Chuwi SurBook Mini review: a cheap Surface

We are living, at this precise moment in history, a big one technological change. And the revolution affects almost all sectors, including that of the computer. In this context, the forms have not changed so much as the substance, with excellent computational powers in corpi more and more compact. I are very appreciated 2-in-1, which are able to combine practicality and performance in a single object. This is the case of the Chuwi SurBook Mini, strongly inspired by the forms and concepts proposed by other competitors. But often the forms are not sufficient to define a specific object as such and in ours review you will discover why.

Chuwi SurBook Mini review

Sales package

The package, entirely in hard copy, contains inside:

  • Chuwi SurBook Mini;
  • plastic film applied on the screen;
  • loader with output from 12V and 2A;
  • power cord;
  • short manuals in English.

In bundle with the tablet we got to try the capacitive pen called HiPen H2, produced by Chuwi itself. Inside a small package we find:

  • HiPen H2;
  • 3 total tips of different sizes.

Design and materials

Chuwi SurBook Mini is enclosed in a well-made aluminum body. On a constructive level it is absolutely promoted. All finishes are flawless and the structure is free from creaking or assembly problems. The dimensions are of 268.9 x 183.9 x 8.7 mm, With a weight of 784 g.

The peculiarity of this device is the presence of the kickstand back, a sort of mobile extension that allows you to tilt the Mini SurBook up to 125 °. This component is also solid, resting on two hinges opposing results well built and assembled. At the end was placed a thin magnet that, in contact with the aluminum, allows to perfectly adhere the kickstand to the rear body.

Chuwi SurBook mini

All the connectivity part is on the right side. Here an entrance has been placed mini-jack for headphones, two doors USB 3.0 and a door USB Type-C, useful for charging the tablet itself. The Power button and the volume rocker are on the top, while the speaker The system resides on the left frame, hidden inside the grid. At the bottom we find, instead, i magnetic pins to connect the keyboard which can be purchased separately.

Below the kickstand, well hidden, we find one SIM slot which can be used, as needed, as microSD expansion. Posteriorly there is one camera da 2 mega-pixels, also replicated in the front part. There quality of both is a lot poor, still remaining acceptable for work purposes or for normal calls on Skype.

Chuwi SurBook mini

HiPen H2

Taking into consideration the HiPen H2, I can not certainly count it among the objects that most distinguished themselves for their constructive quality. There tip it is slightly retort and the plate that allows the pen to be inserted between the sheets or in the shirt pocket does not rest perfectly on the structure.

Chuwi SurBook mini

This tool allows you to interact on several programs, being able change instantly PDF, notes, drawing sheets. Also on Edge we have the possibility to quickly open a contextual menu, thanks to which to exploit all the potentialities of the pen, as if we were on any other worksheet.

Chuwi SurBook mini

La precision with which you come across the use of this HiPen H2 it is not optimal. THE'input lag è high and the sensor at the bottom of the pen often loses some touch. It is not possible, therefore, to make drawings where we should show the utmost attention to detail.

I could not test the real efficiency in terms of autonomy, because on 10 days of use I never needed to load it. On the site they are declared, however, 20-22 hours of continuous use. Once you download it you will need to use a USB / microUSB cable, by hooking this last end to the door on the top of the pen.

Chuwi Surbook mini

Display

The display is a unit IPS da 10.8 inches diagonal, with resolution 1920 1280 pixels x, frames black along the ends are remarkable, dramatically increasing the size of the front part. The laminated display, according to the company, should be able to partially eliminate the effect caused by the reflection of light on the glass.

But in reality, this does not happen as desired, because it becomes difficult to work outside because of the reflexes on the screen. During the evening hours you can take advantage of the option that saves our view from the blue light emitted from the display, making it more comfortable to view multimedia content.

Chuwi SurBook mini

La chromatic scale è well reproduced, with colors very vivid and a brightness di 450 nits of the screen enough satisfactory. Once you have extracted the product from the package you will find one film plastic already applied to the screen.

This will retain many imprints and it will be easily subject to micro-lines. Removing it will solve the problem related to the lines but not the one related to the footprints, as the front panel seems to have not been almost treated at all. The touch screen to 10 touches it does not behave very well especially during the writing phase but in all the other operations it does not disappoint.

Chuwi SurBook mini

Hardware and Performance

Chuwi SurBook mini consists of a CPU Intel Apollo Lake N3450, an quad-core with production process a 14 nm and TDP equal to 6W. The base clock frequency is from 1.1 GHz with boost to 2.2 GHz. We have then 4 GB of RAM DDR3 e 64 GB of storage expandable through microSD.

