Chuwi Lapbook Review: A Strong Entry into the Laptop Market


Chuwi has recently jumped into the laptop game. Previously known for their incredibly popular two-in-one devices like the Vi10, Hi10, and the Hi12, they have released a new line of laptops dubbed Lapbooks. The first iteration of the Lapbook utilized an Atom processor and had a 15.6” screen, which made it a little large and uninteresting.

However, their 14.1” version of the Lapbook has got me excited. It’s got the new Apollo Lake N3450 processor and, wait for it, small bezels.

Chuwi Lapbook Review

The first Chuwi Lapbook didn’t do much to shake the boat. However, with the new release of Apollo Lake processors, it gets a lot easier. Chuwi has released a 14.1” version of the Lapbook that utilizes the Apollo Lake N3450 processor alongside 4GB of RAM and a 64GB eMMC drive as well. It also has a 9000mAh battery that is actually a little small for a laptop this size and power, but hopefully it works out.

Chuwi’s first celeron laptop

Chuwi Lapbook Specifications

Processor Intel Apollo Lake Celeron N3450
Display 14.1″ 1920×1080 px, LCD
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB eMMC
Operating System Windows 10
Cameras 2MP Camera
Battery 9000mAh
Physical Dimensions 1.74kg, 32.92 x 22.05 x 2.05 cm

Big thanks to Chuwi for providing this review unit.

Chuwi Lapbook Hardware

The Lapbook is plastic. To be specific, it’s made out of hard, unpainted plastic. If any of you have used the Pipo W9s or the Jumper EZBook 2, the plastic is harder than that and feels slightly better. That being said though, it doesn’t hold a candle to metal laptops and does not feel as welcoming as the matte rubber found on Voyo’s laptops.

However, the white plastic does look quite fetching and is pretty unique as well with the white body contrasting what appears to be the black trim on the inside. We have a decent array of ports, two USB ports, one USB 2.0 and another USB 3.0. The weird thing is that these ports are upside down, meaning that anything you insert into the port will be upside down. You also get a microSD card slot as well as a MicroHDMI port.


Opening up the laptop and you are greeted by more plastic surrounding the screen, aka the bezels, except these bezels are quite tiny. I’m extremely pleased to see Chuwi reduce the bezels and it really makes this device look good.

However, the combination of the black bezels on top of the white body does make the bezels look thick (depth wise). Another thing I dislike slightly would be how recessed the screen is behind the bezels. Yes the screen needs to be protected from the keyboard, but it bothers me just slightly.

The keyboard is also plastic but sadly it uses the same plastic as the Pipo W9s and Chuwi Vi10, meaning they feel pretty low quality. However, key travel and feedback is very decent and I could achieve close to my normal typing speed (around 80WPM) easily. The trackpad is big, not as huge as the Jumper EZBook 2 but definitely big enough.

There are all the included gestures, double finger scroll, pinch to zoom, three finger gestures, and windows gestures. They actually work very well and are slightly less accurate than my Xiaomi Air 12 which is very impressive. It definitely outpaces the Jumper EZBook 2 by a large margin. The large size of the trackpad also means you do not inadvertently activate the Windows off screen gestures either.

“Small bezels”

Chuwi Lapbook Display

We have a 1080p matte display spread over the 14.1” panel and it looks decent. Resolution is definitely more than enough but colours are a little muted.

This is expected because it’s a matte display, put any IPS display beside it (any phone or even the Voyo VBook V3) and its pretty obvious that colours are less vivid on this display. The matte coating isn’t just full of downsides though. There are zero annoying reflections when you use it indoors, outdoors, and its more useable outdoors than equivalent glossy IPS displays as well.

The max brightness goes up to 300nits of brightness which is enough for outdoor use but not enough for bright sunlight. The minimum brightness is actually very good, I can watch movies in bed and it does not blind my eyes.

Chuwi Lapbook Audio

I’m slightly disappointed by the audio here. Volume wise it’s not too loud, meaning that loud background noise easily overpowers the volume output here. Audio quality isn’t great either, there is zero bass coming from this laptop and audio isn’t very clear either. It’s still good enough to consume media if you wish, but the experience won’t be stellar.

