Chuwi Lapbook SE

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Hands-On With The Chuwi Lapbook SE (Updated)

Hands-On With The Chuwi Lapbook SE (Updated)

Update 25th Sept:  Testing takes time and I wanted to be 100% sure. So I’ve now used the laptop for 11 days and it’s very good without a doubt the best of the sub $300 13.3″-14″ Gemini Lake laptops so far reviewed. Especially for the $259 paid. My review is almost ready to start recording tomorrow after all these days using it, there is only the one deal breaker we all know of, the 4GB of RAM.

The screens 200 lux max isn’t an issue indoors I run 50% brightness and even less. The keyboard is great, backlit and one of the better ones. Same goes for the touchpad, accurate, smooth and better than the EZbook X4’s. Thermals are 86 degrees C max on my unit, no thermal throttling but my Lapbook SE copper heatsink mod does help out if you want to run an unlimited power limit for maximum performance. The CPU can then hold all 4 cores at 2.3Ghz instead of power limiting to 1.6Ghz all 4 cores.

The build is also great, the look of the keyboard, the lack of sharp edges and the fully laminated screen gives it a more premium feel and look over the EZbook X4.

Battery life is nothing but awesome, 8 to 9 hours is possible at 40% brightness. Maybe even more at a lower brightness setting. Overall it’s recommended, just move Windows 10 over to the SSD from the eMMC to solve future space issues and possibly improve the thermals if 85 degrees C max when taxed bothers you. Maybe the Teclast F5 is better with it’s 8GB of RAM. But that is a different class of laptop, a 2-in-1 with touch, and 11.6-inches. The price is now $279 ($20 more) for the Lapbook SE but still well worth it if you can live with a great laptop for light tasks, but has only 4GB of RAM.

The full review is coming very soon. Below are the screen stats, very good for a sub $300 laptop. Normally they are sRGB 60% panels used and Adobe RGB 49% etc.

———-

Sept 14th: I know a lot of you have been after my first impressions of this model. It needs a few tweaks for sure, the eMMC has Windows 10 installed there for some silly reason and could do with a copper heatsink mod as thermals are around 85 degrees C but no thermal throttling. But so far I’m overall impressed with this laptop, the build quality is good. The internals show an inner support frame below the backlit keyboard, everything screwed in place, overall very good. A great screen, but only 210 lux max and the backlit keyboard is good to type on definitely for its price tag of around $259.

The touchpad is large with Windows precision drivers. USB ports power HDD’s fine with USB 3.0 speeds. The MicroSD slot is 27Mb/s reads max so not a UHS one but this was expected for the spec of laptop. Below is my first look at the Chuwi Lapbook SE video, it’s almost a full review but of course I’ll be back with the full review with more benchmarks, gaming tests, full battery life figures and charge times after a week of using it.

HDMI 2.0 is working fine driving my TV at 4k 60hz and the laptop screen at 1080p. There is no “coil whine” and the 3.5mm jack is free of static, loud and clean. The battery stays put at 100% when fully charged and in use. Also, the 37Wh battery looks like it’s good for 6-7 hours if not more. But more time and testing is required of course.

There are the obvious cons know before I even got it, possible weak speakers (Typical!) And 4GB of DDR4 RAM. With the Windows installation is on the SSD as it should be, a thermal pad and 8GB of RAM this would be the best budget laptop at least at 13-14 inches. Linux works well, just make sure it’s a recent distro you’re using like the latest Linux Mint (tested)

Yes, the bios is unlocked completely so you can set no TDP limit. But you need to also run the RAM software hack to get it to really use your set TDP or no TDP. But I would first do my heatsink mod beforehand otherwise it will thermal throttle. I’ll have a copper heatsink mod video coming soon and the results are very good.

Chinese tablet news, hands on videos and reviews of the latest Chinese tablets. I don't review or cover just anything, only tablets I think are good enough and worth the attention.

39 Comments

  1. Hi Chris , can you easily add another 4gb RAM module to this laptop – or maybe an 8gb module if there is only one slot ? What spec of memory would be required if this is possible – just weighing up the options here ! Cheers

    • It’s soldered in place, no slot on this. We just have to wait for the 8GB model which I hope is coming.

  2. So glad to have bought one! Eagerly waiting for its delivery… 😉
    Chris, maybe it will sound a bit noob, but is there any good tutorial on how to move the OS from eMMC to SSD you can advise? which tools? how *not* to lose the Product Key at first?

    • He suggests using Macrium in the video.

      Link: https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree

      • Yes, indeed. So far, I’ve read about two applications, this one and another described in the Chuwi Section of the forum. But there seem to be a few concerns about partitions and their location/size of the target disk…
        Thanks for the link 😉

    • Later a free partition manager to gain the full use of the SSD if it’s an issue. OR in Windows Disk management it’s also possible. I have drivers here https://techtablets.com/chuwi-lapbook-se/drivers/ so a clean install is also possible. I’m about to do it on my with a 275GB Crucial MX300 SSD 🙂 And install Linux Mint 19 latest build with Windows for dual boot fun!

  3. great review as always.
    does the chuwi logo light up?

