In recent years, CHUWI has been one of the most active Chinese producers on the low-cost tablet / notebook, given the amount of devices released at very attractive prices over the past few months. The object of today's review is the CHUWI LapBook 14.1, a low-cost notebook / ultrabook suitable for basic uses such as web browsing, document editing and even some light games on the Microsoft store.
REVIEW | CHUWI LapBook 14.1: between lights and shadows
Il CHUWI LapBook 14.1 is available on GearBest a 200,75 € With shipping from China, will it be worth it?
Packaging and technical specifications
La package of sale of the CHUWI LapBook 14.1 is in full CHUWI style: in recycled cardboard, minimal and divided into several compartments, in which we find only the charger with a maximum output of 24 Watts, a user manual and the device.
The technical specifications, however, provide for one screen from 14.1 inch IPS with Full HD resolution, a processor Apollo Lake Intel Celeron N3450, based on one quad-core solution to 1.1 GHz, but able to go as far as 2.2 GHz thanks to Turbo Boost. The integrated GPU is the Intel HD Graphics 500, operating at a maximum of 700 MHz. The declared TDP, instead, is of 6 Watt, which allowed Chuwi to make a device completely FanLess. They are then present 4 GB of RAM DDR3L, 64 GB of internal memory EMMC and a battery from 37 Wh. Finally, as an operating system we find Windows 10 Home to 64-bit, also available in Italian, given the international key.
Obviously support for the DirectX 12, OpenGL and H265 / HVEC codec. On the front of dimensions, the CHUWI Lapbook 14.1 measure 30.92 x 22.05 centimeters, while the maximum thickness reaches i 2.05 cm. The total weight of the product, however, is equal to 1,74 kilograms, a figure slightly above average but acceptable.
Il Wi-Fi supports the standards a / b / g / n / ac Dual Band and Bluetooth 4.1, while among the few doors present, we find an exit mini-HDMI, a door USB 3.0 and a 2.0, a connector for charging, the microSD card slot and aaudio output from 3.5 mm.
Finally, the keyboard has the international QWERTY layout - classical American keyboard, therefore - and lacks a system of backlight, While the shell It is completely made of white plastic.
Construction and display
The first thing that emerges by taking the CHUWI LapBook 14.1 is the quality of the plastic used to make the body: really low. The frame flexes to the minimum stresses, both on the long side and on the smaller side, a sign that the construction quality is certainly not the strong point of this product. It should also be noted that plastic tends to scratch easily enough. Sin.
On the other hand, the dimensions are acceptable, with the exception of weight, a bit 'above average but still good in my opinion.
Going to analyze the design, in the upper part we find only the writing CHUWI LapBook in the lower right corner. In the lower part, however, we find the logos of Intel e CHUWI and some data related to the feeding. Then present four rubberized feet gray, and several structural screws, in addition to two speakers stereo side.
Moving to the front, once opened we immediately find the display from 14.1 inch IPS Full HD characterized by pretty small frames on the two right and left sides. Just the display was one of the parts that I liked most, given the excellent color rendering and the matte finish of the panel, which allows you to reduce almost to the minimum reflections. Too bad only for the brightness bassina, unsuitable for outdoor use under the summer sun. Such a pity.
At the top of the screen we can see the HD webcam da 2 mega-pixels. In the lower part, however, we find the classic logo "Hold on".
Going down we find the central zipper and the keyboard, unfortunately not backlit, which did not return a feedback of the best, as I noticed that some keys slide with more effort than others, consequently even the feedback is not the best. Just above the keyboard we also find a row of activity LEDs e two small holes for the two microphones. The layout, as already mentioned, is the classic American QWERTY, which has some differences compared to the classic Italian layout.
Further down we find the touchpad and the logo Intel Celeron. It should be noted that the touchpad, despite the more than good workmanship, turned out to be poco sensitive and precise in certain situations, a problem due, hopefully, to the drivers and not to a hardware defect.
Moving on to the four side profiles, on the back one we find nothing except the hinge of the display, while on the front one we have one small groove to facilitate thedisplay opening. However I must say that, thanks to the not optimal weight balance and the hinge a bit 'too hard, it is almost impossible to open the display with one hand.
