the LapBook 14, but it has a different look and a few clever tricks.

LapBook 12.3 specifications

CategoryCHUWI 12.3 LapBook
Processor7th-Gen ("Apollo Lake") Intel Celeron N3450 at 1.1GHz with burst to 2.2GHz
Internal storageToshiba 64GB eMMC
Expandable storageOne M.2 2242 SSD slot
RAM6GB
LPDDR3 1600 MHz
Display12.3-inch IPS matte non-touch
Resolution2736 x 1824
3:2 aspect
GraphicsIntel 500
Portsone USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, 3.5mm jack, micro TF Card, micro HDMI
WirelessIntel AC-3165 (2.4/5GHz)
802.11a/b/g/n
CameraFront-facing 2.0MP
Battery36 Whr
Weight3.04 lbs (1.38 kg)

The CNC machined aluminum build is solid and looks classy. While the design is a bit imitative of Apple's MacBook Air, it works here considering the $300 price.

While the Intel Celeron processor is not the fastest, it holds its own with Windows 10. The 6GB of RAM and easily accessible M.2 SATA3 expansion slot though make this device stand above most budget laptops, but it's the display that gives the LapBook 12.3 the edge.

Killer high-resolution display

The LapBook features a 12.3-inch IPS display with a 2736 x 1824 resolution. That's the same screen size, aspect, and even resolution as the Surface Pro with a whopping 267 pixel-per-inch screen density.

While the LapBook 12.3 is a matte, non-touch display, the Surface Pro is glossy, touch, and supports pen input. That's a tradeoff, for sure, but many people are fine with owning a classic laptop, and the LapBook is just that.

Besides the very high resolution, the LapBook's screen is also very color accurate with a 99 percent sRGB rating in our calibration test. That is an unusually high result with a $300 laptop, something that devices in the thousand-dollar range struggle to achieve.

You could argue not everyone needs a nearly 3K resolution display, but it is great to have options at this price level.

Chuwi LapBook – Brilliant design, few compromises

In my few weeks with the Chuwi LapBook, I came away impressed.

Sure, the trackpad is mediocre, and the keys are bit smaller at the 12-inch level, but the overall build quality, 6GB of RAM, easily expandable internal storage, and that excellent display make it a good choice for those who want to stretch their dollar.

Full review of the Chuwi LapBook 12.3

Some people will opt for a proper 2-in-1 PC, but for those who just want a quality classic laptop without breaking the bank, the Chuwi LapBook 12.3 should be on your shopping list for consideration.

See at GearBest (opens in new tab)

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.

13 Comments
  • What about the fact that it doesn't come with a US capable power supply? And according to Amazon reviews the Chuwi 14 has major problems with the track pad, were these solved in this model ? I was looking for a new laptop for my 11th grader, but just couldn't get past these two issues, and battery life seemed like it was a bit low.  So I bought a refurbished Acer Aspire V instead.  Great little machine.
  • I talk about the trackpad, or lack thereof, in this model in the review. Almost all low-cost, Chinese laptops use mouse drivers instead of licensing actual trackpad ones to cut costs. Compared to the 14 this trackpad is "better" but not ideal. The US capable power supply is something I was not aware of in the sense I bought mine from over seas and not amazon (where it's not listed yet). I had assumed the US distributed models did have a US adapter, but that is good to know/remember, thanks. Can't really go wrong with Acer Aspire V, although I personally have not used that device.
  • Could you also do a review for the Cube Thinker i35? It's essentially a Surface Laptop with midrange specs and price.
  • I actually ordered that from GearBest last week, so hopefully will be here soon. Heard good things.
  • My Chuwi failed In 2 months.  Horrible support from China.  Many driver issues with Microsoft.  Chuwi now resides at the dump.  You kinda get what you pay for.  Check forums.
  • What happened with your chuwi laptop? which laptop model was it? Do share your exprerience here with the tech support etc as i thought  support didn't even exist for such brands.
  • Daniel, Did you try reversing the touchpad scrolling direction?  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...
  • I didn't, but aware there is a registry mod. Will check it out again.
  • I just ordered one via GearBest. It said EU Plug. Guess I didn't see that until now. What will I need to do to charge it in the United States? And if I need to order something else, a link to it would be great and very helpful.
  • A $2 wall adapter is all you need, very simple and you can leave it on.
  • Lots of bad Chuwi reviews in Amazon. Their support is nonexistent. Be very careful. 
  • This per Gearbest on my recent 12.3 order: "We will send an adapter with all our products according to the order's country of delivery."
  • Giveaway for LapBook and SurBook here :) => https://www.facebook.com/chuwiitalia/photos/a.1718105265071353.107374182...