Is called KUU, is a relatively new brand whose name may not say much but lends itself to the most varied MEME, and just take a look at the technical data sheet and the selling price of its new K1 to understand that it is one of most powerful low-cost Chinese notebooks of 2020 and that could be the most suitable choice for those who need to buy a laptop with good features and suitable not only for studying and working, but also for running some of the most popular games, at least on paper.
Kuu K1 review
Made with a simple hardcover, typical of the vast majority of Chinese notebooks, in the packaging of the Kuu K1 are present:
- Kuu K1.
- US power supply.
- Italian electrical adapter.
- Stickers to adapt the keyboard to the Italian layout.
- Instruction manual.
Design and materials
Despite the decidedly low price, the KUU K1 it is made in a frame in magnesium alloy and aluminum, with a silver silver finish very pleasant to the touch. There is no logo on the screen panel, which makes it rather anonymous, and its 1.8 Kg and 360 x 240 x 25 mm is certainly not one of the lightest and thinnest models on the market. But despite this it manages to stand out for some not indifferent qualities, such as the rich presence of side ports, among which we find 2 USB 3.0, 1 micro-HDMI for connection with monitor and TV, the input for headphones and the input for the microSD, and a webcam integrated in the display panel, positioned at the bottom almost flush with the keyboard.
The keyboard is backlit and includes a numeric keypad, of course it is made with cheap materials, but it is very comfortable to use and gives very pleasant tactile feedback. It is produced exclusively with a US layout and to adapt it to the Italian one it will be necessary to apply, button by button, the stickers included in the package which will make available all the accented letters and special characters of our language but which, personally, I have decided not to apply given the decidedly different dimensions compared to those of the keys, and for a rather technical reason: by applying a sticker on the backlit keyboard, you it loses the transparency (and therefore the illumination) of the letters.
The trackpad is a good size and includes a fingerprint sensor that I found practically lightning, although I have to admit that in terms of sensitivity and pointing precision, Kuu's could have done something more: the feeling of the trackpad might seem rather "plastic" and the management of multitouch gestures is not exactly the maximum.
The Kuu K1 screen is a 15.6 inches FullHD glossy (therefore opaque) with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, assembled using an IPS panel that guarantees a good density of pixels per inch and that all in all is in line with the price range in which the notebook fits. Of course, it brings with it all the shortcomings of low-end IPS panels, with decidedly colors poco saturated and rather narrow viewing angles, but the brightness is very good and allows a good view even in very bright environments.
Given the glossy processing of the panel, the reflections are reduced to a minimum, but especially considering the price range of the notebook it must be admitted that the work done by Kuu is quite good and the reproduction on Netflix or the other streaming video services or the running games, they are always pleasant and all in all good quality.
Hardware and performance KUU K1
I admit that I was quite surprised by the performance of the KUU K1. Maybe because I am always particularly biased with the world of Chinese notebooks, but looking at the technical data sheet and testing it thoroughly I had to change my mind. The processor that drives the machine is a Intel Core i5-5257U which, of course, since it dates back to 2015 is a decidedly dated CPU, but which thanks to the clock speed of 2.7GHz and the integrated Iris Graphics 6100 graphics card, is relatively powerful and is able to compete with more modern and expensive processors . Then the target to which it is addressed must always be considered, that is, a slice of users who are able to have satisfactions even with an N4100 and who in an i5-5257U will find significant benefits in terms of performance.
Integrated RAM is of 8 GB, but of type LPDDR3, while the internal memory can be from 256 GB o 512 GB and that is entrusted to a rather fast SSD. The nice thing, then, is that the KUU engineers had the genial idea of leaving an empty 3.0-inch SATA 2.5 slot available to their users and easily accessible through the lower compartment of the notebook, which guarantees excellent expandability both in terms of available space and in terms of performance.
Do not miss the WiFi 801.11ac module, which guarantees excellent signal reception, and Bluetooth 4.0: in short, considering the price, the hardware of the KUU K1 is definitely satisfactory. Too bad for the total absence of a USB-C port, which would have been the icing on the back in terms of expandability, but I realize that maybe I'm the one who demands too much.
In short, for common use, the KUU K1 it is definitely suitable and guarantees excellent performance. Of course, every now and then with too many applications open in the background the system points out some slowdown, but for "home" or university use it offers more than enough performance.
I also tried to install Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere, but in this case the performance of the system proved to be suitable only for amateur use of the applications and personally I would advise against buying it if you wanted to use it for more complex operations.
As for gaming, I was quite surprised when I found out about to be able to play League of Legends without too many limitations, games like Asphalt 8 run without significant problems, but when you start to go heavy on the KUU K1 he begins to hesitate: I also tried to play Fortnite, with which I got sub-tone performances, with rather low framerates even with the graphics settings at a minimum. But always remember that it is a notebook that costs much less than 400 euros.
Good temperature management, which manages not to exceed 90 degrees even with intense use of the computer, perhaps too annoying the fans that will be active practically always, even at the first ignition and without any open application and which are also quite noisy.
Audio and camera
The integrated stereo speakers, which reproduce an audio tending mainly to medium and high frequencies, and which I believe are not even aware of the existence of low frequencies, are decidedly subdued. The listening volume is good, but not excessively high, while the audio captured by the microphone is of good quality and does not present any problems whatsoever.
La webcam from 2 mega-pixels it is positioned in the lower hinge but guarantees rather poor performance especially in low light conditions. In short, let's say that it is suitable for making video calls or video conferences, as long as you are in a well-lit environment.
Battery and autonomy
The battery integrated in the KUU K1 is a 38 Wh, and from my tests I came to the conclusion that, perhaps, represents the real compromise of this notebook. And no, not as far as autonomy is concerned, which I found quite sufficient for the use that will be made of the machine and that it guarantees poco more than 2 and a half hours with medium / high use, but I am referring to the charging times which could be quite long.
And the fault lies with the 1.57A power supply included in the package, which connects to the computer via a traditional plug but which I definitely found poco powerful: for a full charge, using the computer, I had to wait more than 3 hours. Not to mention the power supply cable, which I found far too short for my needs.
Conclusions and selling price - KUU K1
The sale price of KUU K1 is decidedly aggressive: currently the version from 512 GB is on sale in flash sale in 424 € su GearBest (which with the coupon D4883220F65EB001 come down to 391 €), while the version from 256 GB costs 397 euros (which with the coupon O4883112F39EB000 come down to 368 €). Definitely an interesting price, especially considering that the KUU K1 it is one of the most versatile inexpensive Chinese notebooks currently in circulation and which is able to support even those slightly more complex operations where, in general, this category of devices begins to waver.
Of course it is not perfect and it brings compromises, but it is the ideal solution for all those people looking for a cheap notebook, with which to perform productivity operations and also a "light" gaming without too many problems, as well as playing movies and TV series and everything related to the classic "university" use smart working. It is not among the lightest and most portable notebooks, but it is undoubtedly the model with the most powerful hardware in its price range.
If you are looking for different alternatives, I recommend you take a look at our guide on best Chinese notebooks in which, monthly, we add the most interesting models with the best value for money in the category.