Chuwi Hi12

First 3:2 Ratio Chinese Brand Tablet
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Chuwi Hi12 Unboxing and First Impressions

Chuwi Hi12 Unboxing and First Impressions

Didn’t expect this on to arrive until after Chinese Spring festival and New Years. My Chuwi Hi12 arrived today, it’s Chuwi’s new large 12: tablet and the first tablet outside of Microsoft to use the 12″ 2160 x 1440 screen the Surface Pro 3 uses. What’s special about the panel? Well its a 3:2 ratio panel, has a 2160 x 1440 res and 216 PPI. So looks sharp. I got this unit for $249 from GearBest this time and ordered when it was first listed. Must have been first in first served and it now states shipping after the 29th? Has anyone else seen their Hi12?

Powered by a Atom X5 Z8300, 4GB of Ram and 64GB eMMC. Here’s the unboxing video:

Edit: 10th Feb. New second hands on video with benchmarks and thermals:

Chuwi Hi12 First impressions:

  • Screen is great, looks sharp but Chuwi’s tweaked the brightness down compared to a Surface Pro 3
  • The USB 3 port will power a 1TB or 2TB external hard drive.
  • The build is good for the price.
  • Metal rear and the front frame seems to be plastic.
  • Speakers sound okay (Tested in the hands on vid)
  • The eMMC in my unit is a Hynix. 120 mb/s reads and 80 mb/s writes. Much better than a BIWN or FORSEE unit
  • The battery is around 10,125 mAh according to battery bar pro. So more or less in line with the claimed 11,000mAh.
  • Touch screen controller is a Goodix unit. The screen is responsive and feels fast overall.
  • I like it so far, mostly the build and screen. Being a Surface 2,3 and now Pro 4 user I’ve grown to like 3:2 ratio screens.
  • This screen screams for more power, for example a Skylake Core M3 or at least, an Atom X7 Z8700. Please, someone build one! (I’ve seen enough Z8300 units now…)
  • For now, thermals seem great, 70 degrees C max running 3DMark11, PCMark 7 and Geekbench 3. Power limited or thermal pads transferring heat to the rear metal housing to act as a huge heat sink?
  • Box mentions Android, the bios has an Android setting in there. So hope to see a dual boot version. Would love Android on this. But then again, Android gaming at that native 2160 x 1440 is something the Atom X5 Z8300 will not handle well at all.
  • First benchmarks look much lower than other X5 Z8300 units? Is it the screen taxing the system that much? I need to recheck this with a reboot and wifi off in case it’s Windows update running.
  • Still only single 2.4Ghz band Wireless N… Come on it’s 2016, time for dual band!
Video tech reviewer and tech blogger. I have a huge interest in the latest tech, tablets, laptops, mobiles, drones, and even e-scooters. Active in the tech community since 2008 days of the Omnia i900 Windows phone., founder from way back.


  1. We just received the chuwi hi12 from gear best. Shipping time 10 days – great so far.
    Also the tablet build quality is really good for this price we face a big issue:

    There is a black point (dust?) apprx ca. 4-6 pixel big between the glass and the display. We also removed the foil but the point is really under the glass and seems to be not some dead pixel but some kind of dust.

    Is there a way we can remove it ourself?

    Has someone here a feedback of how gear best handles defect products?

    Many thanks!

    • Well you could open it up and try to blow it out removing the screen (Not recommended) GearBest might offer a part refund for the issue. Open a support ticket with them.

  2. Just get a new Chuwi Hi12 and doesn’t turn on. Don’t Buy it

  3. Hi Chris,
    what would you recommend this chuwi or the teclast x98 pro?
    i am a little scarred about hi temps reached by teclast one

    • I think for now I would say the Hi12 if you don’t mind the size of it. The temps seem good. Mines hitting around 70 degrees max so far running 3dmark11 and pushing it very hard. It seems to me Chuwi is using the rear metal case as a heat sink. I’m definitely enjoying the Chuwi Hi12 more even if it’s not as powerful as the X98 I like the size and 3:2 screen for web browsing, Youtube and documents.

  4. I plan to pickup this tablet once I can convince my wife to let me get it. At this price point, all the items listed on this seem perfect, would prefer a better cpu, but for the price, it’s great.

    Keep up the great unboxing and reviews!

    • Please do not buy Chuwi I get 2, only work for 10 hours each, do not turn on anymore

      • Sorry that’s your experience, I am still interested in this tablet.

        • Mine, never turn on

          • Not good. Try this: Hold the power button for 12 seconds or more. Plug it in and let it charge overnight and then try again. Hold the power button for 3-4 seconds it should power on. If it doesn’t contact your seller for a replacement.

