Chuwi Lapbook Pro

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Chuwi Lapbook Pro Hands-On First Impressions

Chuwi Lapbook Pro Hands-On First Impressions

The Lapbook Pro has finally arrived, some lucky people have had it for a few weeks already. Just got mine and as expected the build is a bit like the Chuwi Lapbook SE. It weighs 1.47 kilos and 13mm thin without counting the bottom rubber feet. So the build is slim, all metal with no logos on the lid at all. Only on the bottom bezel, speaking of which these bezels are slimmer top and bottom giving it a bit more of a modern look to the laptop. The 14.1″ screen is fully laminated and has a maximum brightness of 350 lux. So brighter than the Lapbook SE.

My unit has the 64GB eMMC, speeds aren’t the fastest for an eMMC 5.1 flash drive. But there is an empty 2242, 2260 and 2280 sized bay taking all three of those sizes. Just be sure to use SATA3 spec as NVMe drives will not work or fit. The Celeron N4100 has a 12W TDP double the default power limit, the 4GB of DDR4 RAM runs at 2133Mhz and in single channel. Exactly the same as the Lapbook SE. Performance wise it feels faster due to the power limit and the battery looks to last the same 7-8 hours. Thermals so far check out no throttling.

The keyboard is a little different, same layout but with smaller keys and more spacing between the keycaps. And the keys are matte plastic and not glossy like the Lapbook SE and Chuwi Aerobook.

So far my feeling is a bit mixed, it’s a nice laptop for sure. But the keyboard space bar doesn’t register well on the edges resulting in missed keystrokes on my unit. And the Type-C port that comes at the cost of a MicroSD reader and one more USB 3.0 port doesn’t even support power delivery. So my PD charger and PD power bank cannot charge it. Only the supplied 12v, 2A charger will charge it. Also, I noticed that the Type-C port will power SSD’s and flash drivers fine but not external spindle hard drives which need more power to run, they cut out transferring data. At least the other USB 3.0 port works.

So I think think the Lapbook SE is overall the best model for a cheaper Gemini Lake laptop. Still, the Lapbook Pro does have the brighter screen, better-looking screen bezels, slightly better speakers and no logo on the rear of the lid. But that isn’t enough I feel to make it better overall if the keyboard on my unit has space key issues on the far edges.

The Lapbook Pro sells for just over $300 on Aliexpress here and was recently on sale for $299.

Chuwi’s official Lapbook Pro webpage

Images of the Lapbook Pro:

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. Hi Everyone,

    Could someone offer solutions to overcome this slow boot up issue on Lapbook Pro?

    A modified BIOS was flashed, the notebook boots up(takes about 4 minutes showing a blank screen) and goes straight into BIOS.
    The Recovery column inside the BIOS showed this message:
    “ROM Image is not loaded, ROM Image update denied.” https://ibb.co/RYSLXZN
    I have to physically exit the BIOS, and then, it boots into the log-in page of Windows.

    This is the problem I am facing. Any solutions to get back the normal bootup after you pressing the power on button?

    I got help from someone to modify the BIOS to detect my M2 SSD. I still have issues. The modification was partial as the BIOS is still locked. CSM is disabled on BIOS defaults/optimal and enabled on Fail safe.
    Based on my research, there are incompatability issues related to electronic components used in chinese made notebook with M2 SSD. This situation happened to many similar chinese notebook brands like Jumper ezbook pro 3. See https://techtablets.com/forum/topic/ezbook-3-pro-how-to-unlock-the-bios-2/page/26.

    By the way, does anyone know @giovanni ? The Jumper Ezbook 3 pro BIOS that he modified seems similar to this Lapbook Pro.

    Apologise for the long post. 8)

  2. Any idea how this device could be charged without the standard charger (for example if it breaks)?

    Making a laptop with an usb-c charging port but not being compatible with usb-PD charging or standard chargers is, how shell I put it polite, kind of silly.

    Hilus

    • No idea sorry it’s wired up different so we just have to source a new one from Aliexpress/Chuwi Store.

