Chuwi To Launch Core M Powered AeroBook And Ubook Modelsby Brett Howse on February 28, 2019 8:00 AM EST
Chuwi has reached out to let us know that they are releasing a couple of new products soon. In a big move from the low-cost laptop maker, they are moving up several steps on the performance ladder with these new models which will both feature the Core m3-6Y30 processor. Previously, Chuwi has relied on the less-expensive Intel Atom lineup, most recently with Gemini Lake, so this is a significant departure for the company, and should be exciting to see in the market.
Chuwi’s first Core M powered laptop will be the AeroBook, featuring a 13.3-inch 1920x1080 IPS display with 5mm display bezels, offering the modern look of a thin-bezel laptop. Since shrinking the display bezels shrinks the total size of the laptop, the company has also moved to a micro-bezel keyboard allowing them to keep their full-sized keyboard experience in this smaller chassis.
The main attraction though is the CPU. Intel’s Core m3-6Y30 offers a 2.2 GHz maximum frequency for the two cores and four threads, in a 4.5-Watt power envelope. This should offer a significant performance boost over Atom based Celerons that Chuwi has leveraged in the past, especially in the graphics department where the Skylake based Core m3 offers 24 Execution Units, which is twice what is offered on Atom.
Chuwi is offering 8 GB of LPDDR3 on this notebook, and 128 GB of storage. The company also says you can upgrade the storage to 1 TB, which likely means there will be a user-accessible door to add in a SSD, much like their previous models.
The laptop weighs in at just 2.76 lbs, and is 15 mm thick, meaning it is also very portable. The company is rating the battery life as up to 8 hours, but that’s likely ambitious.
Chuwi is hoping to launch the AeroBook in March for around $499.
The second model is the Chuwi Ubook, which is a 11.6-inch convertible tablet, also powered by Core m3-6Y30. As usual, Chuwi offers a lot of value with their products. In addition to the Core M processor, the tablet will ship with 8 GB of LPDDR3, and 128 GB of storage, and there will be a 1 TB model as well.
There’s plenty of expansion for IO as well, with two USB-A ports and a USB-C port, along with a headset jack, HDMI, and microSD. Unfortunately charging looks to be a 3.5mm barrel plug, and does not use the USB-C connector.
The kickstand is a U-shape, hence the name, and there is infinite adjustability here from 0 to 150°. A 30 Wh battery is rated at up to 9.5 hours, although again that seems ambitious.
The display has pen support as well, and Chuwi is shipping this device with the detachable keyboard at no extra cost.
Chuwi is targeting a price of around $469 for this model, which dramatically undercuts something like the Microsoft Surface Go, which offers a less-powerful platform, less RAM, less storage, and no keyboard at its base price of $400. The 1 TB model is targeting $699.
Both the Ubook and AeroBook look like very interesting devices, plugging a bit of a hole in the market where there’s not a lot of good options in the $400-$600 range. We’re hoping to get some hands on these when they launch and take them for a spin.
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abufrejoval - Thursday, February 28, 2019 - linkI bought the very same 12.3 lapbook twice and was happy with the second one.
I returned the first, because the touch pad was super sensitive and the spacebar wouldn't react on the right hand side, where my thumb tends to strike when typing. When it didn't, I'd just bang harder, eventually hurting after an hour or so of typing.
The compelling poing was the super hi-res display and absolutely no moving parts and since nobody else was offering and the price had dropped €100, I went back for a second round (good thing you can return mail-order purchases for 14 days w/o questions asked around here).
That one turned out to be quite a bit better: The keyboard was rather good, the touchpad still slightly sensitive, but since I prefer mice any day and was planning to use it with a BT mouse from Logitech, I simply disabled the default mouse/touchpad device. Now that can be awkward to re-enable if the BT mouse is running out of juice, but I managed.
Since then I am loving it and it's a constant travel companion. Sure, battery life is nothing to write home about, but it manages my most extended brunches quite well and that's enough. It's primarily a reader and communicator, I won't run Linux compiles on it.
BTW: Ubuntu 18.04 and PhoenixOS (Android-x86) work quite well, too.
