Skip to main content

Chuwi takes on Microsoft's Surface with the crowdfunded SurBook

Budget tablet maker Chuwi is looking to take on Microsoft Surface line with its latest product, the SurBook. And in what could most accurately be called Surface-a-like, the SurBook definitely isn't shy about taking its design cues from the likes of Microsoft's own Surface Pro 4.

The design of the SurBook features a rear kickstand flap and a detachable keyboard cover, both of which should look pretty familiar. Two full-size USB 3.0 ports and one USB-C port appear on the right side of the tablet, and it even comes with a stylus. Here are the full specs, provided by Chuwi:

  • New generation Intel Appolo Lake N3450 processor and Intel Gen9 HD Graphics.
  • 12.3 inch 2736 x 1824 2K resolution, 3:2 aspect ratio.
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM + 128GB eMMC ROM.
  • 10000 mAh Li-polymer battery, 12V/2A fast charging.
  • 2.4/5Ghz dual-band Wi-Fi, 2MP/5MP dual camera.
  • Two Full size USB 3.0 ports, one full function USB Type-C port (Support audio and video transmission).
  • Ultra-slim detachable keyboard, 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity stylus.
  • All-metal body design, Windows 10 Redstone OS.

There's currently no word on price, but the budget range is Chuwi's usual forte, so expect the SurBook to be affordable. If you're interested, Chuwi plans to go the crowdfunding route with a SurBook campaign on Indiegogo. You can sign up for alerts on when the campaign starts, which will also give you a crack at securing early bird pricing. Chuwi is also currently running a campaign to give away two SurBooks on its website.

