Chuwi Lapbook 12.3

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Chuwi Lapbook 12.3 Review Online

Chuwi Lapbook 12.3 Review Online

Only just posted the Lapbook 12.3 review to the YouTube channel. It’s below, bottom line this notebook has the best screen seen yet in the Chinese laptops I’ve reviewed. 267 PPI, bright and sharp with an anti-glare coating. Shame about those bezels, however! It’s an all round decent laptop, one of the better ones. But not the best due to a few minor issues like less battery life than the EZBook 3 Pro or Chuwi Lapbook 14.1, gets hot to the touch while gaming and a very slow eMMC for some odd reason.

It’s price of $299 with coupon Gearbest02 which also means it’s more expensive than others, but you do get the Surface Pro 2017 & Pro 4 screen and a very good metal build and one of best Apollo lake notebook keyboards. A short summary and rating out of 10 will be added to the site soon.

More Apollo Lake notebooks coming, the Onda Xiaoma 21 like the Civiltop Air I reviewed (Fastest Apollo Lake piece of tech yet) but with USB ports and a microSD card.

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. Samsungi8910omnia.com, Samsunggalaxysforums.com founder from way back.

35 Comments

  1. Bought this one thanks to your review Chris. Everything was spot on.
    Updated the BIOS on Saturday, and it scared the crap out of me since the laptop wouldn’t turn on its screen… Luckily got it to work again, and now it’s fully operational. I also did a thermal mod similar to the one you made on your 14.1, just used a smaller shim and thermal pad. Also, unlike your 12.3 mine had that heat insulator on top of the heatsink, which I had to remove (wasn’t hard at all). Probably won’t be able to push it past 70º C now, keep up the good work!

  2. Hi, Chris

    Very nice review. It made me start following!

    Anyways, I have a question about the 12.3.

    I have a main laptop and am looking to buy a secondary one under 250€, mainly for college. So open pdf, using Office (mostly Excel and Word, maybe some PPT). Don’t want games, or anything more than PDF, office and Internet.

    Do you recommend this laptop? I really don’t want a slow one, otherwise it will be money poorly spent, since I can’t handle a program taking 10 minutes to open and lagging all the time. I really just want it to be fast for the things I mentioned above.

    I have an opportunity to buy a Thinkpad X230 refurbished, that I know it’s better. But I would like something new, so I was looking. I found some with nice specs at Gearbest, but they all have that CPU, and I’m bit afraid.

    Thanks in advance!

    • This Chuwi 12.3 would be fine as a study laptop. Otherwise consider the very popular Jumper Ezbook 3 Pro.

      Both are light devices with more than enough grunt to handle internet browsing and MS Office programs.

      • Thanks for the response!

        I would prefer the Chuwi, since the screen is better. Right now, with a coupon it’s around 239€, so I’m inclined to get it.

        • The builtin SSD is a bit sluggish but usable. With an M2 SSD, performance is quite fine IME.

          • Do you have a suggestion on a SSD M.2 that’s cheap? I don’t need space. 32 or 64 is fine.

        • Kingspec 64GB or 128GB one from Aliexpress

    • It should be fine for that, more so with an SSD installed. The Jumper EZBook 3 Pro is also very good. But you can’t beat the screen in this laptop.

      • I have been looking for a higher end laptop with a similar screen, and there is none… 🙁

        The Microsoft Surface and Apple offerings all have shiny/mirror variants of the screen, which I just cannot stand anymore. The only non-glare screens I could find are in “pro” laptop lines, but come in 16/10 or 16/9 format.

  3. I have 3 acquaintances, each of them bought a 12.3 inch lapbook. The LCD display has been broken in 1-2 weeks. They have written a complaint to the [email protected] did not respond to their complaint. There is no display for Chuwi and is not available elsewhere. I do not recommend buying it.

    • Oh shit wow, but how? Broken on arrival the screen from bad shipping handling? Or screen defect? Thank you. I will look at the EZBook 3 Pro I think.

  4. Hi Chris! I saw in one forum about some update on bios. I have really no idea. But hoping you can help me. My chuwi Lapbook suddenly didn’t wprk. Won’t turn on or charge. I dont know what to do. Please help.

    • Happened to me on previous bios version, I fixed it by opening and physically unplugging the battery, wait 5sec then replug.

    • Hi, sadly the bios won’t fix that. You’ll need to get in touch with your seller.