  3. Lapbook owners. I have some current going through the palm rest when charging the laptop. ANyone else has this issue? Part of the rest I think the lapbook SE has a plastic palm rest. That are my space key not working 100% is quite annoying.

    • My lapbook pro did not discharge current on the keyboard or palm rest when charging. My space key is working fine. However, there is a hissing sound in the power charger.

      • I can’t get it to do it now which is odd. So for now it seems to have fixed itself. With use I’ve also noticed the keyboard space is now a little better I’m getting more used to hitting it more in the middle. No charger noise but if i put my ear to it I can hear a faint whine.

    • With me no current flows through the palm rest during charging.
      The space bar doesn’t work properly for me either, that’s really very annoying.
      I don’t have a humming sound or a beep during charging.
      Another annoyance I still have: The keyboard illumination. The lighting is so extreme on the keyboard edges that you almost go blind.

      • No it seems to have fixed itself.I’m not getting a charge on the palm rest the last few days. Space key is still an issue and others have also told me on Youtube their one is fine.

        Do you mean the light that leaks out of the bottom right corners? Overall the Lapbook SE keyboard is much better, but the screen is no way near as good as this one. I’ve just measured it and it’s way beyond my expectations the panel they have used. 99% sRGB 79% adobe RGB. And 350+ lux makes it far superior to the Lapbook se. Out of the box calibration on my unit is also quite good.

        If my space key was good and it was a proper PD type-C I would call it better than the Lapbook SE but as it is, it’s not. Still over all for the $299 it’s not bad.

        • No, I mean the extreme lighting that exits at the front edges of each button, look here:
          https://abload.de/img/img_20190426_201432ickcj.jpg

          Chris G., I saw that you were using Linux Mint (I don’t know if LMDE 3 or Ubuntu), I installed Ubuntu Mint Cinnamon, LMDE didn’t work well. Ubuntu-Mint works fine so far, except for one thing: After standby the sound is gone. Is it the same for you if you have Ubuntu-Mint installed?

          • Looks like we will need driver update and kernel update to fix that. I haven’t gotten as far to install it only live USB stick testing.

            Ah yes the backlight from the key under the keys themselves it’s mentioned in my review. The Aerobook and Lapbook SE keyboards do it better. But the Lapbook Pro’s screen is far superior. 350 lux bright with 99% sRGB and 78% Adobe RGB is almost unheard of for $299 USD. That colour space beats many 1000 euro laptops. Shame about the type-C with no PD support and my space bar key. Otherwise it would be a #1.

            • Thanks for the information, Chris G.
              I have made a downgrade to kernel 4.15.0-47-generic, now everything works perfectly so far.
              Maybe the USB-C problem can be fixed by a BIOS update, I don’t know.
              Overall, I am very pleased with the laptop and can live with its weaknesses, especially at this price.

  4. 4gb is constraining for more than just video editing. Most art/music production programs for example. I won’t put up with it in 2019. MS needs to wake their greedy ass up and rework their RAM-based licensing scheme. It’s become ridiculous and unbearable.

    • MS does yes I agree, but will a Celeron N4100 be enough power for those programs?

  5. Does anyone have a solution of how to get the M.2 SSD Sata3 drive to be detected in the Bios and the Disk Management in Windows? Apparently, my two new M.2 SSD just cannot be recognised… 8(

    • In this laptop? My Kingspec, Sandisk and my Crucial all work but they are already formatted. Maybe that’s the issue?

      • I can only format my M2 SSD drives(Kingspec & Silicon Power) through an external M2 SSD SATA3 enclosure. I even clone the win OS from the eMMC to the M2 SSD using Macrium. But the M2 SSD will not boot up when I placed it into the M2 slot.
        The Bios just did not detect the M2 SSD.
        Any advices? Thanks.

        • Did you also pay attention to the boot order in the bios (Boot -> Boot Option Priorities)? There (also under the entry “Security”) the SSD should actually be visible and there you have to put your hard disk with installed OS in the first place.

          • Here same problem as N.O. 🙁

            SSD doesn’t show up anywhere in the BIOS, so I can’t select it to boot from, or change boot order.