See at Chuwi{.cta .large}

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

60 Comments
  • Dan what is crowdfunded in lay mans term? Is like the community sponsoring the production or what? Thanks.
  • Basically yes. The two big crowdfunding sites are kickstarter and indiegogo. Have a look at them and it'll soon become clear.
  • Exactly. You become and investor. Only because you're considered an investor, you accept taking the risks for if the product becomes failure. Which so many products do.  A lot of people, especially me, look at it as a get rich scheme.
  • I think investor is the wrong word for these crowdfunding. Basically you're just a street passerby giving money to a beggar who is a street performer. You get what u pay for by listening to their pitch, but you will never get a "return" from the money u gave them.
  • Yeah, that happens with actual companies too, so the comparison is kinda moot.
  • I too think "investor" is prob a wrong word... There's no money / profit / skill / knowledge / anything in return (e.g. buying stock is an investment, study is an investment), it's more like pre-order a dream (and it may not succeed) and they offer you at a lower price, you are no different than a consumer imo...
  • At least with a street performer you get something in return.
  • Its intended purpose was for individuals to fund a project (a book, movie, or comic book) by asking people that is interested in the project to pay upfront and in return can get a special discount or “perks” (like signed copies, producer credit or tshirts) for being an early supporter. However, lately it has turned into a “advertising” campaign by multi-million-dollar company asking supporters to pay for the product 6-12 months early. There have been cases where supporters even pay more than the retail price of the product; or even worse, never seen the product WHILE people that paid the retail prices actually got them before supporters. In short, I really hate this new trend of company asking people for money for little or no benefit: Chuwi Crowdfunded Surfacebook clone included…they wont be getting my money.  
  • I wouldn't pin this all on companies. Individuals are just as likely to do the same thing.
  • I don't understand why they need to crowdfund this. They're pretty big. Not Microsoft-big, or Samsung-big, but they have many products, that relatively sell well. And I understand you. I don't even like to pay in advance with my credit card when I order something online 😂 Btw, I did just that with a Chuwi mini PC box, and it seems to be okay so far. It hasn't arrived yet, but Banggood offered a package tracking number, and the tracking service even has a UWP app for PC and Mobile, so I'm impressed 😁 Hope the device itself will be good as well 😀
  • I am tempted by this. Battery life wont be great though. And I am interested to see what pen tech they use. But its so close to possibly seeing a surface 5 running on arm that I just dont know if i could buy it right now. 
  • Looks really nicely done! A shame about the position of the USB-C port though, if that's also the charging port it's gonna leave an awkward cable hanging off the side every time it's docked. Everything else sounds like a perfect Surface 3 replacement/alternative to low end Surface Pro 4.
  • its a rip off, and the name of it: SurBook... I would sue them
  • Shoo ... Shoo ...
  • please check Dell Latitude 5285
  • The whole point of the surface range is to set a benchmark for the OEMs
  • But not cloning its name.
  • Nowhere did Microsoft ever say that they wanted no-talent, unimaginative OEM's to blatantly rip off their products. Microsoft wants to sell the Surface, and use the line to inspire OEMs to create their own great designs, not blatanlty copy their products. Then again OEMs have no imagination or ingenuity.
  • Good point
  • Thanks man, 👍🏾
  • Chuwi has been doing some good stuff, I just have not, yet seen one of there products that totally nailed it. I have there 8 inch tablet and it is real good for $100 dollars I paid for it. The down side was we I ordered a screen protector that did not fit well and taking it of separated the digitizer and screen a little, still works though.
  • Kind of a weird thing to crowd source. A Windows Phone to represent a niche group that believe in the vision? I get that. An attempt to mimic a highly successful product? Why wouldn't a bank float a loan for that? Why crowdsource?
  • Ding Ding Ding!
  • Any competition that drives prices down, I'm fine with.
  • Only with crowdfunding there is no competition. Only fattening of pockets.
  • They lost me at crowdfunded
  • ROM ? It's not "Read Only" is it?
  • Yeah, that's just the completely wrong term. I'm guessing that a "tech writer" put these specs together.
  • That seems to be a common problem as of late. Kind of like back in the day everyone (including myself sometimes for some unknown reason) would call the tower the hard drive. It's annoying though when you read it on official specs for items. I have even seen it on OEMs like HP I believe.
  • Calling the non-volatile storage "ROM" has been something that has been lingering for a while;  I particularly remember it from the early days of Android (late 2000s).  It was like the tech writers couldn't figure out what to call it since it wasn't a hard drive in the traditional sense, and they hadn't come up with general terms like "storage".
  • "The Windows 10 Redstone OS" is equally alarming to me
  • Yet another Surface inspired imitator to meet everyone's budget :) The Surface Pro has sure come a long way and those shortsighted comments of "it's not a good tablet" are almost nowhere to be seen anymore...
  • Yeah i remember those comments. "it's not a good tablet or a good pc"
  • Right up there with "No wireless.  Less space than a Nomad.  Lame."  (The Rob Malda/Slashdot assessment of the original iPod.) The Surface was and is great.  Had an original RT and my mom is still using one.  Currently typing this on an ASUS device that could be called a "knock off" but obviously Microsoft wants their partners to use the concept, and while this particular unit is low end (uses a lower Atom in than in the Surface 3, and the hinge design isn't as nice as a real Surface), it still is really nice, with good pen support and a fantastic Precision touchpad on the keyboard.  Oh, and I also bought it on a sale from the Microsoft store, so they can't be too upset about it. :)  My only real issue with this Chuwi product is the "SurBook" name seems clumsy at best.
  • You would be crazy as hell to buy this cheap knockoff over the real thing, especially from some no name company.
  • Not everyone can afford the real thing, so that's a false choice.
  • Considering the whole point of the product is to be a cheaper alternative to the Surface Pro 4, and they don't have a price or price range made publically available, the point certainly should come under scrutiny.
  • Did they get a bunch of Surface's off a truck or something?
  • Yeah, all the ones that came with three USB ports.
  • Better CPU and this would be tempting to me, biggest problem with the Surface Pro 3/4 is a single USB port.
  • I'm sure they could have done better with the naming .... "SurBook" is as dumb as it gets
  • They were quite original with the name...
  • Sounds like a trademark lawsuit in waiting
  • Why? Microsoft doesn't have anything called Surbook. It's kind of like those street venders selling Rolax watches.
  • I kind of wish they called it the "SirBook"
  • Jesus H. Christ. Copy the design but don't copy the name. Wtf SURBOOK.
  • The name is as bad as those iWhatever copycats
  • iSirBook...S8 edition!
  • Like those sh*tty games on the stores called "Need for Asphalt Racing - Real Horizon Rally" and things like that 😀
  • Price it at AU $500, I'll buy 2.  Replace the two Teclast xPower cheapo tablets I have for the kids.
  • Am I the only one noticing that Apollo is misspelled? At least I hope it's misspelled.
  • I got my first Chuwi product a cople of days ago, the Hi10 Pro. It ticked all the boxes for what I want in a $220 tablet with keyboard: 4GB ram, 64GB storage, USB-C and a 10" 1920x1200 display with active pen input. I only got the tablet this far (keyboard and pen in the mail) and im quite impressed by the build quality this far. The screen got a single stuck sub-pixel but is otherwise great. As for the SurBook it will all depend on the price. But my initial though is that the N3450 is a bit weak for what I'd want in a 12" tablet, as that would have to be my main computer on the move. My 10" Chuwi will only be a companion for my 13" ultrabook. But people on a tight budget might consider it as their main laptop.
  • It's curious they are going crowdfunding for this, but if that means initial backers can get it at a discounted price I don't see the harm. This SurBook looks to be more premium than their usual stuff which may be why they want to reduce the risk with crowdfunding. Chuwi is a relatively unknown brand but they have been making budget tablets and laptops for a while. To get an idea look up reviews on the Chuwi LapBook 14.1, Anandtech even reviewed it and came out impressed for the price. Hopefully they better optimize the battery life here especially with a higher resolution display.
  • I don't see this as a rival device as the Surface range are reference devices so it's nice to see manufacturers taking inspiration from Microsoft and creating devices like this and https://www.asus.com/uk/2-in-1-PCs/ASUS-Transformer-3-Pro-T303UA/
  • I prefer the transformer book style of the other chinese tablet releases. I just don't get why anyone is still doing keyboard cases and kickstands.  While its nice to see some cheaper options, I feel like these guys would have more global market success if they tried to make decent _cheap_ products that emulate the high end. The big gap in the market isn't at the high end for windows. Uptake would be a lot faster with some nice cheap arm devices.   
  • Maybe that's because if people wanted a device with a laptop style keyboard then they would buy a laptop, personally I prefer portability and if that means I have a kickstand and keyboard case then so be it.
  • That processor is garbage, it's like a celeron chip... Machine better be under like $400
  • What are you thinking about these Chinese Product? Have you ever used their tablet or laptop before? How do you think about them?
  • Just ordered a mini PC box from them, but it didn't arrive yet. Will inform you later if you will.
  • "What are you thinking about these Chinese Product? Have you ever used their tablet or laptop before? How do you think about them?" Evertging is built in china today, so what..