  5. Got one a few weeks ago. I immediately installed a 256GB SSD in the m.2 slot and installed Windows 10 via USB Windows 10 tool from Microsoft sight. DO NOT do this. On board sound, headphones and mic didn’t work and updating drivers didn’t fix it. The image file on the Chuwi thread, http://forum.chuwi.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=3572&extra=page%3D1%26filter%3Dtypeid%26typeid%3D55 works but the script immediately writes it to Drive 1, which is the eMMC drive. I wasn’t tech savvy enough to change the script so I cloned the drive with 3rd party software and put it on the 256GB SSD with it. Don’t make my initial mistakes and save time and clone original installation. I’m very happy now. I haven’t done the heat sink mod yet, but I have received the materials to do it.

  6. Can anyone recommended a decent UK charger for this Lapbook.

  7. Hi newbie here. Can anyone recommended a decent UK charger for this Lapbook?

    • You can find those multi voltage & plug chargers for various electronics in Dixons etc. As long as you get the polarity corrected on the plug it will be fine. 12V 3A, UK plug.

  8. I have one for about a week, the matte screen is really, really good. A friend brought his surface pro and we compared it side-by-side: the matte screen was a clear win, not even close. The 3:2 ratio is also a win vs regular 16:10 laptop screens, the 12.3″ has as much “usable” space as a 14″ laptop, while being more compact.

    The keyboard is also the best I have seen in a long while, even compared to high end laptops. Touchpad is quite decent as well.

    Battery life is fine, it lasted 7 hours of basic note taking and browsing with screen brightness low (which is quite fine with the matte screen, and more comfortable for the eye IMHO).
    I am planning to do the thermal mod though, for light office/browsing stuff, it barely got warm, but anything more involved… ahem… a real pity Chuwi !

    All in all, it’s perfect for note taking and light browsing, but beyond that, it is no longer perfect 🙂

    • Great to see you have basically the same opinion as me 🙂 Yes the keyboard is very good to type on, best I’ve seen yet. Much better than a lot of expensive laptops as you say. And the best part, that awesome screen. I really do like it. Thermal mod might help the notebook, but I feel it’s not really needed unless you plan to game for extended periods and demands the best performance.

      • Yes. Unless it breaks down horribly, I am quite satisfied with it so far. A faster CPU and/or eMMC would be nice, and a lower weight as well, but these are no biggies at this point (eMMC has slow writes, but decent reads, so it boots up and starts app fast enough, and the 6GB must be helping)

        And btw, thanks for your reviews 😉

        • Add an SSD later if you can, it really perks up the performance of the notebook and makes if feel a bit faster overall. Especially when moving files to the desktop and installing etc. Apollo Lake is not desktop class CPU, but for lighter tasks and even multiple tabs in Chrome etc, it does really well. I just wouldn’t do any serious work like video editing or massive Photoshop edits on it.

  9. Perhaps not a straightforward comparison request, but I’m torn between this lapbook 12.3 and the cube thinker.. Of course the cube is better but I’m wondering if it’s worth the doubled price vs the chuwi. And considering that build robustness and support is patchy at best with the Chinese notebooks, once you get to the cube level prices you’re also then looking at second hand macbook pro 13 retinas and surface pro 4s.. The chuwi starts to look like a decent option for a high dpi screen on a budget.

    • The other annoyance is that I have a spare m.2 ssd, but it’s a 2260 form factor. Looking at the internals video it looks like there might be space for a 2260 ssd if you mod the cover a bout with a dremel. Would a longer ssd hit the counterweight or other plastic supports?

      • I don’t think it will fit, for example in the EZBook 3 Pro a 2280 or 2260 will fit, with a Dremel and removing the plastic. But in the case of the Lapbook 12.3 here, you have to remove the whole inner plastic around the M.2 bay and the little rear door maybe glue it in place? But it will not be pretty.

      • Also my spare Sandisk 128GB 2260 is from an old Dell Venue 11 Pro. The tablet that really got me started in the 2-in-1 form factor in the first place. Reads are good but writes top out at about 200 mb/s really quite poor.

    • I think the extra is well worth it on the Thinker, it has an amazing fully laminated touch panel. One of the best around and super bright. Surface Pro stylus support if needed too. And then 8GB 1866Mhz RAM, much faster Core M3 it feels like a Core i5 almost. very quick and smooth the Thinker i35. The only issue is possible keyboard issues on some units reported by one user in the forum here. My keyboard is fine.

  10. I’ll be interested in seeing what you find inside when you take it apart. maybe a replaceable eMMC?

    perhaps it’s possible to unlock some BIOS options to optimise the eMMC?

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