On the left profile then, we have a classic USB 3.0 port and a video output mini-HDMI, flanked by a connector for charging the device. On the right side, however, we have one 2.0 USB port, the connector jack from 3.5 millimeteri and a slot for micro SD cards.
Compact the charger, which has a maximum output of approx 24 Watt / h, sufficient to recharge the device even during use.
Performance and experience of use
We are not in front of a car too lending, rather it is an entry-level solution and suitable for basic uses, given the installed processor, or theIntel Celeron N3450, solution quad-core Apollo Lake with TDP of only 6 Watt. THE 4 GB of RAMinstead, they are more than enough given the price target and the installed CPU. Benchmarks showed values aligned to entry-level solutions and with low-end SoCs as the installed solution.
Le services offered are suitable for light usefor example, web browsing, document editing, some light games from the Microsoft store and, why not, movies, multimedia use and also for reading PDFs or documents. I also tried to use programs like Sony Vegas Pro 14 and Tracktor, but all of the limitations of this device emerge, which easily trudges resulting almost unusable.
Fluidity is quite good, however I must say that sometimes the system implants itself a little resulting in slow opening windows, system options, menus and so on. nothing worrying, since it does not happen too often, but it is right to report it.
Good performances offered by EMMC memory from 64 GB, of which approx 45 GB they are available at the first start, which returns more than discrete write and read values.
On the gaming front, however, the performance is just enough, suitable for Microsoft store games and old titles, not more. The results returned by the main graphical benchmarks are also proof of this.
Therefore, the user experience is good, but not rewarding, given some over-stumbling in certain phases, but with light and basic uses such as those listed above the device defends itself well.
Temperatures and autonomy
Moving on to the autonomy front, the combination of a low-consumption solution like theIntel Celeron N3450 and a two-cell battery with one maximum capacity of 37 Wh, can guarantee a variable autonomy between 7 and 8 hours of use, obviously depending on the workload. With very light uses, like the reading PDF and brightness to 50%, I passed the 8 hours, while with a more realistic use, I have touched the 7 hours. However, under stress, however, I arrived at 5 hours full of autonomy, which can therefore prove to be more than excellent.
As far as the thermal front is concerned, here too we fall quite well. The internal maximum temperatures, despite the summer heat, have always remained below the 80°C without thermal throttling. No decrease in frequency, which remains fixed a 2.2GHz under stress, while the body gets to heat up to reach i 40 ° C in the backwhile it stops at about 36 / 37 ° C in the front one, widely acceptable figures, even if they are felt in the long run.
Multimedia and software
The multimedia part provides a webcam from 2 mega-pixels, which unfortunately, however, fails to work at resolutions higher than the VGA, ie 640 x 480, resulting therefore decidedly of low quality. On the other hand, the work done by the two front microphones, which manage to capture the audio very well, is discreet.
Turning to the speaker and the audio, no problem in headphones, while taking advantage of the two speakers of the notebook, it emerges a high volume, but low quality, it is appropriate to keep the volume to 80% maximum, so as not to penalize too much the final yield, which at the highest level it distorts too much, especially on highs and lows.
On the front of video playback, I stumbled on some problems on high-bitrate video in 4K with H265 codec, since, despite having used several applications for playback, I noticed sudden rebuffering, little fluidity and even artifacts. Obviously not always but occasionally I had these problems, rare but annoying, almost certainly due to the software, since at the hardware level the GPU supports all the necessary codecs.
On the software front, Windows 10 is genuine and is installed in the home edition to 64-bit, therefore without too many frills or useless features. The system is clean and we find nothing besides the various applications pre-installed on Windows.
Il Chuwi lapBook 14.1 It is certainly a nice product, but the flaws are not lacking and they are felt. More in detail, sins in the constructive quality, given the plastic of the body really cheap, in the performance is basic but with some jamming, in the uncertainties in video playback and also in the brightness of the display. It also licks the keyboard, with the keys not homogeneous on some keys, and in the touchpad, which often loses touches.
The quality of the IPS panel is saved, which has a really good color rendering, in acceptable weight and size and in autonomy, more than decent. For the rest, it is a product that should be improved to be palatable being sold at a price really at the limit compared to what is offered, even if the defects mentioned, personally, make me keep away from similar products.
Il CHUWI LapBook 14.1 is available on GearBest a 200,75 euros with shipping from China.
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