            • Hi Hilus,
              Since you are having the same problem with me, are you able to assist me to check your BIOS setup ?
              Are your settings similar to mine as shown here:
              https://ibb.co/xDrydBT
              https://ibb.co/WktBKV5
              https://ibb.co/QH9gzXX
              Thank you.
              Hope to hear from you.

              • BIOS settings looks identical here…

                • Thanks for the update, Hilus.
                  I guessed if we can get another copy of the Bios from a ¨working¨ lapbook pro which is detecting M2 SSDs, then our problems are solved. But unfortunately, there is no site to download the relevant drivers and softwares.
                  I wrote directly to Chuwi ([email protected] & [email protected]) for support but they are not replying to my emails. 8(

                  • Ever reset the bios to optimized defaults? I think Secure Boot was switched off at delivery, try at least that.
                    Also, make sure that you have inserted the card correctly into the slot, because when searching for the cause of a problem you always look last at the hardware. I first plugged in my m.2 SATA III below the slot, the installation was very fiddly for me.
                    My Model is a Transcend 430S 512 GB, SATA 6 GB/s, M.2 2242 and works fine.

                    • Hi Michael,
                      Thank you for your help. I did install the M2 SSD correctly.
                      As for the BIOS, is your version 2.20.1270 ?
                      About the Secure Boot, mine is enabled. See https://ibb.co/QH9gzXX
                      Under the Security menu, do you see similar setting here, https://ibb.co/WktBKV5.
                      For the Boot option, it only has Windows Boot Manager enabled. See https://ibb.co/xDrydBT
                      I am hoping that I can reinstall another copy of the BIOS. Maybe it will solve my problem.

                    • So i’m officially a complete idiot 😀

                      I plugged in the m.2 card repeatedly below the SATA slot. Taking care of proper insertion, and I now have a working WD Green SATA m.2 ssd…

                      So a big thanks for your advice!

                    • Ah yes, it is easy to do on this model. (using mine now to type this) The space bar is a real pain. Have to hit it right in the middle or it doesn’t work.

                    • Very nice, Hilus 🙂
                      Now still N.U. :
                      My BIOS version is the same as your version. I strongly recommend that you set your BIOS to the optimized default settings. You can find it here: “Save & Exit” -> “Restore Defaults”.
                      Possibly also switch off the Secure Boot…”Secure Boot” -> “Attempt Secure Boot Mode” -> “Disabled” and maybe “Reset to Setup Mode”. I don’t know exactly, I never activated Secure Boot before.
                      If that doesn’t work, then you probably have an incompatible m.2 Sata III SSD….which I can’t imagine somehow.

                    • @N.D: I can strongly recommend you to recheck the installation of the SSD. I thought my SSD was installed properly, but in the end it appears that my SSD had to be installed label and memory chips downwards.

                      I don’t know if that’s usual for laptops, but I’ve never seen it this way (at least not in my desktop builds).

      • Hi Chris, Would it be possible to share with me the model of your M2 SSDs if it is convenient ? Thank you.

  6. I think this laptop has the body similar to that of a 2-year laptop namely Teclast F7 and Jumper EzBook 3L Pro with only a few modifications. Sadly, this could have been a great contender since few Chinese manufacturers makes 14 inch laptops anymore. Chuwi wasted the opportunity to make a really good product that would stand up against the competition. As the Chinese saying goes, two steps forward and two steps backwards is equals to no progress at all.

    • As Chris would have said, if you’re going to give a glossy screen, at least make it a touch one, otherwise make it a matte IPS as the weight of the glass on top of the screen only adds up to the weight without doing any purpose at all. But nice and bright screen though.

      • Yes, touch support would have given it the edge over others. But I guess cost is the factor. The keyboard and sides are similar to the EZbook 3 Pro. But not quite the same, the SDD hatch and the lack of MicroSD etc.

  7. Still 4GB in 2019, I’ll pass.

    • Yes 8GB, of course, would be much better. But for the CPU, for light tasks, I can live with 4GB, but 8GB would future proof it a little better. But when I need to do heavy work like video editing a laptop like this would cut it anyway.

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