  5. I have 2 chuwis Vi10 PRO , 5 months, use as two hours a week, because I had an accident and was in the hospital, are new unused, and worked well , one stop turning on , did not pay attention , I thought it was not charge .. now the second does not turn on, Chuwi is Trash, is PURE TRASH, I tried Everything, read 3000 post, about how to get the tablets on again, and nothing, make all kinds of convinations of bottons to turn on this 2 pieces of trash, JUST DO NOT BUY CHUWI!!!!!! NEVER, I have 2 with no use at all, and not working at all, and they are new, in their boxes with everything fine, but NOT WORKING (excuse my english)

    • Sorry to hear, it’s the risk we take with cheaper brands and it’s a lottery. Have you tried different chargers, cables and leaving them to charge overnight. Very strange 2 new ones don’t work. I’ve brought many tablets to review and never had one DOA.

  6. Hi @Chris,
    How would this tablet perform with some of this tasks
    – Some work in photoshop ( i’m mainly concerned about the photoshop performance, since its heavy on CPU )
    – I also use a prototyping tool named Justinmind but i dont think its that taxing on the CPU.
    – Coding
    – And browsing

    • Coding and browsing just fine. But photoshop only if it’s minor stuff. The Z8300 isn’t exactly a powerchip. Minor edits and filter okay. But i can be quite slow. I would recommend a Core M for Photoshop like the Cube i7 Stylus.

  7. Add it *GPS* and *4G* functionality and you would have the perfect tablet!!! 😀

  8. I ordered one at 204$.
    But when is will be available for shipping?

    • lol

    • Did it ship from that scam site?

      • @chris If you mean FastTech it really isn’t a scam site, and I know one forum member (not here, but could be the user above) who has received his Chuwi Hi12 a couple of days ago.

  9. Chris,
    How do the surface pro 3 specs compare to the hi12?
    I ask because i can pick up a second hand sp3 plus keyboard for around the same price

    • Surface Pro 3 is far superior in every way possible. Much, much faster too.. Get that instead!

  10. Cool! thanks for the review Chris! You even managed to get one in grey/black 🙂 I jumped on it as soon as i saw the price of $204. (but i’m stuck with a gold/white one). requested the seller to see if the grey/black one was an option.

    I currently own an X98 plus, great tablet, nicely build IMO, but the larger screen and full sized USB ports (and external USB 3.0) are an upgrade in my opinion. (friend of mine is more than willing to take my X98)

    Does the windows button has got haptic feedback?

    Is it possible to download a Dutch language-pack on this HI12? (i guess so, since the OS is multi-language from my best of understanding)?

    • Hi, The X98 Plus is nice. But I agree full sized ports and the USB 3 are good. The Windows buttons doesn’t have any haptic feedback. Seems only Cube do that, as for dutch you can download within Windows like your X98 Plus.

  11. Hi, can you help taking video at 0% brightness for pwm testing.

  12. Aw shit. Single band wifi…

    If there is a Z8500/8700 model with AC wifi, I’ll buy it

  13. I saw no lagging in Windows (considering the processor), I don’t thinks the benchmarks should be really low. Perhaps as you said, background tasks running.

    Since there is a 15% coupon for this tablet, I am itching to buy it before it is invalidated, but two things bother me
    – Low brightness
    – Lack of info on Cases/Covers. The keyboard should be really expensive and I don’t know if a PU Leather one will come out and when.
    – and of course the comparison with Cube i7 carrying Core M + SSD sata3 for a little extra (I can get the Cube at 270€)

    • Seems it power related, on battery I got 13000 3DMark Ice Storm 1.2 and plugged in 17600. Seems they have some setting in power or the bios affecting the performance on the battery. The plus side is it will increase the battery life, but gaming on the battery it will suffer.

    • Okay think I found the issue, Intel Graphics power settings had all the power (crippling) features enabled on battery and disabled on power.

  14. Interesting that you got yours. I waited for the thing to actually be in stock and then it went from 3-5 days to Feb. 28th, so I never ordered one before the holidays. Any early indications concerning battery life yet? The battery widget in the vid showed >8 hours, luckily a far cry from the 4 hours that GearBest indicated!

    • It was sent on the 5th which was a surprise. I had no idea they were working Friday. Battery still gauging it but it’s holding up okay. Just lost 5% in 20 minutes with the brightness at 50% benchmarking. Looking like 6+ hours maybe, worse case 5 hours. But I’ll need to set out and do a normal day on it and see how it holds up.

      • Hey Chris, thanks for the Hands on!
        Been waiting on this, trying to decide between it n the Hi10. Which would u recommend please?
        Should probably chill for the stylus version 🙁

        • This now due to the screen and slightly better speakers. But there is an unknown when it comes to the keyboard.

      • My order was also sent on 5th February by DHL. But my tracking number does not work.
        Has your tracking number work?

  15. these goddam z8300s

  16. I would get it in an instant with even the 5Y10. The last I heard the keyboard will be announced after Chinese New Years break. They should have at least shown us proto type images of it!

  17. If only this had a core m3 (or even the last generation core m), then they would sell at lot more of these.
    Also has the official keyboard for this even been announced yet?

    • But then it wouldn’t cost 200-250$ (the HI12 was 204$ two days ago on sale).

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