The built-in storage eMMC isn't breaking any speed or capcity records, so I went for a 128GB M.2 module instead (Ubuntu has the eMMC all to itself now).
Of course ChuWi cheats like hell: The only Aluminum in that body is power coating on the plastic shell. Inside, where the battery could take up so much more space, they have put a steel weight instead, to give the device that "premium" feel an empty plastic shell just cannot deliver...
And the rendered images have very little resemblance with the actual device, where the gaps are much bigger and the lid won't open nearly as far as you'd be inclined to believe from the renders.
But at €280 it quite simply delivers sufficient value for the money in a space where the iThing of that girl sitting next to you adds a zero at the end.
If Intel wasn't under ARM-attack, they'd never let a Core-CPU happen at Chuwi prices, so I am glad to see it happen, just because of that.
Intel & Apple have been overcharging like crazy for thin+light and now these things are nearing commodity pricing.
abufrejoval - Thursday, February 28, 2019 - linkneed edit: That powder coating... some kind of aluminum "paint", that actually has a bit of aluminum feel to it. But when you open the case, it's all plastic from the inside... which is actually quite fine!
There simply is no real advantage to having metal chassis, except when you need to disperse heat. My Chuwi is typically accompanied by a big full metal Gigabyte notebook sporting a GTX1070 GPU, basically a 150Watt monster I leave in the remote office, while the Chuwi stays in the hotel.
That one got bent all out of shape two weeks ago, evidently by some mishandling at airport security or by the madmen who cram suitcases in overhead lockers with everything they got. It's been wobly ever since and I hardly dare to "bend it back" now, because there is millions if not billions of things that can break in that unit.
Good old plastic Lenovo's take a lot more abuse, but don't deliver that type of GPGPU compute, unfortunately.
mkozakewich - Thursday, February 28, 2019 - linkHa, looks like they were burned by their USB C problems. In 2017, they released a tablet system (the Hi13) with USB PD. It worked great, but they farmed the power supplies out to a third party, KEYU. KEYU made the cables poorly, using tape to keep the metal connector on. The pins would wiggle and cross, and the 12V power would end up slamming into the data lines and frying the chip. Chuwi basically refused to issue replacements, since the problem was too common.
In short, you have to be careful with these ultra-cheap systems. The Hi13 was bulky, heavy, and poorly weighted, too.
boozed - Friday, March 1, 2019 - link[CHEWBACCA NOISES]
serendip - Friday, March 1, 2019 - linkCheap but with sometimes questionable engineering. Xiaomi moved on from making cheap, cheerful and reliable devices to expensive, well-built and reliable devices. Chuwi and other second-tier Chinese assemblers put out a lot of products with questionable QC. I bought one of their products, had plenty of issues with it and decided to buy a proper name-brand tablet instead of dealing with a warranty nightmare.
janqueen - Friday, March 1, 2019 - linkSeen a lot of laptop within this spec range coming out from Tier 2 manufacturers but with the current price and look this system has, plus the free shipping in the IndieGoGo campaign. It gives the best value for money I have seen so far. Unless someone can show me an alternative, I will be buying this one.
Irata - Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - linkIf you do not need your CPU to be Ultra low power, the 14inch Ryzen equipped Huawei Matebook D is actually a sweet deal for €599. Just started selling in Europe and it really is a very attractive value proposition.
eastcoast_pete - Friday, March 1, 2019 - linkIs the Ubook SSD also user upgradable? The step from 128 GB to 1 TB leaves a large hole in the middle, and I have a 480 GB SATA m.2 that could fill it. If yes, I might be interested in trying one.
zodiacfml - Friday, March 1, 2019 - linkChuwi is Xiaomi smartphones in the laptop world. Nice all around for the price but not easily available to the rest of the world
wild_one_81 - Saturday, March 2, 2019 - linkSo I have a Chuwi CoreBook I got through their Indiegogo campaign last year and it's ok for general use, but it also has horrible backlight bleed. I probably wouldn't go with them if I knew the quality they provide. At least the CoreBook has a 7th gen m3 instead of a 6th gen m3 as listed.