Reviews for the Chuwi HiBook Android/Windows device are definitely all over the place, but for the most part, summarized as being “a sturdy notebook, but with flaws”, as PC World put it. But for the time being, let’s start out with what Chuwi is, for those of us who haven’t heard of it until now. The Shenzhen, China-based company came to be back in 2004 when it self-developed a 1.1-inch dual screen MP3 player. By 2007, Chuwi was a manifested brand, whom, after various years and experiments, became known to specialize in creating their own specific brand of electronics, including tablets, smart robot cleaners, and other digital electronics. Also worth nothing, Chuwi is the “global tablet strategy partner” for both Microsoft and Intel. It’s latest iteration of a tablet PC, the HiBook Dual Boot Tab CWI514, is designed with an ultra-thin and light all-metal physique, display enhanced technology, and Intel Cherry Trail inside.
The Chuwi HiBook measures just 8.5mm thin, and weighs just 550 grams. The 10.1-inch device features a 2560 x 1600 IPS toughened glass screen, and ‘full OGS lamination display enhancement technology’. According to Win Beta, this means the LCD screen layer and touch panel are close to zero distance, reducing air refraction and delivering bright images with an increased viewing angle of up to 178 degrees. Plus, at 298ppi, and a 16:10 aspect ratio, the HiBook’s wide color gamut can reach 120 percent.
Inside, we will see the device running an Intel Atom Cherry Trail X5 processor, coupled with 4GB of DDL3 RAM, and 64GB of onboard storage (expandable via microSD). Camera quality includes 5MP on the rear, and 2MP on the front. If you cannot tell by now, these are all a pretty mild to moderate set of specifications. It’s nothing fancy, but could be just fine for some folks. Other features include one USB Type-C (yay! Up to date!), a mini HDMI port, microUSB, a 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and a 6,600mAH battery. Finally, interestingly enough, the HiBook can run both Windows 10 and Android 5.1 operating systems.
All of this, and with a price of 200 bucks. Yay or nay? It’s nothing special, but it is just enough to be a functioning tablet, with an extra perk of display quality and screen protection. Plus, if you want to be real productive, which Chuwi refers to as “expanding the HiBook into an ultrabook”, you can get the keyboard dock (complete with a trackpad and two USB ports) sold separately for 50 bucks. Despite the bragging rights Chuwi wants to owe to the HiBook’s display, NeoWin argues it to be one of the weakest aspects of the device, explaining “excellent viewing is sometimes combated by the display faltering under outdoor and bright settings”. Further, there is a heavy glare associated with the reflective screen. So, instead of the features meant to be boasted about, you could very well find yourself “squinting at a display that is nearly impossible to read when outdoors”. Yikes.
Luckily, performance is on par with other devices of similar caliber. Internal hardware on the HiBook provides just enough power for plenty of browsing and video streaming, at a reasonable speeds. As far as that battery mentioned- we are looking at about 4 hours at a minimum, and 6.5 at the max. All in all, the Chuwi HiBook is an entry to mid-level device, that provides functionality as both a tablet and PC. It will do all the basics, and for $250, I think you would be getting something versatile and sturdy enough, bang for your buck wise.
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