Read Also:  Chuwi CoreBook Pro Performance Tested, Great for Productivity while Staying Compact

Chuwi Lapbook Battery

When I first took a look at the specs, I got incredibly excited because the description entailed a 7.4V 9000mAh battery, which would make the battery in the Lapbook bigger than in the Surface Book. This would also mean the Lapbook could possibly get upwards of 20-25 hours of constant use (the Surface Book could get around 15 hours with an i5 + discrete GPU).

However, I’m pretty sure it’s a mistake and there’s only a 3.6V 9000mAh battery meaning its smaller than usual compared to other devices. I was able to get around 7 hours of screen on time which really isn’t the best, I was hoping for somewhere along the lines of 8 hours. This 7 hours of screen on time consisted almost exclusively of web browsing with some watching of TV as well.

I also performed two battery tests, the video playback test and the web browsing test. Surprisingly I was able to play back video for around 8:30, which is quite a bit longer compared to normal SOT. I was able to browse the internet for 6:30, which is about in line with the 7 hours of SOT I obtained.

Light users should still be fine, medium users might need a charger and heavy users definitely need a charger.

“OK battery”

Chuwi Lapbook Software

There are currently two laptops out with the Apollo Lake Celeron N3450, and the Chuwi Lapbook is one of them. Like the Voyo VBook V3, the slightly less powerful Celeron N3450 performs very well in light tasks, matching the speed of the Core M line of processors when doing said light tasks such as Chrome, Word, Email or News. However, the one area where it still falls behind Core M processors is 2K and 4K streaming in Chrome.

However, launching apps is slightly slower than the Voyo almost certainly because the Lapbook uses an eMMC drive while the Voyo VBook V3 uses the much faster M.2 SSD. But once in an app like Microsoft Office or Chrome (I hate using that term, its software!), it’s about the same.

In terms of gaming the results were a little in flux, I was able to play DOTA2 at 1080p with about 30fps on lowest settings and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ran at 1080p with 30fps as well, very impressive. During gaming, the heat is concentrated around the top part of the keyboard, and it does get warm, almost uncomfortably hot but it never crossed that threshold.

Benchmarks. I only ran a couple of them because I’m lazy, but here we have it. First is Cinebench, which is a CPU and GPU test, and it gets a score of 8fps and 102 cb, which is definitely a lot more than what an Atom processor (around 50-60cb) is able to get, but it still trails behind Core M processors (even those two generations old, which ranges from 180-220). It also is slightly behind the Voyo VBook V3, most likely due to the N3450 and the eMMC combo.Geekbench also tests both your CPU and GPU and it gets very respectable scores, 1299 for single core performance and 3155 for multicore performance. That’s more than double what a Cherry Trail Atom obtains in both single and multicore (740/1430) performance. It still falls behind the Core M 6y30 though, trailing about 20-30% behind (2156/4249).

Performance for all intents and purposes is as fast as the Voyo VBook V3, with launching apps being slightly slower because of the eMMC as a main drive. However, gaming was about on par with the V3.

Chuwi Lapbook Connectivity

Both USB ports are capable of powering hard drives, charging phones, and the like. WiFi performance from the AC wireless card is good, I could download DOTA2 at around 2MB/s which is the maximum capability of my internet connection (uploading the video review was a pain too). Bluetooth range works fine. The webcam is just a 480p webcam, and as the internet likes to call it, it’s basically a potato.

Chuwi Lapbook Verdict

Believe it or not, I really like the build on the Chuwi Lapbook. Yes its plastic, but it feels very light, it is sturdy and there isn’t too much flex. The keyboard is pretty low quality but has a ton of key travel and works well, and the trackpad really impressed me as well. the Apollo Lake processor is leaps and bounds ahead of Atom Cherry Trail processors and performs well in every day tasks. You do pay a premium though, this laptop starts at $280, which is well out of the upper price limit for Cherry Trail processors. You do see flash sales bringing the price down to $250, making that price an easier pill to swallow.

“An expensive starting price”

Chuwi Lapbook Video Review

Chuwi Lapbook Gallery

 

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