Chuwi Hi10 Ultrabook Tablet PC Review
Not so long ago, sourcing your consumer electronics straight from China was near impossible. You had to close your fingers, and hope that the unit will work out of the box. Not anymore. For the past two or so years, a new crop of Chinese retailers have revamped the entire buying experience. Now you have many Chinese players having their presence felt by shipping usable and affordable consumer electronics worldwide for free.
Case in point: The Chuwi Hi10 Ultrabook, a Windows 10 slate that shapes up the ‘status quo’ by making available -to users on a budget- a functional tablet affordably. Since the Microsoft Surface 3 was released, many have been locked out by the price, but the Chuwi company has toned down the pricing for an almost similar experience. Yes, keyword here is ALMOST similar…not similar since the Microsoft Surface 3 does score well in most fronts.
As expected, budget consumer electronics come with a few compromises here and there. The Hi10 sports a 100% plastic body, safe for the glass touch area. The plastic doesn’t necessarily shout ‘cheap’ but it does downgrade the solid feel of an otherwise perfect tablet. The backside is cad in textured plastic that is prone to fingerprints and smudges over long term use. Ideally, if Chuwi would have adopted for a metallic construction we’d have seen the price soar upwards, thus the plastic construction isn’t much of a deal-breaker here…is it?
Powering the Chuwi Hi10 is Intel’s latest 1.44GHz Cherry Trail Z8300, it’s a quad core CPU that can clock up to 1.84GHz. The Z8300 happens to be at the bottom of Cherry Trail Chips, but it does deliver decent speeds just like the older Bay Trail Z3735F. However, it gets a push over its older competitor in graphics performance as it supports some current features like 4K resolutions rendered at 30 frames per second (FPS) for HDMI out, USB 3.0 support and relatively high-speed MicroSD card slots. So, if you have some files to watch on HD, you’re partly sorted.
To that, add 4GB memory on a single channel LPDDR3 slot, which apart from being not so-good can still have the work done, allow you play games and open multiple browsers tabs on both Windows 10 and Android platforms. Performance on Windows 10 is at par with most Cherry Trail Z8300 machines, and the Android 5.1 experience is also worthwhile.
The Hi10’s 10.1-inch screen supports a maximum resolution of 1920-by-1200 pixels, which appears to be more of a square. The screen is sharp and bright, making one of the key features the tablet considering that it has a PPI of 224 which serves to conceal individual pixels. This does not, however, qualify as a ‘retina’ since Apple calls any screen with 264 PPI and above as a Retina Screen. For storage, you have a Hynix HCG8e 64GB eMMC, but if you need more you have an SD card slot supporting up to 128GB.
It is not always that you find not, one, but two full-sized USB ports on a tablet. On the Hi10 you have one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port; plus, another USB 2.0 port and MicroUSB port on the dock, making it a total of 4 ports. Connectivity comes in way of 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. It also features both front and back cameras, each 2.0 MP; which is not so-great but suffices for the basic users who wants to have a random skype chat.
The Chuwi Hi10 comes with an 8000 mAh battery, which is designed with some endurance for a basic user. During our tests, we managed to get 6 hours 47 minutes, which is quite good considering that it sports a bright, screen with a 1920-by-1200 resolution. If you need to prolong the juice, toning down the brightness and switching the system to airplane might allow you watch an HD movie for even up to 7.5-8 hours.
The Chuwi Hi10 Ultrabook Tablet PC might not be the most powerful slate tablet we’ve seen in the recent past, but it does appeal to a wider category of users. Budget buyers. It is affordably priced, but for the price you get an array of premium features: USB 3.0 port, faster MicroSD slot, HDMI support for up to 4K and a beefier screen. That said, if you’re in the market for an affordable Windows 10 tablet that won’t look odd on your hands, then the Chuwi Hi10 is worth a long look as you shop around.
The Chuwi Hi10 Ultrabook Tablet PC might not be the most powerful slate tablet we’ve seen in the recent past, but it does appeal to a wider category of users. Budget buyers.