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.
Messed up my edit (It was cut in error) I didn't show the color coverage stats of the Lapbook SE screen I calibrated and measured but I did mention it at the end of the review. Here it is since my word isn't enough for some… sRGB 92% and Adobe RGB 68% https://t.co/VtjzHjKsrP pic.twitter.com/7WChTeBqz0
— TechTablets (@TechTabletscom) September 27, 2018
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.