Performance can not be astonishing with available hardware. A few pages open on Edge and a 1080p video in the background are a bit 'in crisis the system, which tends to respond more slowly to commands.

Chuwi SurBook mini

With the use of programs di writing and d 'Entertainment I have not found no problem. Our trial included the use of Premiere e Photoshop but with poor results: until we limit ourselves to some slight changes the system reacts well. But the more the bar is raised, the greater the amount of RAM occupied, not allowing deeper changes.

Chuwi SurBook mini

I benchmarking made more or less show the true essence of the machine we are facing. Memory speeds are quite low, albeit on average with devices with such features. Specifically we have speed of reading not higher than 200 MB / s and of writing less than 120 MB / s.

The graphics card is one Intel HD Graphics 500, with a base frequency of 200 MHz and burst frequency that reaches i 700 MHz. The most appealing titles for mobile devices run quite well, as we could test by trying Asphalt 8.

On even louder games, he has some difficulty with many on-screen details. But if you are content with details at the minimum manages to satisfy pretty well even with titles like Euro Truck Simulator 2, temperature, even under stress, they never reached disturbing values, heating only slightly in the right back of the tablet.

Chuwi SurBook mini

Software

Chuwi Surbook mini comes with Windows 10 Home. The absence of the keyboard led inevitably to use this device mainly as a tablet, with all the critical issues that derive from it. It is not Chuwi's fault but the system itself, as Windows is not yet fully ready to be exploited exclusively through touch screen.

There are few programs with which you can easily interface with the touch and these are not part of some of the most common. Among these we find the whole package Office, Chrome, the programs of Adobe and many others. Attaching your keyboard, or using some external ones through Bluetooth, the situation changes radically, finding ourselves in front of a common computer.

Chuwi SurBook mini

To try to make things easier, Windows makes its own available modality Tablet, which essentially only slightly changes the initial interface. I have never encountered any particular problems other than the one concerning the language. From the first day he did not allow me to download the package with theItalian, probably due to a system blockage.

Displaying content in 4K it is allowed by the hardware, with files of type H.264. On Youtube high quality entertainment is slightly cumbersome due to too long loading. In addition, live on this same platform has a problem: they are not stable, constantly going to meet slowdowns, at any resolution.

La web browsing it is usable with fair performance, both as regards uploads and as regards the opening of multimedia contents. Between Edge e Chrome I have not noticed any substantial differences in any of the points mentioned above. The only true plus of Edge focuses on using the HiPen H2, with which you can interact at a level that Chrome can not offer in the least.

Chuwi SurBook mini

Audio

One of the sectors that has less satisfied me is that related to the audio. The speaker mono, positioned at the back, lack of body and, more importantly, of volume. Setting it to the maximum the result is disappointing: although at home we can understand what we are listening to, in external environments it becomes hell.

La quality is daughter of bassi completely absent, with a preference for higher frequencies. In the headphones the situation improves significantly, thanks also to the possibility of calibrating the tracks by means of a better equalization, to be operated manually.

Chuwi SurBook mini

Connettività

The supply of doors is quite satisfactory, especially thanks to the presence of well two USB 3.0, which allow fast transfers. Also the presence of one USB Type-C it is not to be underestimated, because it can be useful for different uses.

In the intimate of this device we find a form Wi-Fi 802.11 ac and the Bluetooth 4.0. Regarding the first I was satisfied by the coverage and from stability connection, even in areas of the house difficult to many terminals. For the second I did not find any problems or particular malfunctions.

Autonomy

The device has a battery from 3700 mAh. Using it exclusively for the productivity and for viewing some videos on Youtube, I have not passed the 3.5 hours of active screen within a day. With a more mild use it is certainly possible to arrive until the following day, but it is very difficult to go further.

Il loader supplied is much more cumbersome than those for smartphones, but it is mandatory to use this. Just a little less is needed for a full charge 3 hours, albeit with an output of 12V and 2A.

Chuwi SurBook mini

Conclusion

Chuwi SurBook Mini It is available on GearBest at a price currently of 211 € HiPen H2 you can find it at around 12 € and keyboard about 33 €. The amount to take home is certainly not very cheap, since the hardware does not turn out to be particularly good.

There is no doubt that, from his, the SurBook Mini has the portability and versatility, but without his own keyboard we struggle to believe that it can have a real meaning. This is because optimization on Windows is poor on the mobile level and still largely inferior to the Android or iOS counterparts. We recommend it, however, to all those who wish to have a discrete device to handle the most common programs of writing ed Entertainment.


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