  4. Good hands-on prereview Chris! Thanks a lot, seems a good stuff.
    I think the comparison with the best budget lapbook (Teclast f7) is more appropriate than with the f5 for these reasons:
    1) f5 is 2 in 1 lapbook, not as f7 and chuwi se.
    2) f5 is a bit more expensive, while f7 and se is on same price level.
    3) If chuwi se wins in comparison , it can update recommended list of best budget laptops, moving to the 1st place.
    4) f5 is 11.*’ diagonal,while f7 and chuwi se are same.
    On the full SE review please test the 4gb ram, is it enough for example surfing+youtube4k+MsOffice working? Thanks ,@Chris

  5. Hi, I want to know if this Notebook https://geizhals.at/lenovo-v130-15igm-81hl002vge-a1862681.html

    wich I could get for 224€ is better than the lapbook se.

    It is called Lenovo V130-15IGM, Pentium Silver N5000, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD (81HL002VGE)

    It seems that the N5000 is better than the N4100 but not sure about the rest. Battery life from lapbook se seems better, isnt it?

  6. Do you think there will be an 8 GB model coming soon or should I buy this one now?

    Thank you @Chris . Very much appreciate your work.

    • Chuwi did mention an 8GB model was coming soon (back in August), but no further news on that!

  7. I received this laptop few days ago and it’s overally satisfied for the price.
    But I have one small s/w issue as the keyboard backlit doesn’t work after clean install windows10 to SSD.
    I tried to install the driver such as ‘ledcontrol’ but cannot install it with the alert below.
    ‘This package can only be run from a bootstrapper’
    Please upload the driver for keyboard backlit if someone have! 🙂

    PS. as a alt solution, I tried to re-install Chuwi version windows to SSD but the file from chuwi is extracted file and not .ISO so I have difficulty to make a bootable USB 🙁

  8. Between this and Jumper X4? What is better laptop? Is really a great difference between a laptop and another one?

    • This is the better to me so far it’s between this Lapbook SE and the Teclast F5 for the new best Gemini lake budget laptop. The screen, battery life, touchpad, keyboard and overall build is much better than the EZBook X4. I’m moving to this laptop as my new budget work/travel laptop for light tasks.

  9. Hi. Congratulations for your analysis. In your opinion, is this Chuwi SE much better than the Ezbook x4 ips? Is it really littel 4 Gb of ram for the chuwi SE?

    • Oh yes, i like it much better than the EZbook X4, better build, better keyboard, and touchpad. 4k60hz, good 3.5mm output. Thermals aren’t so great, but they weren’t on the EZbook X4 either. The battery is good or 8 hours use, I’ll have more on all that in the full review.

  10. I was really looking forward to buying this laptop; however, it’d seem I won’t be considering another chuwi product. I jumped in on the hype of Hi9 air and got my order 2 days ago. I was muted! The UI lags, stutters and reboots at random. Ordinary unlocking with pin take ages, the screen is horribly oversaturated with faces coming out as orange whether pics or videos. The device is stuck on April firmware and the screen that’s so called 2k is worse than HD. No workaround found for any of these issues so far on any forum. This is really annoying.
    @Chris, please do you have a way out for this issue?

    Also,didn’t realize the tablet would be so heavy!!!

    • Did you not see my review of this one before buying?… I mentioned the UI sluggishness, lag poor gaming etc. Mi Pad 4 is much, much better (as mentioned in my review). Sorry, no idea on fixes I sold mine.

      • Didn’t really know. Was eyeing MI PAD 4 PLUS, but the price is not affordable for me right now. For that price, was expecting more from Chuwi

        • Would have bought T10, but I don’t like the white boarders and lack of Sim support

        • Now they will have the Hi9 Plus, the faster Helio X27 but still only 3GB of RAM and the 10.1″ OGS 2560 x 1600 screen. The trouble is the mali T880 MP4 is quite slow, more so when clocked at 750Mhz. ON the Helio X27 it’s about 850Mhz so much better, but still not perfect. The Snapdragon 660 in the Mi Pad 4 is a really decent SoC, far superior and the GPU is twice as fast.

  11. Hello Chris. Many thanks to your reviews. They’re second to none.
    It could be better if you include PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) test in your reviews, as many users, like me, are allergic to this issue. Please measure the frequency of the PWM

    I recently bought a Teclast f7, but unfortunately it suffers from PWM, as manufacturers manage to reduce on costs. I have to sell it now. I can’t continue working with the laptop after half an hour.

    What is the frequency of PWM on CHUWI Lapbook SE?

  12. Great Review!!
    The trackpad accuracy is better than the Jumper X4 ??
    Anyone knows if the new X4 has a GLOSSY IPS display or is it MATTE like the TN panel?

    • So far yes in a day of using it (writing on it now) it’s more accurate for those finer movements. I think the new IPS is a glossy one in the X4 IPS model, like the Teclast F7.

  13. I bet we need a firmware update from Chuwi to boost the screen luxs….do you have a preferred contact channel to ask for this feature?

    • I don’t have a contact, but indoors right now I’m using it on 30-40% brightness and it’s fine. 100% It’s far too bright for normal lighting indoors. So far even if it isn’t the brightest I feel it’s fine overall. I don’t plan to use it in direct sunlight.

  14. Awesome review! 🙂
    I can’t wait to watch your copper heatsink mod video!

    • Just need to edit it. But the results are really good. I can now even run no power limit with good thermals.

  15. Good review as always!
    I am keen to see how this compare to Teclast F5

    • Me too, I hope to have my F5 next week. The F5 will have less battery life, but has 8GB of RAM, touchscreen and much lighter 1.1 kilos Vs 1.45 kilos.

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