Chuwi Surbook Mini

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Chuwi SurBook Mini Hands-On

Chuwi SurBook Mini Hands-On

The smaller version of the Chuwi Surbook has arrived for my unboxing and review. The Surbook Mini is only 10.8 inches and uses the Microsoft Surface 3 screen. It’s 1920 x 1280 fully laminated with over 450 nits of brightness and by far the best part of this 2-in-1 tablet. The keyboard still hasn’t shipped but should in a week or two, hopefully in time for my review.

It’s got 2 x USB 3.0 ports and a Type-C port with data, PD power and display out support. (Just like the Surbook) It supports the HiPen H2 active stylus, which unfortunately isn’t a good stylus at all as it has no pressure sensitive levels. Just on or off like a more accurate pointer really.

The mini version of the Surbook here is currently $249 USD so cheaper than the larger Surbook with the 12.3 Surface Pro screen.

My unboxing and first look can be found below with more my first impressions.

Chuwi Surbook Mini first impressions:

  • The build is very similar to the Chuwi Surbook. Metal 125-degree kickstand, metal rear unibody.
  • The fully laminated screen is very bright, deep blacks, good colours and sharp enough 1280p at 10.8-inches
  • The charger is 12V 2A with a slightly longer type-c plug than your typical hubs and adaptors.
  • USB type-c display out works and USB data. But using my havit type-c hub I have to push the plug in real hard like the Surbook.
  • You get approx 43GB free and there is no SSD slot on the Surbooks.
  • Intel Wireless AC 3165 chipset, no surprises there
  • A fast Samsung eMMC 5.1 chip for storage
  • The stylus is sadly the HiPen H2, it should be the HiPen 3 with pressure support. This one is a simple basic active stylus.
  • It’s 750 grams in weight with the keyboard it will be aprox 1.1 or 1.2 kilos I imagine.
  • I don’t have the keyboard yet but will try to also review it. It’s not quite in stock yet. But shipping soon.
  • The speakers are both on the left side. So no stereo separation. I thought it had just one speaker, but it turns out it has two in there.

Overall first impressions are mixed, I like the build, USB 3.0 ports and type-c the screen is great and love seeing more fully laminated displays. But the stylus isn’t good and neither are the speakers. I hope the keyboard is decent, I have no idea if it’s backlit like the Surbook’s but I didn’t see in mentioned so I think not.


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. Hello and regards;
    would you please list all windows tablet with fully laminated screen and of course with 3:2 aspect ratio?
    and i wonder if there is any 4:3 windows tablet out there?
    Thanks a lot

  2. Is it possible to access BIOS with generic USB keyboard instead of the bundled one?

  3. 4:3 or 3:2 aspect ratio
    fully laminated
    svelte design
    8 or 10inch
    +/- dual boot

    Chris, have you ever review a tablet with above specs?
    by the way well done for all the good work

  4. Hey there! First comment here. I’m quite fascinated by this tablet. I work at the university and it would be very useful to use while reading a lot of PDFs traveling, during conferences or simply for taking notes (not as a substitute for my 15” laptop, but more as a complementary tool). I have 2 questions for you: is the weight and dimensions good for my purpose? and also about the pen: are you saying that the included pen is crap but you can buy a better one, or that the tablet is not compatible with good stylus? that would be bad 🙁
    thx and sorry for all the questions!

  5. Hi Chris!

    Long time watcher & reader, first time buyer / commenter now 🙂 Great quality work you do (really the only one).

    Could you check if the Hipen H3 works with the tablet? Because if so I would buy one. I have very little interest in the HiPen H2 … 🙁 I can’t see why they would not support the stylus, but I guess it may be …

    Also, to me Linux support is hugely important (specifically I bought the tablet because of the first comment above. I think it would be helpful if you leave a small comment in the video / review when *any* Linux boots 🙂 I personally even prefer to use Arch Linux. So hearing that this will boot is awesome 🙂 Due to the freshness of the Arch Linux / Antergos kernels I think they would make a good test (eventually what works there will also work on Ubuntu based distros).

    Kind regards and thanks!

  6. I wonder if Brad can comment, but I wonder if Linux isn’t booting due to the GRUB bug involving Apollo Lake chipsets? If that is the case then it should boot fine with the rEFInd bootloader. Anyone that has one of these care to experiment?

    • Antergos works (tested it) Maybe because it’s not using the typical bootloader according to Brad.

  7. Crappy stylus, why on earth did they give it the H2 and not the H3 Pen or even my Chuwi Hi12 stylus would work better than that. Otherwise it looks okay. Looking forward to seeing the keyboard and the full review Chris. Have you ordered the CoreBook? And that other 2-in1 one the Cube KNote when will you review it?

    • The keyboard isn’t released just yet. Maybe next week I hope. As for the CoreBook you can only preorder with the IndieGoGo campaign. I’ll have a Alldocube KNote video soon.

      • Waiting on the keyboard for my Surbook mini. The keyboard connector looks remarkably similar to the Microsoft Surface type cover though.

      • Chris, did you receive the keyboard yet? I’m looking for the Mini to upgrade from my HiBook Pro. The laminated screen + 3:2 form factor make it look like a winner, but with the crappy stylus a good keyboard experience is a must imho.

        • I got the keyboard last week, working on the final review. The keyboard is average, takes a little to get used to and the worst part is the touchpad isn’t a precision one. Typing is okay once I got use to the smaller size, ideally would like some more key travel. But the screen is fantastic, super bright and fully laminated.

          • Thanks, looking forward to the full review. So basically the keyboard is worse than the regular Surbook: no precision, less travel and (not?) back lit? Kinda in limbo here since I really like the size and form factor.

        • Yes the keyboard is worse than the Surbook, so far the Surbook is better in every regard apart from not being fully laminated. This is a cheaper cut down version. I would get the Surbook over the mini.

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